Yesterday I came across an article in The Guardian – http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/30/demonise-demoralise-jobseekers-meaningless-test
Interest piqued, I clicked through and was both alarmed and appalled at what I read. Jobseekers, are being sent letters (similar to this – http://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/dwp-fake-psych-test-order-illegal-according-to-dwp/).
In not so many words, the claimant is being told do the test or lose your benefits. The DWP is putting immense pressure and stress on claimants, forced to complete a questionnaire that has no purpose. Other Claimants who have completed this questionnaire have found that no matter how you respond to the statements, which range from “I never go out of my way to visit museums” to “I have not created anything of beauty in the last month,” the same ‘profile’ is created.
The questionnaire is the brainchild of Downing Street’s Behavioural Insights Unit, which according to the Welfare News Service is “championed by the PM David Cameron and receives £500,000-a-year in taxpayer’s cash”. For me, this is a waste of taxpayer’s money not only when the aim is to cut spending, but also due to its failure to provide anything of value to the claimant.
Psychometric tests, should be conducted in such a way that it provides a subjective account of the strengths and weaknesses a person has. In addition, they should be voluntary and not be forced on anyone to complete. My concern with this is the impact it will have on claimants with mental health problems, or claimants who are unable to use a computer or do not understand why or what they have to do.
The tests serve no purpose, are unethical and should not be used as a weapon of coercion. Even if the tests did produce a correct claimant profile, it is evident from other psychology studies that when a participant is aware they are being tested, they will respond in a way they think the researcher wants, consequently any result is skewed and cannot be used. Most Jobseekers already feel low due to losing their job, these tests just make that feeling a hundred times worse.