Labour Exchange Act 1909
Labour Exchanges were introduced in 1909. They were established to provide an easy method of letting employers advertise their jobs and unemployed people find work. The first 62 Labour exchanges opened on February 1st 1910 and there was a huge amount of interest in them. A wide range of jobs were available and many people queued up to register at the Labour Exchanges.
Labour Exchanges have changed the way they work and the name that they use a lot over the year. The modern version of the Labour Exchange is Job Centre Plus.
By the outbreak of the First World War there were 430 Labour Exchanges. They were providing an average of 3000 jobs per day. Labour Exchanges were limited in their effectiveness. One aim was to increase the mobility of workers, something that they failed to achieve. Many employers and trade unions also opposed the concept of the Labour Exchange. This meant that not all positions were advertised in the Labour Exchange.
Wikipedia – brief summary of the Labour Exchanges Act.
Sunday Sun – The Job Centre is 100 years old. Good article about the Labour Exchanges and the way that they were intrduced.