Monday, 19 November 2012

Universal Jobmatch:- Day One

So, today is the 19th of November 2012, and as such the DWPs "new" method of job searching , the "Universal Job Match", has been launched.
As I said in a previous blog entry, the whole scheme has been kept very much under wraps, so much so that many jobseekers were, and probably still are, completely unaware of its existence.

Thus far today, I have received THREE text messages from the Jobcentre regarding this scheme, even though I have not given them permission to contact me by text I may add, although they do have my mobile number.
The first text came at 10:35am and simply put was nothing more than a bog standard marketing text containing a very basic description of the service. One worrying thing about it though was the end of the text which said "Please register ASAP at - this will be reviewed at your next attendance" and then followed by a geographical number to contact the jobcentre on.

The second text arrived at 10:45, containing the exact same text, but with the geographical number being replaced by an 0845 number, because hey, we all know the JCP don't want us contacting them directly, much less by a phone number which doesn't generate much of an income for them.

The third text of the day arrived at 4:05pm, and this time round instead of being a pseudo friendly marketing text, it contained the following text:-

"Today the new government website Universal Jobmatch has launched. To register you must have a valid e-mail address, our records show that you do not have one. It is important that you create an email account as a matter of priority in order to register and start using Universal Jobmatch. If you require assistance creating an email address please contact Doncaster JCP on 08456043719 or ask your personal advisor"

Ok, the above is a verbatim reproduction of the text I received, but unfortunately for JCP, the soft handed passive-aggressive bully tactics contained in this text will not work on me, so to wit, the following corrections are a more accurate picture of how the situation with UJ actually is:-

#1 - Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 I, or indeed any UK citizen, am under no obligation whatsoever, legal or otherwise, to enter into any kind of agreement whereby I will face the possibility of my personal information being  stolen or misused in any way contrary to my wishes. The Sites own privacy policy itself clearly states, and I quote:

 “We try to limit access to our searchable CV database only to those employers who have been given permission, but cannot guarantee that people or organisations without permission will not gain access to this database.”. 

 In addition to this piss poor promise of low security, buried within the UJ sites Terms and Conditions of use they say (in addition to this being the ONLY section of the website which states that the sites database will NOT be overseen by the DWP, but instead will be overseen by Monster Worldwide ltd, who already have a poor record when it comes to safeguarding personal data ) that, and I quote: 

“We cannot protect you from unwanted emails that you may receive that may advertise products or services for sale, although We can choose to restrict the number of emails which an employer may send to you.”

If this is true, then the whole site has been set up in direct contravention of the DPA 1998 and thus is not fit for purpose.

#2 - The second correction is a very simple one. In the "thinly veiled threat" text received by me at 4:05pm today they state that:

".. It is important that you create an email account as a matter of priority in order to register and start using Universal Jobmatch.."

Oops!, sorry DWP, but that one wont work either, as firstly this document (along with source) shows, there is NO OBLIGATION whatsoever for anyone ti register any of their personal information with the UJ scheme, neither is there any recourse against them if they don't, but secondly, a quick visit and poke around on the UJ site, located HERE , shows anyone with an ounce of common sense that there is no need whatsoever to provide any information to the site in order to perform jobsearch activities.

So, all that aside, I decided to check out the site (but not submit any personal information), to see if there had been any improvements to the job search facilities, because god knows the old jobsearch site was in dire need of an overhaul.

The first thing you are greeted with is this:
The home page, which again, does not mention that registration is required, nor does it mention that the scheme is not being run by the DWP.
Scrolling down the page reveals this:
Once again, no mention made of any kind of mandatory elements, or who the site is being administered by, or about who has access to the sites information.

Clicking on the "Other ways to apply" tab gets you this:
quite simply, the telephone number to call jobseeker direct, which is to be "scaled back" as part of the introduction of the UJ scheme, which undoubtedly will lead to redundancies within the DWP and/or the call centres that they contract the work out to.

Clicking on the "Start now" button forwards you to this:
Oh look!, its the jobsearch page....way to go DWP, you've just paid someone to slap a few bits of touch up work on your existing site...essentially, paying twice for work you've already done yourself..*sigh*
You will also note how under the heading "Welcome to Universal Jobmatch", it quite clearly says "you don't need an account to start searching for a job" and that making an account merely makes a profile for your CV to be attached to and sets up email notification.
Of course, no mention is made here that your account will be made accessible to any JCP or DWP employee who has access to the system, much less that any info contained in it will be more than likely sold or passed on to any of Monster Worldwides sub companies or affiliates for marketing purposes.

You are presented with the option to log in if you have already created a government gateway account, or to create one, so i decided to see what happened when I tried to create a dummy account:
The initial form is simple, asking for name, email address and a password, UJ got the name "Fuck Nugget" whose email address was "" and the password of "bigbrother6969", which was then submitted
AWWWWWWW!, spoilsports!.

