Welsh Assembly puts jobs online

The Welsh Assembly is the latest organisation to switch some of its recruitment advertising away from newspapers to the internet.

The move is expected to mainly affect Cardiff morning title the Western Mail — which the Assembly currently spends some £439,000 with a year on recruitment and appointments advertising.

The announcement of the move away from print was made by culture minister Alun Pugh as the government's response to a committee review of the press — which had mainly concentrated on criticism of the dominant London nationals' failure to report Welsh news, despite the different policies resulting from devolution.

Provincial managing directors in Wales had complained to the committee that most Assembly advertising was being directed to Trinity Mirror, especially the Western Mail in Cardiff. The committee responded by calling for a review of the Assembly's recruitment advertising policy.

Pugh added that the entire advertising strategy would be reviewed, with a new online recruitment system coming into effect towards the end of this year.

Press adverts will act as signposts to the Assembly and central Civil Service recruitment websites.

Pugh — who has been engaged in a verbal fall-out with the Western Mail, once referring to the paper as a "bit of a joke", for which he was fired as a columnist — took care to tell the Assembly that the decision was taken by permanent secretary Sir Jon Shortridge, the head of recruitment.

The annual conference of Plaid Cymru, official opposition in the Assembly, last month opposed creation of council-run newspapers funded by council job adverts because of the effect on existing newspapers' income, standards and jobs.

A Mail spokesman said, "The paper and its associated websites offer a highly effective and cost-efficient advertising platform — a fact recognised by the Assembly's own advisers.

"As such we are confident that this will be recognised by the review being conducted by the permanent secretary."

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