This Should be Fun

From the beginning of next year, the unemployed will have to look for work through the new Universal Jobmatch website or risk losing their benefits.
The website will scan the CVs of benefit claimants and automatically match them up job openings that suit their skills.

It will also allow employers to search for new workers among the unemployed and send messages inviting them to interviews.

However, the activities of benefit claimants can also be tracked using devices known as “cookies”, so their Job Centre advisers can know how many searches they have been doing, suggest potential jobs and see whether they are turning down viable opportunities.

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said the scheme would “revolutionise” the process of looking for work.

Ho hum. This is so wrong on so many levels, it is difficult to know where to begin. As a job seeker nearly two years ago, I tried everything to get work rather than stay on benefits. As my advisors quickly discovered, nothing on their database even remotely matched my skill set. In the end, I came off benefits through my own efforts and so did not register on the government system until I walked in and told them. This would be no different today.

As for tracking using cookies –  er, has no one told IDS about clearing one’s cookies? It ain’t difficult.

The tracking element of the programme will not be compulsory as monitoring people’s behaviour online without their consent would not be allowed under EU law.

So, a complete waste of time, then. The first time they try to use it in anger, they will find themselves facing the European court of human rights.

But job advisers are able to impose sanctions such as compulsory work placements or ultimately losing benefits if they feel the unemployed are not searching hard enough.

Which they can do now, of course.

As for it revolutionising looking for work –  yeah, right, in your dreams. We will find work in the ways we always have. The state’s database is likely to be as utterly useless in the future as it was when I briefly tried to use it.

22 comments for “This Should be Fun

  1. December 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Government IT?


    *pauses for breath*

    …hahahahaha hahahahaha!!

    • December 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      Well, quite. It has failure written all over it.

      • Crazed Weevil
        December 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm

        And it does…I’ve been trying to use the bloody thing since it was released about a month ago. It appears that they have tried to copy the reed website except of course theirs has been programmed by howler monkeys whereas reed’s actually works.

        Firstly it wouldn’t let me create an account (you need to have one of those ‘Gateway’ ID things and that system crashed since everyone was now forced to get one and tried to use it at the same time). After a week of trying I managed to create the account but then it was hit or miss weather it would let you log in (and stay logged in as changing page seemed to upset it). Next it wouldn’t let me upload a CV as it needs to be a Word doc and won’t except PDFs or anything else. Don’t have Word? Tough shit. Converted it in OpenOffice and finally managed to upload it, but I don’t think it’s working.

        After finally getting that far I still can’t apply for anything without the bloody site having a seizure. And since they have now stopped including any contact details like e-mail addresses or phone numbers for any of the jobs on there I can’t go round it unless the job description has something to help ID it on an agency website…

        I could go on about the other stupid things like that lack of any sorting functions but my crack pipe is getting cold (since that is apparently the only thing I’ve been doing since being made redundant for the second time in a year and being on Jobseekers according to that tosser IDS).

        • December 20, 2012 at 8:58 pm

          Sounds like the self assessment site. That is shit on stilts.

          • December 20, 2012 at 9:53 pm

            Interesting Longrider. I have always found the self-assessment site works very smoothly. Much better than the old days of paper forms. But I do always file by about July, months before the deadline. I can’t understand why people wait through many long quiet months then moan that the system is clogged on the deadline week or day when they could have done it long before. But perhaps you have had bad experiences with it for other reasons. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, so far.

            • December 21, 2012 at 8:53 am

              It’s the logging on process that always seems to give me grief. On some occasions, I’ve had to log in all over again as I work through the process. Once on there, it usually works okay, but it is clearly poorly thought through from the user’s perspective.

              • December 21, 2012 at 10:17 pm

                Fortunately I’ve never had that problem.

            • December 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm

              Why would anyone work out how much the Government is going to steal off you before you have to? It’s like seeing a mugger and saying “hey, have my money”, B@st@rds.

              I hate doing it so much any last minute website problems are neither here nor there. šŸ˜„

              • December 21, 2012 at 10:15 pm

                The software works it out. You don’t have to. They spend some of it on stuff I disapprove of but a lot of it on stuff I need and use. So I don’t mind paying my tax… helps fund the mental hospital I clearly need to be sent to šŸ™‚

        • December 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm

          What happens to people who don’t have a computer, or don’t know how to use one?

          • David A. Evans
            December 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm

            They’re putting internet enabled PCs in Job Centres.
            However, that still doesn’t cover the people they’re taking off the sick, even though they can’t get out of the house.
            Short of being dead, you’re capable of work.


