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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Failure to co-operate with the above will result in his pittance being withdrawn.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?

garlicbaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 01:24:02

Some people have no clue how much, and how fast, the welfare system has changed. I'm a bit tired of explaining it on here. Folks are in for a shock.

Hope he manages to find employment before being required to jobseek the DWP way for 35 soul-destroying, privacy-invading, humiliating, box-ticking hours a week, OP.

meddie Tue 04-Dec-12 01:49:29

my only experience of the job centre is from my children's experience. both are polite , well educated and were eager to work. They were treated like crap and felt humiliated after every interview. both of them had cv's which were tailored for whatever job they were applying for yet the job centre advisor recommended some standard template she had , which was utter rubbish. my daughter was sanctioned for failing to turn up for her signing on. even though she had broken her ankle the previous evening, we had spent all night in a&e and it was freshly plastered and she was doped up on morphine and unable to leave the house.

dashoflime Tue 04-Dec-12 09:30:54

garlicbaubles: agree completely. The changes going on now are the largest since the creation of the welfare state and are disastrous. Some people on here have implied the OP is exaggerating. She is not. This is what its like now.

mumstonic Tue 04-Dec-12 10:06:53

garlic - You seem quite knoweldgable, so you may be able to provide some advice on another thread i've just posted re universal credit!

EcoLady Tue 04-Dec-12 10:51:41

I had this just yesterday. I've just completed my PGCE, having career changed and am supply teaching while applying for longer term posts.

"Do you have any GSCEs?"
"I have 8 O levels, 4 A levels, a degree and a PGCE."
"What's a PGCE?"
"Teacher training"

... approx 2 mins later...

"So what kind of jobs are you looking for?"
"And are you qualified to do that?"

THEN I had to explain how Supply works! Give me strength.

RedHelenB Tue 04-Dec-12 11:28:12

Get on to your agency about long term posts, I've just been rung up about one. TBH. you can't expect them to know about every career & you have to ask for the help you need, it does work both ways.

WkdSM Tue 04-Dec-12 11:43:53

My DH has been made redundant (or agreed a compromise agreement) a few times - and just once he thought he's sign on as then his NI stamp was covered.

He went for an interview and when asked about his qualifications gave the young lad a copy of his CV - and said young lad said' What's an MBA - is it something to do with basketball?' We think he was referring to the NBA. My DH is quite short and not that athletic looking so basketball would have made no sense!

The whole process was so useless that he came away saying he would not sign on and we paid his NI ourselves.

breadandbutterfly Tue 04-Dec-12 12:15:56

Wow, this thread beggars belief.

LineRunnerWithBellsOn Tue 04-Dec-12 12:24:51

I've been looking the local Job Centre web site for possible p/t jobs. One job is working in a cafe, and it says application by letter only. There is NO ADDRESS given.

Loads of others don't give a company name or location. If you are on foot, looking at p/t and minimum wage, you kind of do need to know where a job is actually going to be.

Oh and in DD's last p/t job with a well known fast food giant, she didn't receive a single payslip in her whole time there, despite asking repeatedly. She's still waiting for a P45.

drmummmsy Tue 04-Dec-12 12:34:03

it's nice to know that the jobcentre discriminates universally, rather than it just being personally about me grin

LineRunnerWithBellsOn Tue 04-Dec-12 12:40:24

We should get the jobs running job centres, drmummmsy.

A MN Job Centre would be tremendous.

Mosman Tue 04-Dec-12 12:47:11

My lovely calm DH who is a trainer in communication and holds NLP qualifications, he can talk to anyone nobody dislikes him.
Was told he was rude by the JC receptionist and when he laughed was removed by security for being aggressive. That cost us £130.
Just to show us who's boss no doubt. I'm so glad to be out of the UK

drmummmsy Tue 04-Dec-12 13:05:11

oh yes LineRunnerWithBellsOn can you imagine the questions...

Could you tell us about a time you wittily contributed to the 'Drunk Thread'?

Exactly what is your position on barn/free range eggs?


dashoflime Tue 04-Dec-12 13:27:37

I remember years ago now, looking for work at the Jobcentre and coming across a vacancy in a chocolate factory.
The reality would probably have been crap but I was all "oooohh chocolate" and I wanted to apply. The conversation went like this:

Advisor: It says here they want someone with experience. Have you ever worked in a chocolate factory before?

Me: No, but I've worked in other sorts of factories and I've also worked in kitchens so I'm very aware of food hygiene issues

Advisor: Well it says here they want someone with experience

Me: Well I have some relevant experience. Can you call them for me so I can discuss it with them? (this was back when the jobcentre staff had to do the contacting for you)

The advisor rang up, said "I've got someone here with no experience," put the phone down and gave me this look of triumph, before saying "Nah, they don't want you"

So much for widening your job search I thought.

Also remember coming into the jobcentre with a youngster who'd been (wrongly) told she couldn't apply for benefits, wielding a copy of the Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook, THE reference book for benefits law.

Advisor: I don't believe anything in that book. I've never heard of it. Was it written by the prime minister? Well, was it?

