Jobcentre offices have been understaffed and “unprepared” to deal with the influx of professional jobseekers since the start of the recession, the government has found.
Research commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions also found advisers were poorly trained and computer systems regularly crashed, the Guardian reports.
The news comes as the latest unemployment figures from the Office for National Statistics, out today, are expected to show about 2.5 million people out of work.
The report said jobcentres were “largely unprepared for the extra demand for services they were experiencing”.
However, it added that over time, “delivery was seen to improve”.
Theresa May, shadow work and pensions secretary, said the report showed that jobcentres were “in crisis”. She said: “The tragedy now is that the people who need help the most have been cast adrift by Labour’s incompetence.”
Employment minister Jim Knight said: “This is utter hypocrisy from the Tories. They accuse jobcentres of being unprepared while at the same time opposing the extra £5bn of we have invested in them.”