Unconnected and out of work: the vicious circle of having no internet

Jobseekers must spend up to 35 hours a week on online applications, or risk losing benefits. When you can’t afford a computer, this is no mean feat

….In Wigan, Lisa Wright, 47, a former factory worker who has been unemployed for three years after the food processing plant she worked for closed, is doing a mandatory six-month community work programme. Alongside 30 hours of community service each week, she has to put in 10 hours on Universal Jobmatch.

“I can only get to a computer in Wigan library on Thursday evenings, Fridays and Saturday mornings,” she said. “There’s sometimes a queue so you can hang around for up to an hour. That’s the only time I can check my emails, which means if I get sent a reply to a job application on Monday I don’t see it for days. It feels like you’re constantly doing things wrong and struggling just to keep up. I met a kid last week doing 200 hours’ community service for robbing a shop. I’m doing 780 hours’ community service and my only crime is being unemployed.”….

read more here: https://amp.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/09/unconnected-and-out-of-work-the-vicious-circle-of-having-no-internet


Universal Jobmatch Down Down Down

As people are already commenting Universal Jobmatch is not working, has not worked since yesterday, and is not matching the Job. Feel free to comment further. I can think of a few things to start with, hard to log in, hard to use, sanctions not to mention, weren’t there some kind of fraudulent jobs… […]

via Universal Jobmatch Down Down Down…. — Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Government wants everything done by computer – but this is what happens when you try.

Unemployed people are being told they must do up to 30 job searches a week using the woefully inept DWP Universal Jobmatch website, or have their benefits stopped. Lets forget that this site is so very inept that it won the Wooden Nora award at the National Online Recruitment Awards for the worst jobs website out of 180 entries. Lets concentrate on the difficulty of finding a computer that can be used in the first place.

I just read this on the antibedroomtax natter group facebook page.

“went to the library this morning to print out accounts council want… emailed them to myself so i could get them on library computer and print them off,, failed miserably. The people at the help desk were apathetic and useless, asked if i could book a computer,, they said its self service,find one yourself. Most were either reserved or booked with no one sitting at them, found one, total garbage, wouldnt accept my library card number,,,kept asking for a pin. Went to the help desk,, oh,, its 0000, so i said how could i know that? Blank expressions, computer wouldnt download half my stuff ,help desk it was my stuff that was bugged. Been doing computers since 1982, told them it was there crap system,, could somebody come help me sort it,, after all its a help desk? Eventually it was just printing blank pages, and i wasnt paying 10p a sheet, all i got was apathetic glazed expressionless moronic looks. Then a seven foot obese security guard with a rancid blue wart on the end of his nose turned up, think they should weld the chairs to the floor ..place stunk of fetid sweat and shitty underwear, and there was an air of resentment exuding from the side were the computer terminals were. Got fed up of people asking me this and that , what i do with this mouse, so gave it up as a bad job. Must have been thirty people in there mostly doing job searches and stuff, probably all going for the same jobs,”

This person says she’s been using computers since the 1980s. Imagine what it’s like for people who are not computer literate, let alone those with learning disabilities who are not literate at all.

DWP plans to ditch ridiculed jobs website

Universal Jobmatch set to be jettisoned after it was found to be carrying a series of fake, repeat or fraudulent jobs ads

The government has drawn up plans to scrap its official jobs website, Universal Jobmatch, after recognising it is too expensive and that its purpose is undermined by fake and repeat job entries, according to leaked internal communications from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

A cache of documents seen by the Guardian details how the government’s main website for job hunters – which tens of thousands of unemployed people have been required by the DWP to sign up to – is likely to be jettisoned when the contract for the service comes up for renewal in two years.

A year and a half after its launch, Universal Jobmatch has been ridiculed for hosting numerous fake jobs, including one for an MI6 “target elimination specialist” and “international couriers” for CosaNostra Holdings, as well as listings for pornographic websites.

