The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 29 March 2007:
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has asked me to reply to your question asking what checks are undertaken by Jobcentre Plus to ensure that jobs advertised by agencies via Jobcentre Plus facilities exist and are not attempts to obtain CVs. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
As part of handling agencies through our Employer Direct Contact Centre or via our Employer Direct on-line service there are a number of steps taken before we accept their vacancies. These include making sure we have a signed service level agreement with the agency, which, among other things, clearly states they must not use our services merely to compile lists of potential employees. Over and above this, we also require details of the specific job in question, for example terms, conditions and a reference number, and confirmation that a contract exists between the agency and the employer.
Once accepted, vacancies placed through an Employer Direct Contact Centre or Employer Direct on-line are also subject to a 48-hour follow-up call from the Labour Market and Recruitment Adviser to discuss and agree ongoing handling arrangements. If suspicions are aroused about the legitimacy of the vacancy, either at this stage or subsequently, for example by a customer complaint, this is investigated fully and could, ultimately, lead to the withdrawal of service.