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Unemployment - first impressions

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by wyonamason, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. wyonamason

    wyonamason New commenter

    I have recently become unemployed after 20 years teaching a core subject. I parted with a compromise agreement and also a profound sense of disillusion.

    Last week I decided to test the water in what used to be known as jobcentres. Although I was aware that positions in education are mainly available through supply agencies, I wanted to get some idea of what other jobs, if any, were available. I also, as I had not been looking for work for so long, wanted to get some idea of the benefits currently available. I had some idea that things had changed in the last few decades and that being out of work, with no income at all, did not guarantee any entitlement to benefits.

    And so, in the middle of the day, I decided to visit a couple of jobcentres, now called Job Centre Plus.

    I was shocked.

    When I arrived at the first one a bouncer blocked my way and asked me what I wanted. I replied that I wanted to see what jobs were available. He said that the very few jobs that they did know about were only for those who had registered with them as unemployed. I persisted and as I was calm and not obviously a machete waver, he finally gave me a sheet of paper with a few websites on and showed me the door. I saw several other bouncers in the place, several people sitting alone at small desks and not a single job seeker. I saw no jobs advertised and there were not even leaflets explaining the basics.

    When I arrived at the second one there was already some commotion at the door, on the pavement where one person was shouting aggressively and another filming the scene on his phone. Behind the metal detector there was at least ten bouncers. Again I managed to persuade them that I was not dangerous and again I was dismissed with a list of websites.

    I definitely got the sense that the staff at the places were on low salaries. and that their main concern was simply to try and ensure that they were not injured in any way. I got absolutely no sense that the purpose of the places was to help people to find work. Rather it was to somehow, anyhow, remove people from the unemployment register. They felt fortress-like, hostile. I thought I may, finally, have had a glimpse of what others have known for a long time: that the state has not interest at all in helping people find work and in fact that the opposite is true - that it is in the interests of the few to make the rest of us feel so hopeless, so desperate, that we will accept any job at all, no matter the wage or conditions.
  2. vickyrae1970

    vickyrae1970 New commenter

    I think the view is that you jobseekers on line through Universal Jobmatch.
  3. AnotherDayTowardsRetirement

    AnotherDayTowardsRetirement Occasional commenter

    I used to work for a Job Centre Plus prior to entering teaching so I feel I can speak with confidence here.

    My initial thought was why don’t you apply to work in the Job Centre as a customer advisor. Judging by the calibre of most of my ex-colleagues in the Job Centre I guess you’d make an instant impression within the organisation.

    I have seen a few Job Centre Plus adverts near my locality for such posts and you as a (ex) teacher will closely match every single advertised ‘essential’ and ‘desired’ person & skills criteria. Not great money, compared to a teachers salary, but I predict that with the right approach and application you’d be talent spotted as a star and further opportunities would find their way in your direction.

    Go for it ....
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I 'signed on' for a few months, after leaving teaching. I did not get any money, as my wife was working but I hoped to get my NI stamp paid, which did not happen, so the whole exercise was a waste of time. Then, seven years ago, Uxbridge JC was nothing like you describe; no security guards, or anything like that. My overall impression was an airport departure lounge during a baggage handlers' strike; people sitting around hopelessly, waiting to see someone who could not help them.

    The Job Centre seemed to have a workhouse mentality, keeping you busy with pointless, time-consuming, and expensive, tasks, which were of no help to you. For example, even though I live in Uxbridge, which has a large Job Centre, I had to sign on in Wembley. My signing on time was 9:15, so I had to do the journey in the rush hour, which cost me £8:50 per fortnight. The job club, at which attendance was compulsory, was also at Wembley, so another £6 per week in fares. The compulsory 'basic skills' course (C-A-T spells cat, level) was near Wimbledon, so another £7 each week.

    The only bit of realistic advice I was given at the Job Centre was that teachers can experience difficulty when applying for jobs outside of teaching, as some employers have a prejudice against them.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
  5. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I felt sorry for the Job Centre staff with whom I came in contact, as they seemed to know that they were only 'going through the motions', and they had little of use to offer.
    wyonamason and agathamorse like this.
  6. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    To be allowed to enter a job centre you have to register online - if you cannot afford or don’t know how to access a computer it is assumed you will go to a library or citizens advice

    It is difficult to register and if you do not keep to the appointment or app,y for x number of jobs a week it is easy to be removed and/or have any benefits stopped

    Nice people the Tories
  7. tsarina

    tsarina Occasional commenter

    I used the job centre 2 years ago, not to get a job but to see if there were any benefits i could claim as I had left teaching (from WRS, not because i wanted to) and was starting tutoring. The staff there were lovely, as helpful as they could be in the circumstances and apologetic that, although i had been a good little citizen and worked and paid my taxes, there was nothing they could do to help financially as the tutoring was bringing in over £80 a week. They did however point me towards another department at the council that got me a council tax reduction for a couple of months. They also had bouncers on the doors and in the main waiting area and i can see why they would be needed as the whole process is incredibly complicated and frustrating.
  8. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    My local jobcenter has been closed, and has a sign in the window saying 'look on gov.uk to find your closest alternative'.

    How helpful . . .
  9. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    you don't apply for jobs at jobcentres any more, its all online
  10. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    So no human help - how clinical.

    What are the remaining jobcentres for?
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    sorting out benefits, meetings with advisors, monitoring, etc
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    So no longer a center for jobs then?
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    well, its not a csual drop in, nor where you go to look for jobs, no, they are listed on line, by the thousand. ( although the filtering is basically non functioning, and you have to look through thousands to find ones you are able to apply for- its pretty rubbish. Most require drivers for example, and I can't drive, but there is no way of filtering out jobs that need drivers)

    The job centre does have a lot to do with job hunting, has job clubs, and courses, etc, as well as advisors, compliance monitors, etc, but no, it is not somewhere that you just drop into and browse available local jobs, as it used to be.
    wyonamason and agathamorse like this.
  14. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    Where they haven't been closed down, of course.
    wyonamason likes this.
  15. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

  16. wyonamason

    wyonamason New commenter

    I am glad that his thread has been resuscitated.

    Because I think that it is very important.

    Very important for the well-being of posters, particularly supply teachers and their families.

    Now it might just be that not so long ago supply teachers could just about pay the essential bills, even thought the "season" is quite short. Now this is not so easy. Stagnant wages, rising costs. Unavoidable financial commitments.

    It is clear to me that one of the things that supply teachers need is access to information about benefits, about financial assistance, from the state, given the fact that they are on zero hour contracts.

    Where might this information be found? Job centre plus buildings or even on-line? I think not. Despite the Maybot's noises, earlier, about those Just About Managing, the Conservatives have no interest at all in helping people who may be struggling is some way, and even these days can no longer be bothered to pretend that they are bovvered. Citizens Advice Bureaus? I can't see it. I sense that most are or are about to be closed or are hugely under-staffed.

    There should be a place, however, somewhere on the TES forums, and also elsewhere, for a hub of information, about "benefits," whereby information and experiences can be exchanged.

    These are, for many, hard, and strange times. For those who are confused about the assistance currently available, there is nothing to be ashamed about. Indeed all my instincts tell me that very significant sums of money remain in the coffers of the state, to be at some point employed in directions that are not publically available and transparent.
    agathamorse and slingshotsally like this.

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