Wednesday, 16 January 2013

"Statistics cast doubt on coalition's '500,000 new jobs' claim"

That's the headline to an article in the Guardian yesterday.  It will no doubt surprise most of you to know that if you're on the Work Programme you're counted as one of the half a million new jobs which the government brags about.  105,000 people, 20% of that total, are on what the report calls back-to-work schemes (the Work Programme and MWA) but are classed as in work.  The article is muddled on its figures in places, but it's clear on that 105,000.  The vast majority are on benefits but the government counts them as new jobs.
Apparently it's not really the government's fault.  The (ILO) International Labour Organisation insists that our Office of National Statistics "counts people as employed if they are adding to the nation's economic output, regardless of whether or not they are paid."  Mark Hoban wants the ONS to change this, but says that it makes little difference.  The equivalent of, "Whatever".
Now here's an interesting point that lawyers might want to get their teeth into.  People on these schemes are "adding to the nation's economic output" - the ONS has accepted that, and it's what Hoban doesn't like.  So shouldn't they get at least minimum wage?
The next time that the government puts out any figures on unemployment or jobs, they are probably not telling the truth.

23 comments:

  1. ... ahem, 250,000 public sector jobs in FE were reclassified by the government in July 2012 as private sector - ahead, presumably, of sector privatisation and free schools etc. So, the 500k figure is a massive porky! But, hey, we knew that anyway.

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  2. Also there was a re-classification of jobs in Remploy too. I think around 4.5k jobs were classed as private sector having previously been classed as public sector because the branched now have to bid for funding.

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  3. To avoid "sanctions" I have signed up for UJM there are some good points,it speeds up the process at the JCP.

    Some rather odd facts are clear though,repeat jobs,you are only allowed to apply for a position once regardless of how many times it is advertised.After spending a few hours sorting through the system at closest guess over 40% are commission only,about 50% are in sales(partial commission) part-time (less than 30 hours) and temporary jobs.

    In the 4 hours spent I applied for 86 positions that accepted a direct"APPLY" rather than going to their site,about a third of the jobs were Confidential and had been placed by employment agencies,including "Monster Jobs"who designed this site..Paranoid? Oh yeah!

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    1. If you uploaded a CV I hope it was an abbreviated one. You certainly don't want your whole home address and surname appearing on it. There are still serious security concerns with UJM.

      Also I hope you are not allowing the DWP to monitor your online activity - as per the tick box.

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    2. When I uploaded my CV, I made sure to make it private and not publicly visable, as I have read the horror stories of people's CV's showing up as job listings. I just hope that is enough to make it safe. While we're on the subject of the UJM, one of the things that I found quite awkward was the log in process where you have a user id that gets changed if you forget it. I suppose it's ok from a security stand point, but it's annoying as heck sometimes. All other job sites that have log in details use a username and password setup. What makes the government's new fangled service any more special?! Oh I know, it's blatant security risks and "openness".

      Anyway, back to the subject at hand. We all know that the government likes to "fiddle about", so does this story really come as a surprise?? Should be interesting to see how they spin the new figures showing how well their new "flagship programme" is working. *rolls eyes*

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  4. I signed on today,they tried to check my activity,but I did not check the box,I asked if this was mandatory to allow them access? reply "how do we know what you have done relating to job searches if you will not give us access?" can't I just print off the page? yes,but not on our printer! Where do you suggest? The Library! Ok will you cover the .20p cost? ....No.. Yes I am being a jobsworth,but they keep putting up the road blocks.

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    1. I see one major flaw with the Job Centre relying on the UJM service:

      What happens when you don't use their site and it's the only thing they rely on to check what jobs you've applied for? "I see you haven't used the UJM website to look for jobs, Mr. Bloggs. Have you actually looked for work at all in the last 2 weeks?!" It seems like the DWP and the Job Centre are trying to pass it off as the only job site out there and they'll use that as justification for sanctions in the coming months/years.

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  5. Anyone encountering pressure to sign on for UJ might like to refer the JCP advisor to the advice given by their own union (PCS). It can be found hers:
    http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/department_for_work_and_pensions_group/dwp-news.cfm/id/78E359C6-7B09-4FC6-98EBD4696432C199
    For instance:
    " The UJ Jobmatch toolkit chapter 3, paragraph 50, states: “You cannot issue a Jobseeker’s Direction to either require a claimant to create a profile and CV in Universal Jobmatch or to mandate a claimant to give us access to their account – this is their decision not ours.” Paragraph 52 also states that “We cannot specify to a JSA claimant how they provide us with records of their jobsearch activity and Universal Jobmatch will not change this.”

    PCS is awaiting clarification from DWP management on the status of the many Jobseeker Directions that were incorrectly issued to claimants before the guidance was clarified"

    Just another one for the ever growing omnishambles collection.

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    1. Gissajob:

      This new update overides any previous info from the DWP regarding Universal Jobmatch.

