MORE people in Coventry who are looking for work will be given a helping hand when the city council rents out office space for an increase in JobCentre Plus staff.
It is part of a nationwide drive to help jobseekers who have been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The plan is to recruit work coaches and increase the number of sites that could provide face-to-face meeting points.
To ensure the support is provided as soon as possible, temporary offices are needed across the country now until the new sites can open, and the Department for Work and Pensions has issued a national appeal for help.
Coventry City Council has offered its support by agreeing to rent out the fifth floor of its Friargate home for six months from March.
Coun Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, said: “The pandemic has hit employment in many areas and sadly large numbers of people now need help to find new work.
“By sharing our office at Friargate for a little while, we can help people in Coventry and the region get the advice and support they need, and we’re delighted to be able to step in.
“Council staff have worked flexibly to support the city in many different ways over the past year and cope with the challenges of Covid-19, and this is just one more step towards a stronger, more secure future for the city and its residents.
“I’m sure this expanded service will thrive at Friargate. Services like this should have a local base so who knows, it could well be longer than this first six months.”
The space at Friargate will house 40 work coaches, who will be able to undergo training and support members of the public virtually, by phone and email.
One Friragate is already home to the Financial Ombudsman Service and Homes England as well as Council staff and work is underway on Two Friargate.