In all the debate about welfare ‘reform’ the small matter of the Jobcentre network’s original primary function has got a bit lost. That function being to create a local labour market for jobseekers, both the employed and the workless and, crucially employers. Jobcentres used to provide a fairly efficient public employment service, free at the point of delivery.
In fact, before the privatisation of Professional and Executive Recruitment the Jobcentre network even addressed the needs of the whole labour market. PER charged for its services and competed with the private sector for business. Naturally, it had to go under the Tories and was sold off to Captain Bob Maxwell, who ran it down after asset stripping its client records.
Today, the Jobcentre’s labour market operation is known for its farcical, almost fully automated vacancy handling system and Universal Jobsmatch. The former seems to be designed to make the case for…
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