      We now have proof that UJM is not mandatory and anyone who has been sanctioned for refusal to sign up to UJM is not legal or lawful - everyone will now refuse to join UJM and as this is crucial to the new Universal Credit system, UC will fail before it even gets started.

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    2. Are we not forgetting that IDS said that it WILL BE made compulsory? That's his intention, and he can do it.

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    3. Historian:

      To make UJM compulsory, the Data Protection Act 1998 would have to be changed.

      The Data Protection Act 1998 has worked very effectifly for the last 15 years, but now has become an inconvenience to IDS regarding UJM.

      IDS now knows he can't make UJM mandatory because any change in the Data Protection Act 1998 would affect every single person living in the UK (including MP's) and will not be allowed to happen.

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    4. I'm not sure I agree with you. He can simply issue the edict, as he has said he will do, and then wait for a legal challenge.

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    5. No - He really can't - by established law - he really can't.

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  6. I was due to sign on for my JSA this afternoon but all three of the local bus companies suspended all their services soon after 9am today because of the snow etc.

    Eventually I managed to get my local JCP office on the phone. The lady there was superb. She said that they will treat today as if I had gone there to sign on and that there won’t be any problems. She said that they are thinking of closing the JCP office early today anyway, before my signing-on time, to make sure that all their staff will be able to get home.

    This is a rare victory for common-sense, imho!

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    1. I was supposed to attend the WP today,it was called off(due to the weather)but I was informed not to make any plans for the near future as I will be required to attend at a moments notice,24 hours? no you will be required to attend within 3 hours,no exceptions will be accepted.....Will bad weather be accepted? yes!..I thought no exceptions will be accepted...If staff are unable to attend there would be no point of you attending..but what if I am unable to attend due to the weather?If we can make it in so should you!

      BS...

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    2. Friday, I couldn't even get past the end of the lane to get to A4e, due to the snow. I phoned ahead and they said OK, don't come in then.

      But I do still fear 'sanction', shambles as the whole organisation is. Thank goodness I had the last one overturned on repeated appeal, else this time I could have no money for three months because the weather was snowy.

      My crime then? Not being signed in for a cancelled appointment, even though I turned up and was sent back home. (And even then I had to blame my disability for the 'confusion'. Angry's not the word.)

      Mick

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  7. ... strange. i think both the public in general and claimants have missed the crucial point as regards UJM. the key problem in the long run is that employers will be able to confront registrants with any unsuitable job offer (e.g. a single weekend night-shift at the tripe factory) backed-up with the threat of a benefit sanction if they don't jump at it.

    Under UC any work that you do (even if it only lasts an hour) would save the tax-payer money - 'cos it would mean that you'd loose an hour's benefit. The Jobcentre would have no problem at all with stopping your money - in fact, they'd argue that the experience would bring you closer to the labour market.

    The employers would save a fortune in agency fees.

    And, if the guy that manages your local supermarket decides s/he'd prefer people with a-level maths to work the check-outs, then you'd better watch out if you've got one on your cv but you're looking for something better.

    Time will tell.

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  8. At my local Jobcentre at least (Reading), UJM is merely a promoted option with the usual paperwork still required as the main jobsearch record. It's inadequate as a form but realistic.

    I honestly can't see how the Jobcentre can expect folks to find work with the rubbishy UJM site as the only resource, and a resource technically illegal to operate the way they tell us to. Even IDS would know thatyou get jobs through people, the papers and many other sources to increase your chances.

    The Government want to toughen up and reduce a heavy expenditure, etc. We've all heard about a benefits-fuelled 'chav' underclass and such. But it looks to me like Government is just panic-legislating when they can't keep on top of an unravelling job world.

    Mick

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  9. Historian at the time of writing 22/1/03 is it mandatory to register with universal jobmatch? Thankyou.

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    1. I can't answer that. IDS said that it was going to be, and I don't know whether he needs to issue a specific instruction after that, or whether Jobcentres and WP providers can just assume they can now enforce it.

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    2. !7 JAN 2013: PCS was aware that, despite assurances otherwise from the UJ project of DWP, management in some jobcentre districts were instructing advisers to tell claimants that UJ is mandatory and access must given to the DWP.

      As a result of legal challenges and negative press attention, DWP have revised the guidance on UJ to make it clear that this cannot be done. The UJ Jobmatch toolkit chapter 3, paragraph 50, states: “You cannot issue a Jobseeker’s Direction to either require a claimant to create a profile and CV in Universal Jobmatch or to mandate a claimant to give us access to their account – this is their decision not ours.” Paragraph 52 also states that “We cannot specify to a JSA claimant how they provide us with records of their jobsearch activity and Universal Jobmatch will not change this.”

      SOURCE: http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/department_for_work_and_pensions_group/dwp-news.cfm/id/78E359C6-7B09-4FC6-98EBD4696432C199

      Delete

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