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new enterprise allowance/ the work programme

(17 Posts)
pertempsnooo Tue 03-Sep-13 18:05:03

I am a single mum who has been signing on for JSA for a year in spite of having 2 jobs (together = 12 hrs! can't get more hours!).
So. The jobcentre advisor has referred me to 'pertemps' the work programme company. I still have to sign on anyway. Last signing day they rang Pertemps to make an appointment for me. The only ones available were when I work (Thurs, 1.30)! I was told I have to cancel work to go!! I was also handed a telephone and had to listen whilst a bored, irritated woman recited some spiel at me with no humanity whatsoever. I am furious! Having researched this work programme I am worried that I won't benefit at all. LESS people find work when on it than not! Signing on itself has been like a hammer to my self esteem and I am afraid this will be worse having spoken to people who have been and having looked online. I know how to look for work and have interviews regularly. I just have been unlucky so far.
SO before my wonderful induction appointment next week I am trying to get info about the new enterprise allowance scheme. I have a business start-up idea and this might be a good time to test it. I would lose quite a bit of money as JSA pays my mortgage interest of around 200/mth on-top of around 10 /week JSA -
ANY IDEAS or advice anyone...
ANYONE HAVE POSITIVE EXPERIENCE OF EITHER WORK PROGRAMME OR NEA TO SHARE?
I'm at my wit's end really, should I write to MP/ papers? I mean... missing work for a work programme is surely a JOKE?!

nataliejc77 Tue 03-Sep-13 21:13:56

i only have experience of the work programme. it really is as awful as you have read. there is no logic to booking appointments. i was even hassled to get a job 5 days before my pregnancy due date and i was not even meant to be on the work programme!! once they have you you cant escape. the job centre effectively wash their hands of you once you are on the work programme.
the only advice i can offer is write to your mp although you don't have long for a reply. and sorry if Im a little too honest

nataliejc77 Tue 03-Sep-13 21:16:21

i only have experience of the work programme. it really is as awful as you have read. there is no logic to booking appointments. i was even hassled to get a job 5 days before my pregnancy due date and i was not even meant to be on the work programme!! once they have you you cant escape. the job centre effectively wash their hands of you once you are on the work programme.
the only advice i can offer is a online charity called one space.org they help single parents, there is a lady who works on the site called Laura who works for the government and she really helped me or write to your mp although you don't have long for a reply. and sorry if Im a little too honest

M1SSUNDERSTOOD Tue 03-Sep-13 21:51:12

The enterprise scheme is 13 week course and you don't have to sign on but see your business advisor on a regular basis. They pay your jsa + £10 top up. It's available after you have been signing on for 6 months so you do qualify. Not sure about the mortgage interest payments whilst you are on it. Also once the 13 weeks have elapsed you are considered to have signed off and if the business didn't take off you might need to consider signing on again. I am not sure whether this starts the clock again for going onto work experience.

pertempsnooo Tue 03-Sep-13 22:35:21

Thanks for the replies.
Not liking the sound of your experience natalie. It really sounds like I should avoid it.
M1 I thought payment was 65/week for 26 weeks i.e. 6 months? Thats what I read I'm sure...
Wonder what happens if you get a job in that time, over 16 hours.
(I guess I want to cover myself if my business fails... sad need some positive vibes...)

M1SSUNDERSTOOD Tue 03-Sep-13 22:59:21

Hi it is jsa+ extra £10 as an incentive. if you get a job then you sign off if it's over 16 hours.

pertempsnooo Wed 04-Sep-13 09:48:19

ok thanks, well, just going to speak to them today. Wish me luck!

pertempsnooo Wed 04-Sep-13 23:28:14

I spoke to them. JSA say that I am now referred to the work programme as of last Monday. So too late for new enterprise scheme. I was never informed that such things existed by them and wish I had been. Because I didn't ask an advisor (I was always just in a hurry to get out of the place TBH) about self employment they are saying that it's too late to be referred now. I haven't had my induction with 'pertemps' yet but it sounds like they do nothing for business start-ups. I guess I will have to go anyway. It's going to be horrible, everything is aimed at people who need 'functional' skills. I am worried about my self esteem. They treat everyone like a work-shy lay-about. I am hard-working doing what I already do for minimum wage and looking after three children and the house with nothing from my useless ex. SO DEPRESSING.

nataliejc77 Thu 05-Sep-13 14:14:11

Im sure you will be fine. don't take things personally. they treat everyone as workshy, before i was made redundant i worked consistently since school and throughout my time at uni and i was treated as lazy

just make sure you read EVERYTHING before you sign forms. Reed had the tendency to get you to sign forms for a particular reason however once you read the form it was for something entirely different

pertempsnooo Thu 05-Sep-13 20:02:19

Yes I have heard about the form thing. They try and get you to let them have your details i.e. contact details... So they can sell them! I have been advised not to let them even scan or copy my CV! Horrors!
Any advice from anyone else?
I have decided to do the business anyway... A bit of help would go a long way though.

NicknameIncomplete Thu 05-Sep-13 22:17:05

I did the work programme & i found it ok. I wasnt pestered to get a job as i had a part time one. They would phone every few weeks/sometimes months.

I also wasnt treated like dirt. Maybe i was one of the lucky ones.

I dont really have any advice apart from start ur business. You never know where it may lead you.

pertempsnooo Thu 05-Sep-13 22:37:17

Thanks nickname. Maybe I worry too much. Negative reports were from friends who had no p/t work.
I have to give my business chance at some point! (or I will regret it)

ballstoit Thu 05-Sep-13 23:08:21

Have delivered some elements of the Work Programme at work. I hope I treated everyone with respect (although I am former claimant who's a lone parent so may be able to empathise a little more). Try to see it as supportive, and just try your best to appear interested.

Also, you are entitled to travel expenses and a meal if there longer than 6 hours.

nataliejc77 Fri 06-Sep-13 09:25:38

good luck with your business.

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 06-Sep-13 18:47:02

Contact gingerbread! They may have some suitable programmes in your area.

pertempsnooo Sat 07-Sep-13 22:18:29

Gingerbread? What like? (I will look)....
Good to know there are some good people working for these companies, ballstoit. I was Just Horrified by the spiel given to me over the phone by Pertemps. A human pretending to be a pissed off computer-generated message it seemed.
Thanks for the luck, I know I'll need it but I really want to work for myself, at least I can aim higher than the pitiful minimum wage I have been earning.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 07-Sep-13 23:09:35

Gingerbread are a charity for lone parents. I am currently running an employment project for them in scotland, but they will have other things happening too. We have funding available to set lone parents up as childminders for example.

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