Middlesbrough’s Dundas Centre will house temporary job centre

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The Dundas Centre in Middlesbrough is one of 80 locations around the UK which will house temporary job centres to help people who have become unemployed because of the Covid pandemic.

From June, staff from the Department of Work and Pensions will be working from the unit in the centre which used to house the retailer Boyes.

The DWP said when it is fully operational it will have up to 50 of its own staff based in the job centre and it has been busy recruiting.

Richard Wilson, senior associate with commercial property agent Dodds Brown – who act on behalf of the owner – said: “This is an ideal location which is easy to access and is already home to The Live Well Centre, which has provided vital support for so many local residents.

“We are all aware of the devastating impact Covid has had on people’s lives and livelihoods and sincerely hope that help provided at the Dundas Centre will lead to a fresh and positive start.”

He added: “I’m sure that the extra footfall the jobcentre will generate, from both staff and job seekers, will also bring a welcome boost for the centre’s retailers as they look to recover from the impact of the pandemic on their businesses.”

The Department of Work Pensions has taken out a five-year lease for the unit which has a floor space of more than 8,500 sq ft over two floors.

A temporary job centre is also opening in Dunedin House in Thornaby and they will both operate alongside existing jobcentres.

Mims Davies MP, the Minister for Employment, said: “With more new, temporary job centres in place in the heart of our communities, we can support even more people impacted by the pandemic to find work and progress into new roles.

“We’ve already boosted our DWP Work Coaches by 10,000 – and with these new local jobcentres to operate from, we can drive forward our Plan for Jobs, creating fresh opportunity for people all across the country.”

The government says the 80 new temporary job centres are the first phase of the programme to expand support in response to the pandemic. Dozens more will follow.