Universal Jobmatch – government ignorance over job outcomes

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websiteThe government does not know how many people are being employed as a result of its new Universal Jobmatch website, a minister has admitted.

The news comes after earlier revelations that the site has cost the taxpayer millions of pounds to set up, with other concerns about data security and the validity of job adverts featured on the site.

Employment minister Mark Hoban said more than 1.6 million job vacancies had been posted on Universal Jobmatch since it was launched in November as a replacement for the Jobcentre Plus website.

But responding to a parliamentary question, he also revealed the government had not measured how many jobs this was delivering.

“Data regarding the number of job outcomes that have been achieved through the Universal Jobmatch service are not collected, and so it is not possible to provide this,” he said.

It emerged in April that £14.89m had been spent just on setting up Universal Jobmatch, with further costs on annual administration and maintenance concealed by the government for “commercially sensitive” reasons.

Labour MP Pamela Nash told Publicservice.co.uk at the time that this was an “incredible amount of money to spend on a website”, and that it was “worrying” the Department for Wok and Pensions was refusing to disclose other costs.

The site has also hit headlines after jobseekers’ details were stolen.

But the DWP has insisted Universal Jobmatch provides a “revolutionary service which transforms the way jobseekers look for work”.

According to the department more than two million have set up an account and six million job searches are made on an average day.

The government has however been accused of “forcing” people to apply for jobs online, causing huge challenges for disadvantaged people who are not able to use the internet.

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