Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry today formally launched his Department’s online ‘Careers Webchat’ facility.
‘Careers Webchat’ is an instant messaging service which allows real-time communication to take place between anyone requiring advice and a professional Careers Adviser, similar to a “live” email where the client and adviser can ask and respond to questions immediately.
Minister Farry said: “This new initiative forms part of my Department’s commitment to improve client access to the services we provide. It builds upon the work currently ongoing within the Careers Service to enhance communication via interactive web services and the use of social media.
“The new service will help to assist in reaching those clients who may have barriers accessing careers services in the traditional office setting, for example those with a disability or who are living in rural locations. In addition, it will also be a more convenient access channel for people in work needing advice on up-skilling or changing career. Furthermore, the anonymity of the service has an appeal for those customers who may lack confidence, or have other barriers, which could deter them from engaging face to face.
“I would urge anyone, of whatever age, seeking careers information, advice or guidance to go online at nidirect and chat with a careers adviser now.”
Finance Minister Arlene Foster said: “The ‘Careers Webchat’ facility is part of the Northern Ireland Executive’s ‘Digital First’ initiative to provide more government services online.
“My Department has worked in partnership with the Department for Employment and Learning to deliver this excellent digital application for the Careers Service. The new online service can be accessed through the nidirect.gov.uk website allowing citizens to use the service at a location most convenient to them. The growing number of Government digital services available through nidirect.gov.uk is testament to our commitment to continually improve the quality, consistency and availability of our services to best meet the needs of the Northern Ireland public.”
Clients can now access careers services directly from their laptop, PC or mobile device without the need to travel to a local Careers office. The ‘Careers Webchat’ service is available Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4.30pm. To chat with an adviser, visit nidirect and click on the “Chat Online with a Careers Adviser” button.