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Department of Work and Pensions - Here to Help? Yeah right!!
Job Centre Plus
Author Name: desperately seeking salary
Job Centre Plus
Advantages: Got a wall outside for the chavs to sit on and drink all day
Disadvantages: unpleasant atmosphere, jobs usually out of date, "everyone tarred wth same brush" staff attitude
I have to agree with some of the points raised about the arrogance of job centre/DWP staff on this forum. While i appreciate that they have to hit targets or at least be seen to, i feel that they treat everyone with the same contempt - if you're in there, you're workshy and think the world owes you a living. While they obviously have to deal with a minority of benefit scroungers not everyone fits into that category and most people i've met in there are desperately seeking work. There are people like myself who actually dread going into the place. It's one of the negative places i've ever had to be subjected to.
I had been employed for 16 years (until May of last year) by the same employer since leaving school and taking on an engineering apprenticeship at the age of 16. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond my control i have been forced to seek the services of Job Centre plus; I was made redundant, as have many people on here due to the current recession. Im applying for positions, although with the way the economy is a lot of the prospective employers are actually reluctant to recruit new staff.
To cut a long story short, i visit the job centre once every 2 weeks, surf the internet for jobs, i have registered with employment agencies and send speculative letters/cv's to potential employers every week. Although i have an Electronics degree im not afraid to apply to or work in another field. In my eyes any job is better than no job at all. I would happily work for min wage until something better came up. Im even prepared to offer my services for free to gain experience in another area and keep myself busy.
My main gripe is that the job centre are asking me to apply for positions requiring a driving licence, although due to epilepsy i had my mine revoked 3 years ago. The job centre are aware of my condition (with a written letter from the neurology dept to confirm this) yet still insist in suggesting unsuitable driving job roles. I was even told to apply for a bus driving role even though the licencing medical regulations are stricter for this type of vehicle! I actually applied and went to interview knowing that i'd be unsuccessful on health grounds, the interviewer actually said that the job centre regularly send unsuitable candidates. They say that im not trying hard enough despite taking with me rejection letters from places that im applying to. I apply on average 4 - 5 jobs per week.
The job centre staff fail to appreciate that times are grim out there, a lot of private and public sector jobs are being cut. Everytime i have visited the centre i have been greeted by the same "don't wanna work, wont work" chavs sitting on the wall outside drinking their cans of special brew. I suppose that they are seen by DWP as "actively seeking employment" and immune from ever forfeiting their benefit payments. I've only recently registered my claim for JSA due to receiving a redundancy payment which i've managed to live on for 8 months. I've asked for advice on re-training, all i have heard so far is "you will be entitled to help with training courses when you go onto new deal". I dont want to put off til tomorrow what i can do today. Every week that im out of work is a week that the state is paying me. I want to support myself and have the pride of knowing that i've earned the money in my pocket as well as returning to a decent standard of living rather than just the basic existence that JSA provides.
At the moment im considering returning to uni in September in the hope that things may have improved for the better over the next few years. In the mean time i wish everyone reading this the very best of luck in their search for employment.
Summary: Not exactly been much use so far
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