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UK Government To Spy On Computers of the Jobless 278

An anonymous reader writes "Jobseekers will be offered the chance to look for work through the new Universal Jobmatch website, which automatically pairs them up with opportunities that suit their skills after scanning their CVs. It will also allow employers to search for new workers among the unemployed and send messages inviting them to interviews. However, their activities may also be tracked using cookies, so their Job Centre advisers know how many searches they have been doing and whether they are turning down viable opportunities. Iain Duncan-Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said the scheme would 'revolutionize' the process of looking for work. He said anyone without a job after signing up to the scheme would be lacking 'imagination.'"
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UK Government To Spy On Computers of the Jobless

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  • by pev ( 2186 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @07:08AM (#42357993) Homepage

    As I understand it from the news last night, it's currently been trialed as an opt-in system but will be rolled out as compulsory in the new year.

    I'm very much liberal but in two minds about it. I've never intentionally signed on except for an educational experience once where I was forced to in order to receive redundancy compensation for months of wages owed when an employer went into liquidation. Now I should explain that I'm an embedded systems engineer and live in a small town in somerset []The experience was fascinating but their system was catering to more laboring jobs than professional. I had to jump through the hoops (despite not wanting to sign on!) so had them trawling through their vacancies. They found me roles as cook, HGV driver, forklift operator, street sweeper... So I suggested searching for more useful terms such as "computer", "software" etc... I think the closest they ever got was IT helpline support in a company a two hour drive away.

    Anyway, my point is, if I *did* find myself unemployed and forced to take the JSA, would I want it dependent on a well intentioned but ultimately useless system deciding that I'm not eligible to get the money for support that I need because I won't apply for jobs that would never be on their system in the first place? Er... No.

    Having said that, the principle is laudable. I know a couple of people that work the system and have never worked an honest days work in their life and have no intention of doing so as they're quite happy on the JSA. But then, they're crafty and any system that's going to work and do the right thing for the majority of people probably wouldn't be capable of forcing them into work anyway.

  • Re:Germany... (Score:4, Informative)

    by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @08:07AM (#42358291) Journal

    From free market point of view I do not understand this at all. If a company X can get overqualified person for the announced salary, isn't that good for the company?

    Usually no. I don't know about Germany but in the US a statistic I have heard from more than one HR type is that employees usually cost an average of 120% of there normal annual compensation in the first year. This is due to fees with off cycle benefits enrollment, lost productivity of others while they train you for the company/job specific aspects of the position, anything else the company might offer like covering moving expenses, etc.

    New employees at just about any level beyond cleaner or mail room typically represent some level of investment (that added 20%) and its looked at that way rather than just as a pure labor expense, regardless of how the accounting is done. Over qualified folks are generally looking for a better opportunity elsewhere from the moment they arrive. Even if they do great work they are likely to be out the door as soon as they can. The company is then going to have to hire someone new at 120% cost.

    So from the perspective of many employees a correctly qualified person is a better investment. They will get more years out of them that way doing job they need done now, and if the company is growing perhaps they can manage to make the position grow at around the same rate the individual does which results in better economy for both parties.

  • by fantomas ( 94850 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:44AM (#42358813)

    If you pay taxes for 20 years then need a hand paying for bills for a few months, getting 50 / week back out of those 20 years taxes does not equal "free money".

    Studying part time for certified courses costs money as well. Studying using free resources either requires access to the internet (costs money for net connection) or libraries (government seems to be closing them down, our local one isn't open on Saturdays any more, means no parent and child reading sessions if the parent is in work....).

  • by Ash Vince ( 602485 ) * on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:22AM (#42359147) Journal

    I would go so far as to say that it is absolutely your human right to die homeless if you are unwilling to work to support yourself. Welfare is great for those who are faced with a bad situation and need help to get out of it, but it's not meant to be a lifestyle choice.

    It's nice to have a system where the least fortunate can afford basic living most of the time, but I wouldn't have a problem if it became much harder to claim benefits in the UK.

    Have you ever actually claimed jobseekers allowance yourself?

    Many years ago I did when I first left university, I signed on in Moss Side dole office, Manchester ( before the area was redeveloped.

    The funny thing is that even back then the dole were entitled to withhold your money if you were not actively looking for work, but they never did. The main reason seemed to me to be that the people working behind the counter had no great incentive to withhold your money, and every incentive not to in that if you take someone with no job, no money and then tell them they are not getting any dole that week they may react in a very violent manor. It is much easier for them to just let you sign on then go back to nattering to their colleague.

    The only way it would work is if you gave the people in the dole office a real incentive to withhold peoples dole but this would bring about a completely different set of problems. The main one would be the people in the dole trying to take money away from people who were looking for work just so they guy in the dole could earn a bonus.

