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‘Third Of A Million’ Universal Jobsmatch Vacancies Fake, Fraud Investigators Called

March 6, 2014

Fresh doubts have emerged over the Government’s controversial welfare reforms amid claims that a third of a million vacancies advertised on the new Universal Jobmatch website could be bogus.


The Department for Work and Pensions confirmed it was investigating 179 employers for potentially breaching the rules on the site.

The disclosure comes as it emerged that national fraud investigators are examining allegations of a scam in the North West of England in which job seekers responding to adverts were asked to hand over £65 for background criminal checks for positions which did not exist.

Universal Jobmatch was set up in November 2012. Since March last year anyone claiming jobseekers’ allowance can be required to apply for a minimum number of jobs through the site each week to prove they are actively looking for work – or facing losing benefits.

Whilst Government figures show more than half a million employers have advertised on the site, it was recently claimed that as many as one in three of the vacancies could be fake.

Labour MP Frank Field, who obtained the figures, has asked the National Audit Office to investigate. He said: “The heart of the government’s welfare reform programme is bedevilled with fraud and, in its current state, it is out of control.

“Anyone can place an advertisement on the site in the space of five minutes by ticking a few boxes. Ministers need to get a grip before more people fall victim to fraudsters preying on them with the helping hand of a major government department.”

Among the breaches uncovered so far are employers promoting franchise opportunities or pyramid selling schemes which require applicants to part with money up front. While not illegal, they do flout Jobmatch terms and conditions and are removed.

In another instance, positions advertised on Universal Jobmatch for trainee child counsellors with salaries of £18,500 a year rising to £34,000. Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside Police have all received complaints from job seekers who claim they were duped after attending interviews.

In Liverpool successful applicants claimed they turned up for work but were told that the company did not exist. The matter has been referred to the national fraud agency Action Fraud.

Under the terms of the deal advertisers are permitted to conduct interviews in Jobcentre Plus premises.

In a letter obtained by Mr Field last month, the DWP said: “Currently there are 179 accounts advertising 352,569 jobs which potentially breach the terms and conditions (of Universal Jobmatch) and those organisations are being contacted to seek evidence of compliance.

“If evidence is not provided the accounts will be terminated within five working days and all associated vacancies removed from Universal Jobmatch. It is anticipated that this exercise will take around three weeks to complete.”

In a recent Parliamentary written answer, DWP minister Esther McVey said it would be too expensive to keep records of the number of people finding work through the site or how long they had remained employment.

A DWP spokesman said millions of vacancies had been posted since 2012 and problems of bogus adverts were common to all on-line job sites.

“The truth is that the vast majority of employers post genuine jobs, and we crack down on those who don’t play by the rules.  We also regularly monitor the site and remove jobs that don’t meet our rules, such as duplicate advertisements or jobs for franchises,” he added.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2014 2:19 am

    why dont they tell the truth DWP dont care and dont moniter the site, just more spin from them

  2. Michael Dexter permalink
    March 6, 2014 3:34 am

    This does come as quite a shock to me ……….. not. This corrupt government is blaming all the nations ills on the unemployed, the sick and the disabled, but not the real causes. What are they? Corruption of the politicians, corrupt bankers pocketing millions in bonuses even though the company is often in the red, giving billions away in foreign aid to corrupt countries, and tax cheating companies.
    If these politicians had any balls they would go after these things, start criminal proceeding against the bankers, demand the unpaid taxes from these companies hiding behind loopholes, stop giving away our money to countries that have corrupt leaders who line their own pockets with the money instead, and ban politicians from our government if the breach the rules for expenses or are found guilty of any serious offence.
    Then, and only then can we afford to increase the minimum wage, cut the taxes imposed on those earning minimum wage and part-time workers, and maybe reduce VAT across the board. The majority of people would welcome any honest politician or any politician who said these were things we are going to do if we were in power, because as the adage goes – how do you know a politician is lying? His lips are moving.

    • allan j permalink
      March 6, 2014 11:33 am

      the bankers control the governments, governments are meant to work for the people not the people work for them

      utube /google illuminati or anonymous, once more people become of this corruption the sooner we may sort it

  3. March 6, 2014 3:36 am

    Reblogged this on stewilko's Blog.

  4. allan j permalink
    March 6, 2014 11:35 am

    DWP minister Esther McVey said it would be too expensive to keep records of the number of people finding work through the site or how long they had remained employment.,

    translations who cares and we really know this isnt working

  5. bookmanwales permalink
    March 6, 2014 12:03 pm

    Add in the number of jobs advertised multiple times, in many cases the same job advertised by 5 different agencies, and the figure of half a million suddenly falls to around 200,000 or less.

    One job for 8 hours a week attracted 60 applicants. The compulsory use of Universal Jobmatch to apply for a set number of jobs means people applying for jobs that can neither sustain them nor match their skills.

    The sheer number of applicants for some jobs means you have to be lucky enough to apply within the first hour they are posted.

    Lots of these “jobs” are merely recruitment campaigns for agencies and unsavoury email marketing scams. Lots take you to websites to upload cv’s with no mention of any jobs actually being available.

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