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Job Centre advice a waste of time..

(145 Posts)
mumstonic Mon 03-Dec-12 16:44:19

DP had his 2nd job seekers meeting today to officially sign on after being made redundant. First time he's ever claimed anything in his life. I being unreasonable to think this meeting was rather unproductive and slightly unfair?

This is what he was told to do?..

1)He should disregard his previous work experience and apply for all jobs within a 90 minute journey, his qualifications and experience.

2)Re-write his CV to include the words, trustworthy, hardworking and reliable.

3)Spend 20m minutes listening to an advisor use phrases such as any work is better than no work and with all due respect sir.

4)He must make alternative arrangements for DDs dental brace fitting appointment in favour of attending an interview skills course this afternoon. (DD has been waiting to have her braces for 2 years and I have 2 babies to look after!)

5)He should ebay the family holiday (weekend mini-break to Centrparcs , booked and paid for 6 months ago) as it clashes with his next sign on day. He must then declare the income from said sale as earnings. OR complete a holiday form with the caveat to say he MUST be contactable at all times. If mobile phone service is restricted, he must drive to the nearest signal hotspot and check voicemails at regular intervals. If an interview comes up he must shorten or cancel his holiday.

Failure to co-operate with the above will result in his pittance being withdrawn. AIBU to think this draconian approach is taking the piss? Surely its better all round (for the employer and individual) to focus his efforts in getting a job suited to his qualifications and skills, I know its hard at the moment but really? 20 years paying tax and this is the safety net?

drmummmsy Mon 03-Dec-12 18:49:06

expat, i woulda boked on her desk grin

WelshMaenad Mon 03-Dec-12 18:49:57

She's six now Moomie, she's fabulous, thank you!

scissy Mon 03-Dec-12 19:01:31

My DH had the same thing when he was made redundant (this was at the time of the "New Deal"). Conversation went something like this:
DH: "So what does that mean?"
JC: "We can give you a free bus pass."
DH: "My next job interview is in Vancouver."
JC: "Oh. Well see you in 2 weeks."
Thankfully he managed to get himself another job in the industry fairly quickly!

expatinscotland Mon 03-Dec-12 19:02:52

She got the job wink.

Glitterknickaz Mon 03-Dec-12 19:07:11

This is life on benefits.
They own your arse.
In return you don't starve.

I'm not being unsympathetic to the OP by the way, just long term on carer benefits and sick of this whole bloody rigmarole.

RedHelenB Mon 03-Dec-12 19:15:44

Nothing like my experience, Could he take the two kids to sign on & you go to the dental appointment?

TidyDancer Mon 03-Dec-12 19:26:54

I'm not saying the OP's DH is lying, but it's not my experience of the JC either.

1-4 sound fairly reasonable, 5....are you sure your DH's retelling of this was accurate? Seems such a weird thing to say.

There are good and bad people in all jobs I suppose, but JC workers have a tough job and unfortunately have to be realistic. A lot of the people who use their services are very long term unemployed and/or not always wonderfully equipped to become part of the workforce. And yes, there are some that don't want to get a job full stop. These are the people their services are aimed at I think, so of course they will seem patronising to people with a bit more intelligence.

I'm surprised the OP thinks her DH shouldn't have to travel that far or work outside his field though, he could always continue to jobsearch while working in a temp role.

Piffpaffpoff Mon 03-Dec-12 19:27:28

I think I was quite lucky in a way because the job I did was so skilled, most of the people I saw while signing on realised that there was nothing they would be able to do to help me find another one. For the first 13 weeks I was allowed to look for a job exactly the same as my old one, then between 14-26 weeks I had to agree one two other job types to look at. Not once in the whole 6 month did they identify a job to suit.

I'd agree that they have no mechanism for dealing well with 'qualified' people looking for specific, professional roles.

It's a grim process all round I think, hard for the genuine job seeker but also hard for the staff at times too. But I don't know what the solution is.

TidyDancer Mon 03-Dec-12 19:28:54

I don't think there is a solution Piff, that's the trouble. The system was never designed to cope with things the way they are now.

Groovee Mon 03-Dec-12 19:31:48

Wait until it's been 8 weeks and your husband has signed on 4 times and they still haven't paid you any money!

ParsingFancy Mon 03-Dec-12 19:32:50

They do the "impossible clash" stuff deliberately - there was a whistleblower about this (will find video shortly).

In some areas, JobCentre staff were on targets of how many people they could sanction or turf off benefits by any means, justified or not.

ParsingFancy Mon 03-Dec-12 19:35:10

Article and video about sanction targets.

LRDtheFeministDude Mon 03-Dec-12 19:40:31

farside - I don't get why it was, no?

I mean, I get why it would be patronizing if the job centre were set up to get people into jobs as good as the ones they had previously. But it isn't. They are most helpful for people who're struggling to get a job, any job, so yes, they will habitually give out information that someone like the OP's husband doesn't need to know and may well think he could have worked out for himself.

But they have to train people to do this, right? At the moment, they train those people to do a pretty narrow job - that is, pointing out some very basic ways to get into work, targeted at the people who're struggling to get anything.

The OP's husband just doesn't really fit that category.

