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Hard work to find jobcentre

Jobseekers face hike to find an alternative centre as Department for Work and Pensions confirms closure

21 July, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Highgate jobcentre, based in Elthorne Road, Archway, is set to close

JOBSEEKERS have spoken of their anger after a government body confirmed it is closing the jobcentre in Archway.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will close the confusingly named Highgate Jobcentre, which is in Elthorne Road, in March next year.

Archway resident Sophie, 31, who has been using the centre on and off since she was 19, said she was upset to hear it was closing.

“They’ve taken all the machines out, but I go to discuss what jobs I apply for, what interviews I’m going to have,” she said.

Other users spoke of their concern for elderly and disabled welfare claimants and jobseekers who would struggle to get to the nearest centres in Finsbury Park and Barnsbury. One user, Hamada, 48, said: “Some people 50-plus won’t be able to get to the nearest jobcentre because there’s no direct bus from here to Finsbury Park’s Medina Road.”

All 63 jobcentre workers at Archway will be moved to the two near by centres and there will be no redundancies, according to the DWP. The medical assessment centre for disabled welfare claimants at Archway will also be closed as part of a nationwide plan to shutter around 70 jobcentres.

A spokeswoman for DWP said of the Archway closure: “A public consultation took place which helped us gather important information about the local area and the potential effect of the closure of this office on claimants and our staff.

“Following this consultation and after careful consideration of the responses, we have decided that these do not provide a basis to change our plans and a decision has been made to close this site.”

She said the DWP was considering keeping an “outreach facility” in Archway where jobseekers and welfare claimants can get advice and support.

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