Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Universal Job Match - carrying on regardless

You recall that UJM seemed set to be consigned to the dustbin where it rightfully belongs, after all the publicity about the mess it has become.  But no.  Monster's website today carries a joint letter from the head of Jobcentre Plus, Neil Couling, and the boss of Monster, Sal Iannuzzi.  It will bemuse those forced to use it.
For instance: "Some of the concerns recently raised regarding the legitimacy of jobs on Universal Jobmatch, and even the future of the site itself, are based on misrepresentations which attempt to undermine its true success as a secure, and effective recruitment website. With millions of active jobseekers over the last year, those best placed to judge the system, our users, tell us they like it and that it makes a real difference to how they look for work."
This is just dishonest denial of copious evidence, and it traduces those clients and journalists who have exposed the truth.
On rogue employers and bogus vacancies, it first says that it's nothing new, and then: "we are not complacent and we take all such incidents very seriously. In fact, the DWP and Monster have agreed upon new measures to remove questionable jobs to improve further the security of the service".  These must be the safeguards which the company could have put in from the start but were told by "ministers" not to.  So how much are we now having to pay Monster to do it?
Then it says that they are "managing" the issue of "duplicate or inappropriate" vacancies.
The final paragraphs are a kick in the teeth for the unfortunate client and taxpayer alike: "Finally, there has been inaccurate speculation about the relationship of the DWP and Monster. Universal Jobmatch was delivered on budget and on time and we are working closely together to ensure its continuing success. Technology changes at pace and we will continue to exploit the opportunities this offers to support jobseekers into work.  The current contract between DWP and Monster runs until 2016, but the DWP - as with any large government procurement - will plan and consider all options for how it delivers the service in the future. But whatever that future is, Universal Jobmatch is here to stay, which will be of relief to the 500,000 employers and millions of people looking for a new job who rely on it every day."
Perhaps we should not have expected anything else from Iain Duncan Smith's DWP.


  1. It is as if IDS wrote it himself,if they took a poll of those forced to use this Joke of a site,I would be surprised if 1% agreed if was of any use.

    1. Depends how many of them they asked, and whether they were told that if their answers were unfavourable then they'd be sanctioned..

  2. How appropriate that the press release is from "3 Monkeys Communications".

    The repeat vacancies seem to me to be as bad as ever. Even when 'an employer' is removed they often just reappear the next day under a different name, easy to trace when you know how.

  3. Replies
    1. Not, according to the letter. The contract runs to 2016.

  4. Suppose the Monster / DWP Univ Jobmatch was a motor manufacturer such as Ford, Gen. Motors, Toyota, Nissan or BMW. And suppose one of their best selling models suffered from issues such as faulty brakes, steering or transmission. There'd be a national or even international product recall depending on how widespread the problem was.

    Yet all Monster and the DWP seem to think Univ. Jobmatch is doing just fine without any action being needed. Despite the myriad of issues identified by Ch4 News, The Guardian and more importantly, jobseekers themselves. All Monster and the DWP can offer are weasel words such as:

    "Indeed DWP identified and stopped 185 scams in 2011 and a further 145 in 2012 on its legacy job site, prior to the launch of Universal Jobmatch. We have well-established procedures to minimise this sort of activity, and the volume of such accounts is small."

    Such words are meaningless without Monster stating how many scams been stopped on its Univ. Jobmatch and how many new ones appear replacing them.

    This is also laughable:

    " No longer is finding a job about waiting for the weekly paper or a fortnightly trip to use a jobpoint; Universal Jobmatch lets people search for work from their home, handheld devices, local libraries, as well as the traditional Jobcentre. "

    Great! So why the WP? Why pay the dodgy W2W sector £5bn + for jobseekers to visit offices of a WP provider to do what they can do at home and other locations? And why the threat of making jobseekers perform weekly 35hr job searches in their local JCP?

    These are pathetic justifications for yet another DWP failure that has Smith's paw prints all over it. Considering that Jobseekers are mandated to use Univ. Jobmatch, surely there should be zero risk or at least as near as zero as it can be. This is clearly not the case.

    If Univ. Jobmatch were a motor vehicle. it'd have a product recall done on it almost from the moment of its roll out.

  5. Seems laughable, some of the stuff that they write. As with that, "We always knew that there would be some who would require further support after the Work Programme" statement (or understatement) last year ....

  6. I've been forced to use this site, and it's dreadful. There are so many duplicate jobs it's absurd. But they force you to use it and apply for jobs through it to get your benefit. Tip for anyone: Bookmark a load of jobs that don't link through to other sites (monster etc) because they don't count. So bookmark a load of jobs and stagger them through the week to show you have been looking for work. If you apply for jobs through monster or reed, it won't show up in your applications history and you may not receive your benefit. so bookmark them and just apply for 1-2 daily, so it shows up in your activity history.

  7. I've noticed the last few weeks that Monster/DWP have taken off all the 'Catalogue Distribution' jobs. BUT they have still thousands of repeat vacancies. Don't believe me - try these codes in the Job ID text box: 2125394, 2126140, 3479565, 2639586, 2639412. The SAME job re-advertised MULTIPLE times and this is happening right across the site. There are also examples of a range of agencies advertising for the same job e.g. in my local area multiple agencies are advertising for warehouse operatives at Waitrose.

    It is clear that the gov't are allowing this to occur to give the illusion that there are 500,000 + jobs out there - when in reality there are probably about 50,000 nationwide.

    This gov't continue to treat the unemployed with contempt.

    1. I have just sent an a FOI request via what do they know-
      "Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
      Please provide me with the details of what measures are in place to
      prevent duplicate vacancies being posted on the Universal Jobmatch
      website. I would be particularly interested in hearing what such
      measures have been taken with job ID's 2125394, 2126140, 3479565,
      2639586 and 2639412 which are clearly duplicate vacancies.

      Yours faithfully,
      I will let you know the outcome!

  8. IDS was on BBC radio 4 this morning , its at about 2 hours 10 in here.. it was interesting to see what the interviewers do..

    1. Funny how Smith says "if a future govt. wishes to increase the benefit cap, they'll have to publically explain why..."

      That's rich! Why has he not felt it necessary to publically explain the failure of the WP to hit its targets? Why has he not felt it necessary to explain why Univ. Credit is behind schedule and millions spent on it have been written off? And why has he not felt it necessary to publically explain why Univ. Jobmatch is riddled with spam, repeat ads and phantom vacancies?

      And notice how many times he says "I / we believe...."

    2. His repeated use of the phrase 'I believe...' when confronted with facts which challenge his views is intellectually immature.

      An mature, intelligent person will listen to an opposing view. Smith's use of the phrase ' I believe...' is his way of IGNORING criticism.


  9. On a lighter note. This forced a very rare smile from my terse lips:

  10. Of course, they'd say all these things whether it was getting canned or not. My suspicion is though that it's true and that IDS has not given up on the idea of regulating all JSA claimants directly. Next parliament we'll likely see a renamed but other-wise similar system administered by maybe a different company.


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