Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Universal Jobmatch in Ipswich as Library Internet Faces Breakdown.

with 23 comments

Ipswich claimants are now receiving information about Universal JobMatch.

I was told that at registration would enable to DWP to keep check on your Jobsearch.

When I said that I did not like the sound of that I was not pressed further.

I didn’t then have to face the form giving the DWP to follow our every move on their site,  that others have seen. This  remains worrying.

It was also pointed out that you cannot do this in Ipswich Central Library because their Internet does not support ‘cookies’.

They said the JobCentre had some computers you could use  but you had to book. There are also the half-hour slots available in the CSV Media Centre, which is not enough time to do much.

I do not imagine the Job Centre has enough computers for the 3,435 (latest figure) registered out-of-work in Ipswich.

They certainly don’t have the access needed for daily job searching.

So we would turn to Cookie-less Library.

The state of the Internet in Suffolk Libraries is far worse than that.

This morning I could not make a job application.

The first computer crashed and began rebooting, all over the place, and became unusable.

Transferred to two other terminals they did the same.

There are constant notices when you log-in to sites (from Facebook onwards) that the system needs upgrading. The ‘Browsers’ are out of date. You cannot do many things on this Blog, for example, such as look at some of the stats. Soon, you are told, the ancient Suffolk Browsers will no longer support YouTube.

I am now using an Internet Café (the only one in town at present).

Suffolk Libraries are now run by a ‘co-op’ (an Industrial and Provident Society). It was described by the Chair of one Library group meeting as a “privatised charity”.

It was taken out of democratic public control and is  is run  as an oligarchy, with a degree of self-selected participation by those with the time and motivation to do so.

They faced major budget cuts and now new ones (over £300,000) this year.

Obviously new Browsers, and democratic access to the Web, are not a priority.

Ben Gummer Ipswich Tory MP and self-styled Mayor of Ipswich, Editor of the Ipswich Star and Cabinet Minister for Ipswich (at least that’s how he looks to some people, with his frenetic self-publicising) has said nothing on this scandal.

Or indeed criticised Universal Credit which is the next part of the Liberal-Conservative Coalition’s plans for welfare.

We learn that senior Welfare rights officers in Suffolk Local Government are working on the assumption that the introduction of Universal Credit will be extremely late.

If it arrives at all.

Meanwhile, Darroch  commented very acutely on this site,

Currently everybody on JSA is mandated to do 20 hours jobsearch a week, which will rise to 35 hours a week if Universal Credit ever comes in. (I’m pretty sure it won’t.) Most unemployed people have no internet access (many don’t even have phones!) and can only get online without cost at a library, probably for no more than an hour a day. Under these circumstances this means they have to search for work offline for at least 15 hours a week, i.e., 3 hours every weekday (rising to 6 hours under UC). Unless the government provides facilities, i.e., venues and equipment in every city and town, where Jobseeker’s can spend 3 to 6 hours every weekday looking for work and supply them with stationary, stamps, phones, internet access and newspapers etc., and pay for their transport to and from such centres this is factually impossible for poor people to do on a daily basis. It’s like Marie Antoinette suggesting that the poor eat cake if they have no bread

Johnny Void updates us on the chaos that is the Unviersal Jobmatch site.


Written by Andrew Coates

November 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm

23 Responses

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  1. Anyone being pestered by unwanted phone call, e-mails or texts from pimp should read this:


    November 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm

  2. My jobsearch looks pretty bleak this week, thanks to this useless site. They’ve managed not only to create a gate to proper access, but make a shit site even more useless. I’ve just looked at a job that, when I dug it up on the internet through the proper employer’s site, told me I would need a very specific qualification. Waste of my time.

    Ghost Whistler

    November 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    • “…make a shit site even more useless.”

      Yup, sounds like a government IT contract to me.


      November 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm

  3. They have:-

    1) removed information on how many hours a job is (and as far as I know… the working pattern) so you get “part time under 30 hours a week” (or something).. could mean 3 hours. “hours of work”.. “temporary contract”… thats duration not work hours.

    2) replaced location data (generally the town/ward/districts and postcode district) to closest town (for example… “ANGL-Ipswich” could be out in the sticks about 10-20 miles away. Ok if you have a car…)

    3) removed reference to Transport Direct so you cannot see if you can get to a job by public transport…

    4) display job summary towards the bottom left… with the cookie messages on non-large screens you need to scroll down.

    5) removed the next and previous browsing links.. makes job search a breeze

    6) replaced one size font for all (that you can increase if you need to) to varying sizes and fonts at random (on employer preference?).

    7) removed jobcentre reference codes (some show, old jobs migrated from EDon to Universal Jobmatch)


    The good news…

    1) more information in the job advert (usually due to third party (i.e. monster) adverts)
    2) people deflecting from the official site… going on other job sites…

    I noticed they didn’t point out which jobs are Jobcentre Plus jobs, which ones are Monster (unless shown as Monster Worldwide) and which are Agencies positions.

