Award for Jobcentre staff

Staff at Stranraer’s Jobcentre have won a national award.

The Jobcentre Plus Stranraer took the Dame Lesley Strathie award for Operational Excellence for delivering an innovative customer-focused outreach service to vulnerable and disadvantaged people in a rural area in the annual civil service awards.

The Flexible Service Delivery (FSD) model is designed to reach customers living in the most remote part of Wigtownshire, serving 170 customers each week, equating to total engagement of 50,000 meetings to date.

By working collaboratively with Dumfries and Galloway Council and using new IT and digital opportunities, it has successfully integrated into the local town halls. This saves customers from travelling to Stranraer – a journey of up to 70 miles – in an area with poor public transport. This could take up to six hours a day and amounts to a total saving of £120,000 in travel costs.

The centre delivers fortnightly Jobsearch review and advisory interviews at the outreach facility, providing excellent customer service and ease of access to the most vulnerable customers, including lone parents and disabled people. Forces recruitment officers and Volunteer Action regularly attend, working with advisers to help customers move into voluntary and full-time work. Other providers, including Work Club, Skill Development Scotland and the Mental Health Association use the FSD connection to hold joint meetings with customers.