I don't see what's wrong with telling him what words are useful to have on your CV, or advising him to apply for jobs. He's allowed to discount that advice if he wants to, but it's this person's job to give it to him, so why say it is patronizing?

Viviennemary Mon 03-Dec-12 19:42:57

Well I have heard they have tightened up a lot. But I thought you could go on holiday as long as it was in the UK. I think 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all acceptable if somebody is looking for a job. Five as I said I didn't think would apply as a holiday is allowed.

DayShiftDoris Mon 03-Dec-12 19:49:09

I can absolutely believe this...

I have recently had a fixed term contract end and no work... Never been out of work since leaving school and professional qualifications.

They could tell me with glee that I would not get means tested JSA
They couldnt tell me if I would qualify for contributions-based JSA as I 'might' not have made enough contributions in the qualifying period as I 'only' worked 16hrs.

FOUR phonecalls to different lines / job centres and I never got an answer.

Thankfully someone pointed out I should be claiming carers allowance anyway so did that...

Then the real nonsense started but that was my old employer not DWP

slambang Mon 03-Dec-12 19:51:06

I have the joy of working in a Job Centre occasionally, and dh is going through it as a customer, as has been made redundant sad but I am not a JCP member of staff. From my observations it does depend which adviser you get how you are spoken to.

But some of you are making the mistake of mixing the person you speak to with the rules. It is not the Job Adviser who decides you have to apply to up to a 90 minute journey. That's the rules. The same rules for everyone in every Job Centre.

It is not the Job Adviser who says you have to be contactable while you are on holiday. Again same rules for everyone. (And frankly, if you are not available to answer your phone when on holiday then you are not available to work so you shouldn't be getting JSA.)

Appplying for every job regardless of salary? No, that's not the rules. You have to apply for at least 3 a week. If you can't find 3 a week to apply for then you will be asked to broaden your search to other jobs (out of previous income bracket or field of expertise).

And in my experience I have seen an awful lot of highly qualified professionals coming through their doors and how these profs feel about their experience tends to relate very much to how they approach the experience. Those who go in politely, professionally and show they are proactively making an effort to find work are always treated with polite respect in return. Those who go in expecting red carpet treatmentbecause they used to earn a better salary than the JCP staff do not get a red carpet and tend to get miffed. But they still get treated politely and with respect.

CaliforniaSucksSnowballs Mon 03-Dec-12 19:51:16

That was shocking ParsingFancy, thanks for linking that.

slambang Mon 03-Dec-12 19:57:06

And it's never the adviser who decides to sanction you or not for not attending (because you attended an interview, overslept or had a dentisit appointment). The adviser has no control over this decision but they have to put the info forward to a decision maker who decides on the sanctions or not.

The poor advisers get all the flack when the whole process is entirely out of their hands. When they 'threaten' to cut your benefits they are in fact just telling you what may happen.

drmummmsy Mon 03-Dec-12 20:05:32

and what's with all these 'advisers', 'decision makers' and various other 'titles'?! I was in there the other day and THREE separate people took down the same details from me THREE separate times. There needs to be a serious streamlining of the service, and use of some online technology/self service, as far as I can see.

KellyMarieTunstall Mon 03-Dec-12 20:22:00

slambang is correct in every part of her post. Its extremely common for newly jobless folk to hold a grudge against the very people who are trying to help them.

Staff in all places of work have a job to do .If they are not doing it properly they need to be complained about to their own manager. Staff do not make rules. Complaints about the rules need to be directed to the rule makers.

Most of the complaints in this thread ought to be directed to own MP for an explanation about how and why these decisions are brought in.

Funnily enough no-one in a job has ever complained that the jobless had too many restrictions on them .

When the boot is on the other foot though it becomes a different matter.

drmummmsy Mon 03-Dec-12 20:30:38

In my experience, it is very common for advisers to have deep-seated prejudices against the unemployed i.e. the very people who are keeping them in a job

as Omar in The Wire said to a lawyer in a drug related killing 'I got the gun, you got the briefcase'

also, the point of the thread has rather been that the jobcentre staff are unhelpful, to the point of being obstructive, not least because of the aforementioned prejudices

SouthernComforts Mon 03-Dec-12 20:31:17

I had to claim income support after dd was born. She was 3 months premature and I couldn't return to my previous job. At the first 'back to work interview' I was escorted to a table by security, then I was interviewed by the most patronising woman I have ever met.

Apparently having a child in intensive care and being told not to be more than 30 minutes away from the hospital was not a good enough reason to not work. (thankfully I only ever got that phonecall once and she pulled through).

Then she asked me "so, have you got any GCSE's"
Me "yes, 10"
Her "sorry, I meant A-C"
Me "shall I discount the A*'s then? And my As levels? And my NVQ?"
Her "erm, hang on let me write these down"

I've never been more smug grin

Strangely enough, she was a lot more civil next time I went, and even tried to recruit me to the Job Centre!

drmummmsy Mon 03-Dec-12 20:31:18

that was in response to KellyMarie and Slambang btw

drmummmsy Mon 03-Dec-12 20:32:58

and yes SouthernComforts I have also been spoken to like I'm an idiot until they find out I'm a Dr and the attitude shifts enormously

SouthernComforts Mon 03-Dec-12 20:38:49

Oh brilliant. I would have asked them to call you Dr X at all times.

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