So, going back to the main jobsearch page and typing in "Doncaster" gets me this:
The site is automatically preset to search within 20 miles of the town specified, with additional clickable search modifiers down on the left hand sidebar to refine the search
In this case, I chose to refine the search to full time only vacancies within 20 miles, posted within the last 3 days, unfortunately though, those folk who designed the search algorithm don't appear to be able to read a map, as can be seen clearly here....

Both Lincoln and Leeds are NOT within a 20 mile radius of Doncaster (and don't get me started on using public transport to reach either of these destinations), given that the scale on this map is 1 inch = 10 miles.

Anyways, i decided to check through some of the results, firstly this one
I cant apply for this one on account of not having a driving licence, but I do note from this entry that an email address is not supplied, neither is a contact name, although this could be because, as the entry says, applications are to be made by contacting the personnel dept and asking for an application form. Not too bad considering, but wouldn't it be cheaper just to email one to the applicant?..
Also shown is the drop down box containing the reasons as to why you will not be applying for this position, Id wager if you were using the "full" UJ account, you'd be sanctioned for clicking "I am not interested in this job" or "job doesn't match my career level".

Anyways, i tried a couple of other jobs on the list, to see if any of them held any contact details, and the next interesting thing came up here
This vacancy is through an employment agency, but note how this entry does not identify it as such, unlike what the old site did, instead, this job implies that it is working for the agency in some capacity. As some people, myself included, have an extreme level of distrust in agencies (with good reason too), this is a bit dodgy in my opinion.

So, all in all, the UJs "new" site offers some, albeit minimal, improvements over the old jobsearch facility, namely with regards to more user friendly search refinements, but at the same time its big brother-esque (and legally unsound) background goings off are still a cause for concern, and as such, I will not be giving any of my details to this site, unless given a written order to by a DWP advisor.


  1. i am so glad that at this time i am not on JSA. i fear for my future if at any point i am back on it.

    1. Indeed, the current government policy on unemployment and disability is to assume we are all workshy liars. The unemployed get treated like criminals and the disabled are harangued and bullied until they reach their breaking point and either acquiesce to the dictats of ATOS and admit defeat or simply die while waiting for the latest "capability assessment" to come around.
      Its completely fucked up but until people realise and get off their arses and do something all those bastards at the DWP will continue spending our money and sitting on their fat arses with smug grins on their faces

  2. Even if you are given a ''Jobseeker's Direction'' to register with Universal Jobmatch - DON'T DO IT! You can not be mandated to give up your legal rights and would get any doubt on your claim for not registering overturned in a heartbeat. The DWP tried it on with me, as i refused to join their previous Job Brokerage service, so my chinless arsewipe of an adviser gave me a ''Jobseekers Direction'' to register. I simply refused as i knew that joining ANY job brokerage service requires your freely given consent, so with the biggest smirk on his face he put a doubt on my claim, and guess what?? - he wasn't smirking when i had it dismissed when i simply explained to the decision maker that i knew joining their brokerage service needed my consent, and that i would without fail take it all the way to a tribunal if this unlawful doubt wasn't overturned (going to a tribunal costs the DWP money, so they have to be 100% sure they will win before they'll let it go that far) Result?? doubt overturned haha. So don't even register if your given a direction to do so (it's a complete bluff on the DWP'S part as they know YOU CAN NOT BE MANDATED TO GIVE UP YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.)

    1. No, indeed you cannot be forced to give up your legal rights, but try telling that to a barely trained DWP advisor who is more interested in hitting their weekly/monthly sanctioning target than actually doing their job properly. An example in point is the number of referrals made to A4E, which are made not on the basis that A4E provides the best option for W2W eligible claimants (because they sure as hell dont, not by a LOOOOONG shot) but simply because the company name begins with the letter A, and thus is at the top of any drop down box list they find. An adequately trained JCP advisor would go through the set up and select the need best suited for purpose, a sloppy one simply goes for the most convenient.

  3. What amused me was As i live in the North west i looked at regions, the north west didnt exist. they have added northern Ireland now any computer person knows you run the site in tandem do the bug fixes, then when its all fixed transfer from old to new, and keep the old for a few months. but NO not on this new one.

    1. Yeah, this sort of thing happens a lot, for example, a few months back, the JCP were pushing use of the site "" (they soon stopped though as the site ended up being a piece of shit). According to Indeed, apparently Doncaster is within 20 miles of Cork, Essex and Glasgow..*rolleyes*

  4. Great post!

    The most specific job matching tool I found was in the premium version of Jobscan where they take your targeted resume skills and qualifications and match it with your preferred location. It’s really cool because it’s so specific.