            • Del
              December 25, 2012 at 6:54 pm

              Thing is if everybody has to so, say, one hour of internet based jobsearch a day a Jobcentre with ten computers can only accommodate a maximum of 80 jobseekers internet based jobsearch a week assuming an 8 hour day. In reality people depending on such internet access will only be able to do a few hours on the internet at such places every week. Plus, I would imagine that people living miles and miles away from such Jobcentres won’t get travelling expenses, often several pounds for return tickets on public transport, to enable them to even do this much.

              It really isn’t going to work is it?

    • December 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      Correct Julia. As a sort of side issue. I’ve been told of an ‘issue’ with HMRC / Government Gateway. Apparently, it doesn’t allow a user to create a password that is much stronger using letters, numbers and symbols. It only allows a much weaker password to be set. Government IT is so often crap.

  2. mona
    December 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Yes we are well into Animal Farm, can the working class think? it seems the BBC has done great job in this new Dumbo breed, these rulers are getting above themselves, the Army will be back soon maybe, just maybe the guns will be turned inwards with luck it may be more than blair who will be strung up.

  3. Stonyground
    December 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I have now worked for the same company for 27 years, so my experience of job seeking relates to the early 1980s. During a period of two or three years I did lots of temporary jobs and was made redundant from a couple that were supposed to be more permanent. So I had quite a bit of experience of seeking and finding work. At that time, there were only two avenues, the jobs page in the local newspaper and the ads at the jobcentre. Every job that I got* was via the newspaper ads. Not once did the jobcentre fix me up. I lost count of the number of times they sent me on a wild goose chase, after a vacancy that had already been filled.

    *With the exception of my current job which I got because I was the brother of the boyfriend of a girl in accounts, a word of mouth type thing.

  4. Fluffy the Destroyer
    December 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I can say, without the slightest doubt, that in a year or two I will still be watching the same faces trot in and out of the dole office as I do today. Why work when you can get the taxman to rob the working and give it to you? We will all keep playing the benefits game.

  5. December 20, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Will this rubbish mean that people are tied to the job centres approved method of looking for a job?

    If folk go out and hunt for jobs themselves, either physically, through agencys or through other employment websites, will they be beleived if the details aren’t in their cookies?

    Most of the jobs I have had have been found in the paper or through an agency.

    • December 21, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Quite – or in the case of my motorcycle instruction, a speculative email.

  6. Greg Tingey
    December 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Or, my current, semi-seasonal & part-time pension-supplement …
    A friend told me that $FIRM had prospective vacancies – look them up?
    So I did.

  7. December 21, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    We recently used the Job Centre to try and find a production worker. Grim business. The Job Service muppets couldn’t understand our requirement. Electronics? Solder?

    Most of the candidates were unintelligible. We did find one bright, skilled, young lady. She loved music festivals and would fail to show up either side of a festival weekend.

    We went back to newspaper ads. At least if someone reads the ad they are making an effort rather than being forced to look for work.

  8. Furor Teutonicus
    December 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I read earlier that this Westminster dictatorship thing is to be run in conjunction, or with help from “Monster”.

    Have any of you ever TRIED that pile of festering shite?

    I sent my C.V, as applying for jobs is a kind of hobby of mine.

    At sea, Police, Military police, uni.

    So what do they keep sending?

    “Manager of Shell B.P transport offices in Belgium.)

    I KID YOU NOT!!!

    THAT was, according to them, a fitting match!!!

    And that was only one of many similar!

    “Head of recruiting for Deutschebahn” Hamburg was another.

    “Stepping-stone” another job finding web site, was EXACTLY the same. As were five or six others.

  9. Del
    December 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Firstly Universal Jobmatch needs a huge amount of personal data uploaded to it to process to do it’s job and Condition 1 or Principle 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998 states that an individual’s personal data cannot be processed without their consent. So how is IDS going to compel people to upload their CVs etc., to Universal Jobmatch if they don’t want to. Secondly no one is obliged to accept cookies from any website if you live in the EU, so if claimants refuse Universal Jobmatch’s cookies the site won’t work at all for them. Thirdly, EU law compels the DWP to allow people to refuse to allow their accounts to be scrutinized or their activities to be tracked and to prevent their CVs etc., to be searchable and so viewable by employers.

    So how can IDS and the DWP be in any position to force Jobseekers to use Universal Jobmatch at all? When eveybody already seems to have the right to opt out of uploading their data to the site or having their use of the site inspected by Jobcentre and other staff?

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