JOBCENTRE that were closed by the DWP two years ago could be reopened to cope with a rise in unemployment from the Covid-19 economic crisis.

Six jobcentres in Glasgow were axed in a cost-cutting move by the DWP.

Jobcentres in Anniesland, Bridgeton, Easterhouse, Parkhead, Langside and Maryhill were shut as the DWP said they were

not fit for purpose anymore and more services were being delivered online.

Castlemilk was spared the axe as the number of jobcentres in the city was cut from 14 to eight.

Now a DWP official has said they could be reopened as the UK Government is taking on 13,500 new work coaches this year to cope with increased demand as large scale job losses are expected.

Neil Couling, who is director-general for the Universal Credit programme, said that only one third of the new staff can be accommodated in the current offices across the UK.

It is not known how many officers will be located in Glasgow but it he admitted it is ­possible old offices could be reopened or new offices found to ensure

there is enough space for more staff and to stick to social distancing rules.

He was asked by Chris Stephens, Glasgow South West SNP MP, where the new work coaches would be based.

He said: “Where are you going to accommodate the staff? Given that you have closed over 100 jobcentres in the UK, including in the great city of Glasgow, that suggests it is just going to be home working, or what is it?”

Ms Couling said: “The first 4500 we can fit into our existing estates and properties.

“We have been carefully checking that that is all Covid-compliant, working with our local trade unions on that

Mr Stephens asked if it would mean reopening old centres.

Ms Couling replied: “It is a possibility. We are looking, certainly, at one of the closed ones that I know of at the moment to try to set up a demonstration of how we do this.

“We are going to adopt probably a different design than we have in existing jobcentres, partly because we need to make them Covid-compliant quickly.

“Some of our old estate will not be very good; the jobcentres we closed were quite small.

“That was not completely the case in Glasgow, before Mr Stephens comes in and corrects me, but in general I think these will be newer properties.”