The people behind the jobcentre online search site, in their infinite wisdom, have changed the site to the shiny, new Universal Jobmatch. It sounds rather impressive and, on first glance, looks rather impressive. But I have a couple of issues with it.
- Before the grand overhaul, I had saved jobs, saved searches and email alerts all working fine. What brought the big change to my attention wasn’t an email giving me notice or even my adviser at the Jobcentre but a lack of email alerts. When I investigated, I found the new site. I also found that all of my saved information had vanished and I didn’t even have an account any more. Pleased? Not really.
- On the old site there was a handy ‘How to Apply section for every job advert. It’s pretty essential information, and you’d think the Jobcentre would want you to have it. Thing is, though, it’s no longer there. If you’re lucky, there might be an ‘apply here’ button, but I have yet to find out what happens when you click on it because none of the jobs I’ve wanted to apply for have been blessed with one. Instead, I’ve been offered a drop-down menu of reasons I didn’t apply. Not knowing how was not on the list. It should be.
- Having gone through the process of setting up an account, saving searches and creating email alerts, I haven’t had a single one. I also found that the site deleted one of my searches for no apparent reason.
- When I asked the guy signing me in if he knew of these problems, he didn’t. He suggested I make my information available to the Jobcentre so that they could help me. I can see where that’s going to go and it’s not going to happen.
- The fact that you even want to turn what used to be a useful search tool for the unemployed into a way of checking up on us and, I suspect, a potential piece of evidence to help kick people off benefits, is disgusting. My account looks bad because since setting it up I’ve hardly touched it. According to the site, I haven’t applied for any jobs. I have, just not through their website, because their website doesn’t give me that information.
Anyone else tried using it? What do you think?
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Added 6th December:
Just found this Channel 4 report on the ‘safety’ (or incredible lack thereof) of the Universal Jobmatch site.