The Socialist 26 March 2014 |
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Jobmatch: yet another fiasco of privatisation
In the two years since its introduction, the Universal Jobmatch website has been riddled with problems.
Originally this was written off as "teething problems". But it has emerged that the site, which is mandatory for many people claiming Jobseekers' Allwance, is beginning to fall apart.
Costing £17 million to develop as well as £5 million a year to maintain, the site, although operating under a government name, and in conjunction with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), is run by the US-based private company Monster Worldwide.
Out of control
It is estimated that 350,000 (60%) of the 600,000 jobs posted since Jobmatch's launch have been fake, or a scam.
This is because anyone can add a job to the listings, which has led to a lucrative market for identity thieves and organised crime.
There are several examples of job seekers being conned out of £65 for a CRB check for a fictitious job, or of people's passport, national insurance number and other personal details being accessed and used to commit fraud.
There has also been controversy surrounding several 'inappropriate' jobs being posted including adverts for pornography 'actresses' and mafia hit men.
These were exposed on social media as fakes, but show the complete lack of control that the DWP has over this 'monster'.
Another worrying trend is the amount of 'commission only' jobs, which are highly exploitative and can lead to people being paid far below the minimum wage.
These failings, coupled with massive cuts to the DWP, mean that this system is failing the people that it was supposedly designed to get back into employment.
This is the latest in a long line of Con-Dem projects that has gone into meltdown. It is yet more evidence that making public sector workers redundant and hiring private contractors is bad for everyone apart from the private contractors.
Although the government is heralding a drop in the unemployment rate, zero-hour contracts and massive underemployment is masking what life is really like.
It has been revealed that the DWP is likely to terminate Monster's contract early, and while that means that the mess that Universal Jobmatch match has become will come to an end, it means that tens of millions of pounds will be handed to another contractor to create a new system.
We must fight for a real alternative of job creation, proper training and decent wages.