What is the campaign?

This research explores one of the barriers to employment in our local communities across the Forest of Dean, the adequacy of job advertisements. Whilst this has a local focus, researching barriers to unemployment in UK is part of a wider Citizens Advice campaign in their Labour Market research. The focus here has been how job advertisements are failing people and businesses. 

What research did the Forest of Dean Bureau do?

We used a questionnaire template from Citizens Advice, and tailored it to the Forest of Dean. The questionnaire sought to reveal whether or not advertised job vacancies included the relevant and essential information needed when applying for jobs. This included: 

  • Rate of Pay – does it pay enough to be worth applying?
  • Type of contract: is the job temporary or permanent
  • Number of Hours: is it part time or full time; more than 16 or 30 hours per week?
  • Time of work: does it fit with childcare needs, public transport times etc
  • Location of the job: jobs at the other end of the Forest may not be easily reached by public transport
  • The name of the company / employer 

The concern is that the lack of this information can cause obstacles to those searching for employment.

We focused on the bulk of local adverts which are typically low skill or low paid and evaluated 40 different job vacancies from across a variety of different industries.

What did we find out?

  • Not one single job vacancy met all the desired criteria of ‘what information a job vacancy should include’    
  • Two thirds left ‘what type of contract?’ unclear, particularly whether the job was temporary or permanent.
  • Nearly half of adverts did not mention the pay rate
  • A third of vacancies said they were based in ‘The Forest of Dean’. However, due to the vast area that the Forest of Dean covers, this is not specific enough for prospective employees. 

Action Taken

A column in the Forester will be used to raise awareness of the items to look for in a job advert and hopefully also raise local employers’ attention to this issue.

What is wrong with this ad?

The advert below is a fake that we created from real adverts that we saw during our research into recruitment advertising. Each individual sentence is real and has come from a genuine advert. Check your answers.

job1