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 www.gov.co.uk/jobsearch - 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:-
“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 direct.gov jobsearch site was in dire need of an overhaul.
The first thing you are greeted with is this:
Scrolling down the page reveals this:
Clicking on the "Other ways to apply" tab gets you this:
Clicking on the "Start now" button forwards you to this:
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.
So, going back to the main jobsearch page and typing in "Doncaster" gets me this:
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
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
So, all in all, the UJs "new" site offers some, albeit minimal, improvements over the old direct.gov.uk 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.