More recently very serious problems have emerged. Separate investigations by Channel 4 News and the Labour MP Frank Field have uncovered hundreds of thousands of fake, repeat or, in a minority of cases, fraudulent job postings that enticed jobseekers to spend money needlessly – for example on fake criminal records checks – or were a means of harvesting personal information for identity fraud.

At the start of March, the DWP removed more than 120,000, or one-fifth, of all job adverts from over 180 employer accounts, because the ads did not abide by the site’s terms and conditions.

Field is now pressing the National Audit Office to investigate the site which he described as “bedevilled with fraud“.

The DWP said it regularly monitors Universal Jobmatch to remove jobs that do not meet its rules and that of 524,640 employer accounts only a tiny minority have proven to be in breach of them. The leaked information about Universal Jobmatch became public after the chair of the public accounts committee said last week that the DWP was on the verge of a “meltdown” over its relationship with private companies and welfare reform.

The leaked documents say that some of the website’s problems have partly stemmed from the decision by ministers that the site – which is run by the international online recruitment company Monster – be as “open” as possible to all types of employers. Recruitment agencies have taken advantage of this openness by uploading repeat adverts on the site.

The effect, the documents go on to say, has been that civil servants have been unable to determine how many genuine employment vacancies are listed on the site. According to one email, the data simply is not “robust” and rectifying the issue will be expensive.

Other internal communications suggest that civil servants have asked for more than one hundred changes to the service. However senior managers have decided to pass on only a handful of them to Monster because they have given up on improving the current site and expect to start afresh after April 2016.

read the rest of this article by Shiv Malik in the Guardian, 16th March 2014, here: http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/mar/16/dwp-jobs-website-universal-jobsmatch


Iain Duncan Smith Faces Probe Over ‘Bogus’ Jobs On Jobseekers Website

Iain Duncan Smith‘s Department of Work and Pensions could be investigated after it emerged that over a third of a million jobs it advertises for job hunters could be bogus or unlawful.

Labour MP Frank Field has asked the National Audit Office to launch a probe into the scale of job fraud on the DWP’s Universal Jobmatch site, which all jobseeker’s allowance claimants are forced to use to look for work and must apply for a minimum number of jobs each week.

The DWP admitted to Field that 179 employer accounts advertising 352,569 jobs may potentially be in breach of the website’s Terms and Conditions. Ministers were recently embarrassed by a a £10-per-hour prostitute job advert popping up in error on the Direct Gov website.

Teresa Pearce, Labour member of Parliament’s work and pensions committee, told HuffPostUK: “Jobs are posted on Universal Jobmatch by “employers” but a large number, specifically in sales, are commission only door-to-door catalogue sales – not proper jobs at all. Also, there are some “self-employed” jobs which are clearly bogus employment.

“The worst thing is that if a jobseeker failed to take one of these “jobs” they could have their benefit stopped. Universal Jobmatch is a deeply flawed tool which delivers for neither job seeker nor possible employer.”

Field said: “The heart of the government’s welfare reform programme is bedevilled with fraud and, in its current state, it is out of control. Anyone can place an advertisement on the site in the space of five minutes by ticking a few boxes.

“Ministers need to get a grip before more people fall victim to fraudsters preying on them with the helping hand of a major government department.”

The DWP was forced to investigate allegations earlier in February that a Coventry recruiter posted 11,000 fake jobs on the government website, which has itself won an award for being the “worst online recruitment site”.

Employment minister Esther McVey admitted in February that the department does not collect data on where the jobseekers who use Universal Jobmatch end up or how many complaints are lodged about the system.

She told MPs: “Universal Jobmatch is part of the Government’s plan for providing easy online access to Government services for all and is one of the services we use to help claimants back into work.

“We are unable to produce data for the number of claimants referred to Universal Jobmatch, who have entered employment. However, we know that the majority of JSA claimants are now registered on Universal Jobmatch with an account and are applying for jobs using the service.”

A DWP spokesman said bogus adverts were common to all on-line job sites, adding: “The truth is that the vast majority of employers post genuine jobs, and we crack down on those who don’t play by the rules. We also regularly monitor the site and remove jobs that don’t meet our rules, such as duplicate advertisements or jobs for franchises.”

by Asa Bennett in the Huffington Post, 6th March 2014: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/03/05/iain-duncan-smith-jobmatch_n_4904627.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

The government’s Jobmatch website is carrying bogus vacancies from nine online recruitment agencies run by a Baptist deacon in Coventry, who makes money by encouraging visitors to post their CVs.

The government’s Jobmatch website is carrying bogus vacancies from nine online recruitment agencies run by a Baptist deacon in Coventry, who makes money by encouraging visitors to post their CVs.

More than 11,000 positions currently advertised on the government’s Universal Jobmatch website may be bogus, an investigation by Channel 4 News has found. The jobs, which range from sous chefs to dry cleaners, account for almost one in 50 of all those posted in Britain on the site and, in some areas, a third of all the jobs available on Jobmatch, may be fake.


Since March 2013 it has been mandatory for all jobseeker’s allowance claimants to register and use the Jobmatch website. Those who fail to do so can have their benefits cut entirely. But if some of the jobs on the site are not genuine, the claimants who have applied for them may have been wasting their time.


The Channel 4 News investigation found that nine apparently unconnected recruitment websites, advertising thousands of positions across the UK, are all controlled by one man in Coventry – Mark Coward, a businessman and Baptist deacon who has posted thousands of jobs.


Coward’s company


In recent months, Coward has received thousands of pounds for marketing job products at applicants. Jobseekers who answered any one of thousands of ads posted by Coward were encouraged to visit a legitimate recruitment business, CV-Library, using links that showed Coward had recommended them.


He then received £1 for every CV successfully submitted to CV library. Coward later told Channel 4 News that most of the original applications submitted to him for the jobs he posted were then simply deleted.


Last year Channel 4 News was contacted by Richard Evens, an out-of-work librarian who had concerns. At first, Mr Evens was delighted when a raft of library jobs suddenly appeared on the Universal Jobmatch website. Each position was offered in a different area of the country but the job descriptions were identical.


Three companies posted the ads: Thomas Reilly Associates, MF Training and Recruitment Solutions and Que Consultants. All are controlled by Coward, and his business network has many other identities. Jobs Junction, Career Nationwide, Recruitment 4 Office, Retail Jobs 4U, Career In Caring, and Find My New Job are all controlled by him.


Some of the websites associated with these businesses were registered anonymously but linked back to rental properties owned by Coward in Coventry.

read the rest of this Channel 4 article here: http://www.channel4.com/news/why-is-government-website-carrying-fake-jobs

Jobseekers Encouraged to Take Part in Clinical Trials by Government Jobs Website

Jobseekers using the government’s new jobs website, Universal JobMatch, have been receiving messages encouraging them to participate in clinical trials.  Users have received multiple messages from the service inviting them to apply for jobs, only to find these ‘employment opportunities’ are actually clinical trials.

The Scriptonite Daily blog was contacted by 37 year old Job Seeker Chris Morgan, of Dartford, Kent – who logged in to Universal Job Search today to find five messages in his Universal JobMatch inbox inviting him to apply for jobs.  These jobs were actually invitations to join a clinical trial.

Mr Morgan lives with his partner and two children aged 9 and 11 and has been seeking work since losing his role in Health and Safety for retail giant Marks and Spencer’s in November 2012.  He had been with the company for five years before being dismissed.  He has subscribed to Universal JobMatch in hopes of finding employment.

He logged in this morning to find five jobs recommended to him by the government’s online job service.  He has been left feeling “sick to my stomach” after realising the government considers partaking in a clinical trial for £100 a day as his best current option of ‘employment’.

extract from ‘Scriptonite Daily’ – read the full article here: http://www.scriptonitedaily.com/2013/09/11/governments-online-jobsearch-posts-jobs-encouraging-desperate-uk-poor-into-clinical-trials/