Newest Review: ... who just appeared to have given up. You could just sense the atmosphere. It was so sad to see. After an hour or so later (them not me) I w... more
Pray You Never End Up Here
Member Name: shewhoguards
Advantages: Friendly staff who try hard
Disadvantages: Stupid policies seem designed to stop you working
It's been a couple of years now since I had to fling myself on the tender mercies of the Job Centre, and I thank God for that.
Not that the staff there weren't helpful when I was unemployed - I know they certainly tried their best. But sadly, just like any other recruitment agency, the Job Centre don't have the magic ability to pull jobs out of nowhere. My time there became a fortnightly ritual of going, running through what I'd done to find a job, agreeing with them that I had done all I could and going back home to sulk again. For six months that lasted. Not exactly inspiring.
Nor do the JobCentre's policies make it easy to fill in the gaps. I temped while I was job-hunting, picking up the odd week's work here and there. But every time I found temporary work I had to go through the process of telling them I was working, having dole payments stopped, working the WHOLE WEEK, telling them I was unemployed again, and then going to another out-of-work interview, waiting for payments to start again (which never took less than a couple of weeks).
Equally difficult was finding ways to fill the time. I would happily have done voluntary work to at least feel useful while I hunted, but to do it for over 15 hours a week would have stopped my benefits. In the end, I went and did a course to try and improve my employability, but even that I could not do for more than 15 hours a week. If you can't find fulltime permanant work, the system seems almost actively designed to discourage you from working at all.
Again, I won't blame the staff. They're good people having to work with bad rules. But really, if you land up here, you have to get yourself out. The Job Centre really doesn't have the power to give you a hand out.
Summary: Good people struggling to apply bad policies