HomeTalentJobsAware launches new certification regime to protect job seekers

JobsAware launches new certification regime to protect job seekers

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New scheme is backed by the Prime Minister’s Anti-Fraud Champion who is responsible for tackling online harms in line with new legislation

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Job boards and recruitment platforms are today urged to join a new certification scheme as reports of job-related scams quadruple.

JobsAware’s government-backed, industry-driven certification scheme will help protect job seekers, employer brands and recruitment platforms from advertisement scams and fraud.

Research from the campaigning organisation shows a rise of 259% in job scam reports from Q4 in 2022 to 2023. It also shows three in four job seekers want more action from job boards to prevent fraudulent activity.

Job boards and platforms becoming ‘JobsAware protected’ will help assure job seekers and employers that the jobs listed on these sites are legitimate and that, as a business, they will not be associated with fraudulent activity.

“This scheme will be game-changing for protecting the safety of workers and work-seekers. How people come to find jobs is fundamentally changing – it’s becoming much more digitalised. On one hand this creates opportunities, but it also allows fraudsters to scale,” says Keith Rosser, chair of JobsAware.

“We’ve seen employment scams rise sharply over the past couple of years, harming labour market access and participation. With many people often applying for one role, people are counting on that role being legitimate for their livelihoods. People are losing on average over £3,000 to scammers, they can also have their identity compromised or fall foul to other kinds of labour abuse.

To become JobsAware-protected, businesses will be audited by British Assessment Bureau against a framework of regulation from the UK government, recruitment industry, and JobsAware’s code of practice – co-developed with the industry.

Auditors will need to see clear evidence that all best-practice standards are in place for a certification to be issued, with an annual renewal to ensure standards are maintained.

“The fact the scheme will be certified by UKAS-accredited organisations and meets a set of independent criteria gives citizens across the UK piece of mind that those job boards involved are committed to protecting people looking for work across the UK,” says Simon Fell, Conservative MP and the Prime Minister’s Anti-Fraud Champion.

Online recruitment fraud has continued to increase since the pandemic. Recent Ofcom data shows that 30% of UK online adults have experienced employment scams or fraud, which ranks above the likes of identity, dating and health. People are also losing on average over £3,000 to scammers.

So far, job boards such as e4s, Guardian Jobs, Adzuna and job board software provider, Madgex, have committed to be involved in the scheme’s pilot which is expected to begin in Q2 2024.

JobsAware is calling for all job boards and platforms to become JobsAware protected to show their commitment to protecting job seekers and their business credibility. Companies can visit the JobsAware site (https://www.jobsaware.co.uk/ors) to apply to join the pilot scheme.

JobsAware, in partnership with British Assessment Bureau, worked with the Online Advertising Programme, an operational part of the Online Safety Act, as well as the Online Recruitment Forum to create the scheme and help tackle online recruitment scams.

JobsAware has previously worked with the Metropolitan Police, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Citizens Advice, GetSafeOnline and CIFAS to highlight employment fraud amongst job seekers.

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