    Universal Jobmatch

    November 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm

  4. Latest experiences around the internet (on twitter): https://twitter.com/search/realtime?q=%23UniversalJobmatch

    Universal Jobmatch

    November 21, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    • They now say that Suffolk Libraries are downloading a new Browser.

      Well, they were informed about the beginnings of the problems about 4 months back.

      The Suffolk Coalition for Public Services and Rose Hill Readers told them at the end of August how this had got worse.

      It may well be that they are finally acting.

      We shall see.

      Andrew Coates

      November 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm

  5. I hope there not daft enough to download IE 9 if their computers use Windows XP or an earlier Windows platform -because even if they manage the download, it may work and Ido emphasize MAY – but the speed will be so slow you could click on a link and go do your shopping for the week and when you come back your page still won’t have loaded.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    • who has money for shopping? furthermore what shops are there to shop in? haha

      (please don’t attempt online shopping… no chance on their PCs)

      Universal Jobmatch

      November 21, 2012 at 5:48 pm

  6. Latest update on Unversal Jobmatch:

    I may be reading this wrong, but I think the DWP have backed down on Universal Jobmatch – If I’m correct I think we’ve won lads – give it a read.


    Requiring Jobcentre Plus customers to use the services

    10.7 When the Services are implemented, Jobcentre Plus customers (including potential jobseekers) will not be mandated to register and create a profile.
    Discussions are ongoing with the Authority and Ministers, and requiring customers to use the services may be introduced at a later date. The Contractor shall ensure the design of the Services is such that they are scalable in the event of such a change in policy.

    10.8 At implementation of the Services, Jobcentre Plus customers will be encouraged to use the Services, via their ongoing interactions with Jobcentre Plus staff.

    10.9 For the avoidance of a doubt, there no requirement to migrate any Jobcentre Plus customers information to the Services to create a profile/record.

    From: DWP TLMS Schedule 2.1, Authority (Universal Jobmatch) Requirements

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    • Seems a trick. They did this on Work Experience and Mandatory Work Activity… people still got sanctioned.

      Universal Jobmatch

      November 21, 2012 at 7:06 pm

  7. Just remember to keep your written jobsearch up to date and take it with you each time you sign on – simples!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm

  8. “Or, tell us why you don’t wish to apply for this job.”

    this is definitely not to be trusted and never be answered,if this is logged it can be used against you for sanction purposes.the answers are defiantly geared to self incriminating yourself.

    10 miles appears to be 20,20 miles can be thirty plus,a vacancy for a van driver can indicate a gcse qualification and above potentially putting people off perhaps ticking the above.the dwp can interpret this as a “did you say this or did they” situation if it is not followed up to their liking.

    you can tick the not to disclose box,however no doubt many will be bullied into doing so at interviews.

    really no eu citizen should not be put at a disadvantage,the nature of this system requires a pc perhaps costing £250 diy and an internet connection,with the prospect of having to pay 10% council tax and rising energy prices every penny counts and an internet connection isn’t easily affordable.

    relying on library services isn’t ideal not everyone has access easily,those without pc knowledge are at a loss and those with learning problems too.

    its very surprising this site went live in this format,duncan smiths high tech world comes at a price,from whats being said its certainly doing that.


    November 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm

  9. Have you asked library staff about this? They probably can enable cookies for you.


    November 21, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    • They will probably say “No eating in the library, thank you very much”….

      I notice they are hot on telling people off for phone conversations (even when people are being discrete and not american) but downstairs they have a nursery event… (not sure if this has changed since it moved away from the council) which is really noisy.

      I always laugh to myself about this.

      Universal Jobmatch

      November 21, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    • Of course I have.

      When are you going to stop defending everything your Tory mates have done Kev?

      Andrew Coates

      November 22, 2012 at 11:21 am

  10. Ben Gummer Ipswich Tory MP and self-styled Mayor of Ipswich, Editor of the Ipswich Star and Cabinet Minister for Ipswich

    Glad its not just me who sees it like this.

    Universal Jobmatch

    November 21, 2012 at 8:48 pm

  11. “A few powerful men have hijacked our economic, financial and political structure. They aren’t socialists or capitalists. They’re criminals.”



    November 22, 2012 at 12:20 am

  12. its more likely to do with the eu’s privacy and electronic communications directive,the council have to comply with the law hence what looks to have happened.

    none of this seems to deterred george lian duncan smith with his vision,so desperate is he to leave a legacy after his numerous earlier failings’ he’s on course to take use all with him.


    November 22, 2012 at 1:47 am

  13. […] of Suffolk county Council that have kept all libraries open. On the Ipswich Unemployed Action Blog here Comrade Coates has published some well written […]

  14. Universal Jobmatch is NOT compulsory and any Jobcentre staff that pretend it is could be guilty of “official misdirection”:



    December 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm

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