Me: Erm no, Its written by a panel of experts in welfare benefits law. hmm

Love the idea of the prime minister sitting down and writing all the law himself. Bless.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 04-Dec-12 13:39:18

My dbil was made redundant earlier this year. He's never not worked since leaving school. He applied for many jobs and went for many interviews and was told too qualified, too old (not in so many words obviously), etc. Anyway, finally he got a job and went in to sign off last week. Before he told them he'd come to sign off, the person behind the desk accused him of missing his last appointment and that his payment would stop. He said "I was here, you can check the CCTV and see for yourself". Apparently the person got really arsey and so my dbil said "look, I've got a job starting on Monday. I've come to sign off". Well, he said that changed everything and they behaved completely differently towards him after that!! I think it's shocking the way people are being treated and very draconian. As many have said on here, it could happen to any one of us tomorrow.

ChestnutsRoastingonaWitchesTit Tue 04-Dec-12 13:46:52

This is why I feel so sad for my eldest ds. He's 22 and has been out of work for nearly a year now. The "courses" he gets sent on are pointless exercises and evidently there to enable the company running them to grab funding from the government to justify themselves being there.
The last one was a stint in a charity shop that was never ever going to materialise into a job despite him having various retail qualifications and experience.
It's like the old YTS days when they used to joke that the unemployed could do either a "hole digging course" or a "hole filling in course".

Theicingontop Tue 04-Dec-12 13:49:58

A friend of mine got his pittance withdrawn because a meeting clashed with his WEDDING. He was told it was not a good enough excuse shock

picketywick Tue 04-Dec-12 13:55:05

This is a series of tragic tales of rudeness and worse. Iain Duncan Smith should be told about it. And David Cameron too.

Do you think they would care picketywick?

Because I dont. I dont think they would see the problem at all.

FrothyOM Tue 04-Dec-12 14:12:12

I totally agree chesnuts. All the courses my ex went on when he was unemployed were pointless bollocks. He would have found his job without all the 'help' from A4e. The literacy and numeracy courses are far to brief to help anyone with real problems, and pointless for the rest.

The courses are a fucking joke and a waste of taxpayers money.

Also, he missed a sign on because he was given a letter for some kind of interview, this is different from a sign on but he didn't know this. We lost a weeks money. I had a young baby at the time and the jobcentre knew he was dyslexic prior to the mix up with the letter. They didn't give a shit. Computer said he missed a sign on, computer says dock a weeks money.

garlicbaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 14:27:26

Iain Duncan Smith should be told about it

I rather fear he'd do a little dance of glee ... then decide it wasn't punishing enough.

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Tue 04-Dec-12 14:27:46

When I was made redundant (as in the entire department was closed down) I did the sign on meeting, they didn't want to talk about helping me get a job at all, or my qualifications or what I had already done already.

The entire conversation was about putting my kids in a nursery - how I needed the me time to get ready for another job (WTF). When I said the kids' were cared for by their father, who has been their main carer since I was at University, their exact words "so he has a bit of experience with that, but" and pretty much said if I didn't come in with a list of nurseries I'd put them on the waiting list for, then I wouldn't be considered a serious job seeker.

When my DH went in for his partners' meeting, childcare was never brought up. Even when I was the previous only earner with higher and more recent qualifications, it was assumed I would now care for them while DH got a job (and this was after Remploy told DH that he was basically unemployable in the climate due to his disabilities). They even wanted to switch it to him as the main applicant due to the age of our kids - it apparently wasn't suitable for a woman to be jobhunting with kids under 5 when she had a husband. Seriously.

I could foam some more, it was really frustrating at the time.

redskyatnight Tue 04-Dec-12 14:27:52

My JC advisor actively told me that they just require people to jump through hoops. I was required to take 12 steps each week to show I was looking for work. These had to be entered on an "official" spreadsheet and it was not acceptable for me to tailor this so it was useful for me. She told me that if I didn't have 12 steps on my sheet each week, she would have to refer me to be sanctioned. Spending 20 hours filling an application form for a job for which I was ideally suited was considered to be equal in value to sending of a random application for a job for which I had no qualifications.

I'm now waiting for Universal Job Match to officially turn into Big Brother.

LlanbaubleOnTheTree Tue 04-Dec-12 14:28:18

Dashoflime - yes I am taking the OP with a pinch of salt. Told her what to do but instead it's easier to whine to a bunch if strangers on the Internet who are all "how awful, fancy that, the state don't give you fee money". Employers expect you to turn up on time or they don't pay you, employers expect you to ask for leave and it can be turned down, not all employers have FF policies so wouldn't allow your partner to take time off to take a child for a medical appointment - struggling to see what people's problem actually is.
I suggested if what her partner claimed had been said she went through official channels to raise it. That way the law as applied to her partner would be explained to them and all silliness about appointments and mobile phones could be quashed. But no - where's the fun in that ehhmm
As for a MN Jobcentre - it would be woeful - full of people who spread incorrect information and advice based in some cock and bull story about something that happened to their mum's friend at work sisters eldest daughters husband.
The OP had been given some really bad and incorrect advice, but that's her choice - some people just find it easier not to face the reality of a situation

garlicbaubles Tue 04-Dec-12 14:41:54

Seriously, Llan, you find it acceptable for a government employee, who's responsible for unemployed people's ability to pay their rent & feed their kids, to make inappropriate demands (sell a holiday, cancel a wedding) and withdraw payment? As the jobseeker struggles to find their way through ever-changing regulations and launch an appeal, you think it's OK for them to live on air? How long do you think an appeal takes, and how transparent do you think the process is?

If an employee of your bank were this high-handed and made up rules, would you be so forgiving?

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