Search This Blog

Thursday, June 14, 2012


here is a question for you.
how do you spell 'totally fucking useless'?
i'll wait a while for you to prepare your answer.

if you started with 't. o. t..' then you are wrong. the way you spell 'totally fucking useless' is jobcentre plus.

i am looking for work. i need a job. i want a job.
i have a several problems with my job search. - my age, the growing length of time i have been out of work and that i have no proof of transferable skills.
the jobcentre can't help me with my age: i am stuck with that.
at the moment they are unable to anything about the length of my unemployment.
they should be able to help me with the transferable skills.

pretty much since i have started signing on i have been asking about this sort of help. it has been like pulling teeth.

to my adviser's credit he did sort out me doing a sia cctv licence (and now i can sit beyond a cctv console and watch - beware my all seeing eye). while that is a start there are still some other things i am interested in. just across the road from the jobcentre is a place that does learndirect courses. i pop over there to see what is on offer - it doesn't matter as they are asking for £70 deposit (refundable), that is nice, but i am on benefits and £70 isn't something i can part with, oh they tell me some jobcentres pay it for their clients (that's what we are by the way: clients). so i ask if that is the case. mmm yes, no, maybe can you find something cheaper or free? oh ok, i say.
on a trip to another jobcentre (this to see if i am acceptable to do some work experience - or more accurately 'i will work for food) i see they have a poster about training schemes that are available through the jobcentre. ah now that sounds right up my street.
i explain to one of the advisers there that i was interested in the training. you are not applicable because you don't sign on here. i know that - i am just trying to find out what the name of the scheme is so i can ask for it. they tell me.

why did i need to know the name of the scheme?
one of the things that you quickly learn about dealing with advisers in the jobcentre is that you need to be able to ask for very specific help - if you don't get it right, you don't get the help. it's like a christmas parlour game.

my day of signing on comes around. i sit down to sign, i hand over my proof of a job search, they look at it in the same way you look at a pile of vomit in a bucket. i ask about the pre-employment training. i don't really know about that, they tell me, you'll have to ask your adviser. fine i say.
they set up an appointment for me - a week later.
i have the meeting and i ask about the pre-employment training.

it all depends on what you want - he tells me.
now this is another part of the game. you know there is something there you can access, you just don't quite know what it is or what it entails. they are not going to actually tell you what it is - you have to work it out.
i look at him with a quizzical expression and say i don't know what is available so i don't know what sort of training i would like. he looked back at me as if i were stupid (and in this case i have to say he is not wrong - i am struck dumb by the whole process of trying to get information from them in order to make me more employable). he decides to tell me a little bit about the scheme - that is you go on it it is mandatory (no problems with that), that there are several weeks training (good, what i am looking for), there is a work placement element (fair enough - will help).

what is missing from all of that? oh yeah you are right - exactly what training is available. the key bit.
i did discover that it is sector based and the way i was told this it was as if that explained it all.

i tried to explain that without knowing exactly what is available it is hard for me to actually make a judgement as to whether or not the training would be of any use to me. that sounds reasonable, doesn't it?
he looked at me as if i had told him the tooth fairy didn't exist.

after all of this he told me that there had been some issues with the pre-employment training that was on offer - so he would have to get back to me, when he had spoken with someone and he would talk to me about it the next time we met. that will be in two weeks.

getting lots of help and encouragement.

so when asked how to spell 'totally fucking useless' you'll know to spell it 'jobcentre plus'

No comments: