References or lack of

(5 Posts)
OdinsLoveChild Sat 10-Sep-16 16:12:13

I have been a sahm for over 12 years. None of companies I previously worked for (only 3 since leaving uni) exist now (1 went bankrupt the others were taken over by bigger companies and staff made redundant) and I have never kept in touch with any staff once we all left as our roles meant we generally worked along side one another and not together in a team so barely socialised with each other outside of work.

I have been applying for jobs that fit around my youngests school for the usual childcare reasons but I have not been able to provide contact addresses for these companies I worked for in the references section. I have explained the situations but I never get further than applying and when I ask for feedback I get a response along the lines of 'you're everything we wanted on paper BUT following safer recruitment processes and not providing employment references means your application can't go any further. I actually do have written references provided from 1 company when they went bankrupt but I am not allowed to use them they must be applied for directly from my previous employer by any potential new employer.

I have an enhanced disclosure because I volunteer to coach a particular sport to children. I'm not allowed to use a voluntary post for references angry I've never committed a crime and I've never been involved with anything dodgy.

How do I sort this so I can return to work? I need references but can't provide them through no fault of my own. Surely young people when new to the world of work also don't have the 'correct' references and they manage to find suitable work in schools. I'm getting desperate now having been applying for jobs for over a year and only just finding out this is the reason I'm not getting anywhere sad

Any suggestions how to help are gratefully received.

hutchblue Sun 11-Sep-16 19:13:29

Can you ask the employer you're applying to if you can provide a non-work reference?

ie, you volunteer to coach the children - who runs that service/company. Ask them if they would write you a reference the next time you apply.

Also think of other people who you've had a more formal relationship with, maybe even like a church vicar if you go to church - or perhaps some other voluntary area you've been involved in - and see if they would help out.

Another longer-term way to overcome this would be to volunteer - even one morning a week somewhere for a few weeks or months, just to build up some more work type contacts who can provide this for you.

In the overall grand scheme of things, this wouldn't take that long and would set you up for those pesky sections on applications.

Good luck!

OdinsLoveChild Wed 14-Sep-16 20:22:39

Thanks I already volunteer for 3 different organisations but because volunteers aren't always recruited based on skills or qualifications I can't use them as a reference in case I was taken on just because I offered my time and not based on qualifications and personal skills.

I'm looking at working for schools or public service (council/police). They will not accept personal or volunteer references. I'm genuinely stuck. I've explained my situation and they quote 'safer recruitment practices' and that no one can be recruited without meeting that requirement.

I can't believe how difficult it is to return to work. sad

JustDanceAddict Fri 16-Sep-16 09:35:25

I had crap references for similar reasons, but managed to get a job. I have been working for the family business for the last 5 years so couldn't get one there, before that was OK, although that was already quite old and the one before that I left before even getting pregnant with DD in the early 2000s. Amazingly enough this was Ok (and we are talking working in the public sector).
Can you find any of the old staff on FB and ask? Some companies want a 'personal reference', which can't be one from HR as they will only literally provide your start:leave date and absence data. Otherwise, would the companies that took over have your old records on file from the previous company they acquired?

doubleristretto Sun 18-Sep-16 15:15:17

I had trouble (this was quite a few years ago) with a gap of just six months and a council position. In the end they accepted a reference from the primary school headmaster my dd attended at the time. It was pretty much useless other than to say I'd been around and seemed alright (!) but it ticked the box. Could you look at similar? I'm in the same situation as you now though, not worked since moving nearly five years ago, I volunteer with the NT who do provide references but I'm not sure how valuable they are and the children are older and at bigger schools so I wouldn't know who to go to for a reference. I hope you get something sorted out flowers

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