    There are some people signing on who would see straight through this though and just break a chair over the guy in the dole offices head. That way they get fed for a week or so in prison instead. The problem with trying to take anything away from people on the dole is they don't have much to begin with so don't have a lot to lose if they break the law.

  • Re:Germany... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Iamthecheese ( 1264298 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:42AM (#42359377)
    >new trade with guaranteed job prospects

    >Most people are perfectly capable of building up a 6 month emergency fund

    >Anyone is going to get a job should be able to get it in 3 months

    I see you're from the "get into your job cannon and fire off into job land" persuasion.

    In the real world it's quite common for a person to do nothing but apply for jobs online (a thousand candidates per application) and offline (fifty candidates per application) for months with no response from anyone, not even a "thank you for applying."

    In Michigan a few years ago I applied at every gas station, fast food place, and grocery store in my town. I also sent a targeted application with a crafted resume and cover letter out every day and untargeted ones to hundreds of companies a week. not a single fucking bite. No my resume didn't suck, no I'm not insane, on drugs, or a felon.

    Sometimes the jobs just aren't there.

    There's nothing more humiliating and painful than offering yourself and being rejected ten times a day. Go through the same experience and you'll have a lot more understanding and compassion for the unemployed.
  • Re:Germany... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Marxdot ( 2699183 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:58AM (#42359539)

    A4e, The AA, Accident Helpline, Acorn Computer Recycling (Mandatory Work Activity, personal testimony, Dec 2012), Age Concern, Alpha Stream, Argos, Asda, Asian Star Community Radio LTD, ATS, Barnardos, BHS – British Home Stores [1], Blue Arrow, Bookers Wholesale, Boots, Bournemouth City Council, B&Q, British Heart Foundation, BT, Burger King – claim to have pulled out, Burton, Carillion, Capability Scotland, Close Protection UK, DB Accident Repair, DC Cleaning Sussex, Debenhams, Diamond Glass Medway, Dorothy Perkins [1], Dunelm Mill (also personal testimony, Nov 2012), Envirostream, Evans [1], Finsbury Park Business Forum, FP Mailing [Source: Interview with Director, LBC Radio 27/6/12], F&S Interiors, Go Response, Helen & Douglas House Hospice – Maidenhead, HMRC, HMV [3], Holiday Inn – claim to have pulled out, Holland & Barrett – claim to have pulled out, Grosvenor Casinos, Haven House Children’s Hospice, Hilton Hotels, JA Glover, Jessup Electrical Wholesale Ltd, JJ Vickers & Sons Ltd, Kennedy Scott, Kent Flooring Supplies, Kent Space, Kingston Community Furniture (MWA, personal testimony, Dec 2012), Marriot Hotels, Maplin – have tweeted that they have withdrawn, awaiting statement, Matalan, Mayhem Paintball, McDonald’s, Medway Council, Medway Tyres, Miss Selfridge – claim were never involved, Mr Gleam – Sussex – claim were never involved, Newham Council, Newhaven Community Development, Olympic Glass, Omnico Plastics Ltd, Outfit [1], Payless, PDSA (several sources including personal testimony of MWA, Nov 2012), Pizza Hut, Plumbase, Poundland, Poundstretcher, PPDG, Primark, Process Plant Services Ltd, Quality Savers, RBLI, Refurb project (MWA, personal testimont, Dec 2012), Regency Guillotine, Richmond Fellowship, Romney Resource Kent, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (Note they have made 50-60 staff redundant in each of the last 3 years), Royal Mail, RNR Performance Cars, Saffron Acres Project, Sage UK, Salvation Army, Savers, SERCO, Scope, Scout Enterprises, Sense (Mandatory Work Activity, personal testimony, Dec 2012), SERCO, Servest, London, SHOC Slough Homeless, Shoe Zone, Signs & Imaging Ltd, Sixhills Aquatics (Work experience, personal testimony, Nov 2012), Slough Library, Slough Furniture Project, Southern Membranes Ltd, Southern Metal Services, Southern Roofing & Building Supplies, Storie Argyll Ltd, Stephens Fresh Food, St Oswald’s Hospice shops (MWA placements, personal testimony, Nov 2012), Sue Ryder, Superdrug, Swan Lifeline – Windsor, Tate Recruitment, Tesco, Timbermills, Toni & Guy, Topman [1], Topshop [1], The Range, The Conservation Volunteers, Town and Country Cleaners Kent, Wallis [1], WD Close & Sons, Westvic Enamellers, Wetherspoons, WHSmith, Whittingtons Silk Flower & Plant Centre, Wilkinsons, The Works, YMCA (Mandatory Work Activity, personal testimony, Dec 2012)

    Tens of thousands of unemployed people made to work without pay []

    Latest Workfare statistics: (15 Feb 2012) []


    [1] Arcadia Group []

    [2] Asda, Tesco, Tussauds Group, WHSmith, Royal Mail, Greggs []

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus