Employment minister Jim Knight is confident that the shake-up of Jobcentre Plus services announced this week will help employers find more job-ready candidates as the UK bounces back from recession.
The minister said Jobcentre Plus would create a single named point of contact for employers at every Jobcentre Plus office, and offer employers a personalised webpage which they could use to post vacancies and identify potential matches.
Jobseekers will also receive text messages about available jobs and use their own personalised webpages to hunt for work as part of the plans.
The full details, including when the changes will come into effect, will be published in a White Paper due next week, although the changes are expected to be introduced in 2010.
Knight told Personnel Today: “Every Jobcentre Plus office will have someone who is responsible for employer engagement, and they will work with the local employers and get to know them. We can then provide a universal service.”
He added: “Employers should be able to post vacancies easily and directly, and view potential matches and track their improvement through a personalised website.”
The plans were welcomed by employment experts. Tazeeb Rajwani, a research fellow at Cranfield School of Management, said employers would save money by interacting more closely with jobseekers.
However, Rajwani warned the government was missing an opportunity to include Web 2.0 in the revamp of Jobcentre Plus services. “Jobcentre Plus should be using Web 2.0 tools to draw employers in,” he said. “Jim Knight needs to go the extra mile and introduce social media that allows people to engage with potential employers.”
The White Paper will also outline measures to tackle youth unemployment.