Universal Jobmatch

16 November 2012

 

Universal Jobmatch (UJM) is a new employment website commissioned by DWP for jobseekers to search for jobs and manage their careers, and for employers to advertise vacancies and manage their recruitment needs.

UJM is an online service designed to promote greater use of online services by DWP customers. The UJM site goes live on 19 November 2012.

On 19th November employer account information and vacancies will be migrated from ERM and LMS to Universal Jobmatch. At the start there will not be many Jobseekers registered but the numbers are expected to increase quickly over time.

Digital by Default

UJM is another example of the government’s digital by default programme. It encourages employers and jobseekers to conduct business with the department electronically rather than face to face or by telephone. The service will be available to all employers no matter what size of company or business they are.

Security Concerns

DWP have told PCS that the service will provide appropriate, safe and secure access for employers and jobseekers to this government service. However PCS has raised concerns that members will be required to access a system that it outside the ‘gsi’ network and which we understand has been subject to security breaches in the past. DWP Management have now assured PCS that security is taken extremely seriously by the Department and the Senior Responsible Officer will not give permission to introduce a new service such as Universal Jobmatch without security accreditation. The final accreditation will be provided on 16th November for Universal Jobmatch.

Although the software is built on the platform of a company called ‘Monster’, who already run similar labour market websites, Universal Jobmatch is a public service, hosted by DWP and can only be accessed through Directgov, which is soon to be re-badged as gov.uk. ‘Monster’ has no access to customer records other than to correct faults with the IT. UJM will be free of charge at the point of contact, though of course this does not cover the costs of internet access.

Impact of UJM

UJM will have an impact across DWP but it will have the greatest impact in Work Services Directorate and Contact Centre Services. DWP’s ambition is to have 1.2 million Jobseekers using UJM by August 2013. This equates to 80% of the live JSA load. The system is also designed for the use of ESA customers. PCS is highly sceptical that such an ambitious target can be met simply by encouraging jobseekers to use the service.

Contact Centres Services (CCS)

UJM will mean that CCS will close the EBOST, EDON and NET service lines as their work will become digital through UJM. All of the CCS staff affected will be redeployed onto other service lines. No staff will be made surplus. A new, much smaller, UJM service line will be created for those employers unable to use the online system.

Job Centres

In Job Centres Personal Advisers will stop:

  • Regularly recording job submissions and matching customers to jobs. UJM will propose matches based on information inputted by jobseekers (in CVs, profiles, and job search criteria)
  • Using LMS to look up vacancies, assess the local labour market and manage job referrals. Instead advisors should encourage Jobseekers to register for a UJM account and for them to give DWP permission to view their account.

It is important to note that UJM is a vacancy and job matching service, which is open to everyone, not just benefit claimants, and is not connected to any claims. Although UJM will be the preferred method of promoting job opportunities, customers will still be able to use the telephony channel for Jobseekers Direct.

Not Compulsory

It is not compulsory for jobseekers to use UJM though a direction to do so could be applied if an adviser deemed it to be appropriate. While DWP can not specify how claimants prove they are actively seeking work, as all vacancies registered with DWP will be on UJM, DWP would be likely to expect jobseekers to register in order to apply for those jobs.

Impact on Job Centre staffing

DWP Management has confirmed to PCS that there will be no change to any earned intervention time (e.g. FJR’s) as a result of the introduction of UJM. Management have confirmed that any advisor time saved by the introduction of UJM will not be used to cut interview times or to cut jobs. Instead management have confirmed that any time saved will be reinvested into activities that enable advisors to focus more on enabling jobseekers to find work.

Training

Management have assured PCS that full training will be provided for those either changing job roles or where procedures will change. Communications explaining the impact on the individual job roles were issued on 8 October and line managers should now be engaging with the relevant staff. There are a range of learning products available on the UJM intranet site which management say have been well-received by staff.

Conclusion

UJM is one of the first major attempts by DWP to provide its services online. There is likely to be management pressure to hit the target of 80% of jobseekers using the system by August 2013. Any reports of excessive pressure on advisors to hit this target, or any other issues concerning the implementation of UJM, should initially be raised with management locally and escalated as appropriate to OSNTUS and national level.
 

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