Test Valley Borough Council has officially welcomed Andover Jobcentre Plus to its Beech Hurst office.
New Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Minister and local MP, Kit Malthouse, and Leader of the Council, Councillor Phil North, took a guided tour of the new offices and spoke with employees about the range of services they offer to local customers.
The move comes at a critical time for Jobcentre Plus as it prepares for the roll out of Universal Credit in July 2018, which will simplify the existing benefit system and enable many more residents to be better off in work.
Kit Malthouse MP said “I’m really pleased to see these bright new facilities for residents to benefit from. The project is a great example of all arms of Government working together and it makes sense to use the office space at Beech Hurst to provide this service. Universal Credit has quite literally transformed people’s lives in other parts of the country so I am confident that this co-location will make the transition on a local level even smoother.”
Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Phil North, said “I’m delighted to welcome DWP colleagues to Beech Hurst. The Council has a good track record of bringing forward projects to make the best use of our buildings. We already host several of Hampshire County Council’s services and NHS Children’s Therapy Service and now with Jobcentre Plus, Beech Hurst really has become a one-stop shop for public services – with the added advantage of providing great value for money for taxpayers”.
Sarah Carhart, Jobcentre Plus District Manager for Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, added “Andover Jobcentre Plus is the only service in this district to co-locate with its local authority. It is a fantastic environment and a great opportunity to work together to provide the best possible service to the residents of Andover. Colleagues are enjoying being in their new setting and we are looking forward to enabling even more people to be in work in the area.”
Residents who would like support with employment can visit Jobcentre Plus at Beech Hurst on weekdays from 9am to 5pm (10am to 5pm on Wednesdays).