Government employment website Universal Jobmatch 'bedevilled with fraud'


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Indy Politics

An employment website launched by the Government that became a magnet for fake job adverts and identity thieves is to be scrapped, it has been claimed.

Universal Jobmatch is facing the axe when its contract is renewed in two years’ time..

It was reported that a leaked internal memo from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) says the site had become too costly to run and has been "undermined".

Launched a year and a half ago, Universal Jobmatch was exposed by Channel 4 news investigation that revealed hundreds of job adverts had been repeatedly posted recruitment agencies. Fake employers had also targeted the site and in some cases identity fraud scams, the investigation found.

At the beginning of March this year, the DWP removed 120,000 job adverts because they did not comply with the site’s terms and conditions.

MP Frank Field is now pressing the National Audit Office to investigate the site which he described as "bedevilled with fraud".

The memo is said to reveal that the website's problems stemmed from a decision by ministers that the site be as "open" as possible to all types of employers, according to the Guardian. Recruitment agencies have taken advantage of this openness by uploading repeat adverts on the site.

The international recruitment company Monster, which won the multi-million pound contract to provide the DWP service, has not made a statement to the Guardian.

A spokesman for the DWP: "Universal Jobmatch revolutionises the way jobseekers find work and ithas already helped many jobseekers find the jobs they want since it was launched in 2012.

"How people find work has become increasingly digital so it's right - and responsible - that DWP should continually look to ensure we are making the best offer to jobseekers.

"The current Universal Jobmatch contract comes to an end in 2016 so any speculation on what will happen after that is premature."