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What Is Universal Jobmatch?
Created by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), Universal Jobmatch is a government powered job board which replaced the old online JobCentre Plus website. When it was launched it was claimed that the new service would make it quicker and easier for jobseekers to locate vacancies that were the most suited to them. So far it is said that more than 2 million people have registered on the site. It works by matching job openings up to candidates with certain skillsets and is designed so that jobseekers who are not having much luck finding work in their desired profession can see what other opportunities are open to them.
Controversy & Confusion
There were a number of issues when the service first launched, some of which still exist and one of the main ones was the supposed power of Job Centre staff to force JSA claimants to register or risk losing some of their benefits. This is known as a Jobseeker’s Direction and if the claimant refuses to comply then sanctions can be applied which may result in benefits being withheld for a certain amount of time. This led much criticism from various groups who claimed that this was just another example of the state exerting unreasonable power over citizens and a stigmatising of jobseekers who are already under a lot of pressure to find work both financially and socially. There are also concerns that Universal Jobmatch breaches a users privacy as it is sometimes possible for Job Centre staff to spy on JSA claimants to see how many jobs they have applied for. This is not mandatory and it is highly recommended that users DO NOT tick the boxes that allow snooping by DWP employees: Image source: http://www.edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/node/105
In December 2012, Channel 4 news ran a feature which explained how this new government service was being used by unsavoury types to obtain personal details of jobseekers. While the government claims is has tightened up security on the site, never ever give out things like scanned passports, national insurance numbers or bank account details until a job offer has officially been made. You can view the Channel 4 news report below:
Alternatives To Universal Jobmatch
While the government system is used by many companies to find people to fill their job vacancies, it is not the only way to find potential openings. Using the search functionality above, you can search vacancies on numerous well known job boards such as Monster, CV Library, CW Jobs, Retail Choice and Sales Target. New vacancies are being added on a constant basis and you can save time by searching many job boards in one go rather than entering details separately in each one.