Monday, 22 June 2009

What's the Point of Jobcentre?

Having never registered as unemployed I had only a very vague idea of what the Jobcentre can do for it customers.

That's until I registered with them earlier this month. Now I have no idea whatsoever of the point of this organisation.

In my naivety, I imagine that a Jobcentre was there to help people find a new job, providing all sorts of services and facilities to support jobseekers in their quest.

Not at all. I now know that Jobcentre does not offer CV surgeries where people can get advice on how to improve their CV. I am assuming that interview technique advice is also out of the question.

It also seems that the centres do not provide jobseekers with the facilities to print out documents (such as CVs or job applications that can only made by post - yes they do exist still!) or make photocopies.

Jobcentres are also not there to process your benefit claims or event track their process and make sure that they have been made properly with all the required documents.

On Saturday 20th, I received a lettre from the Makerfield Benefit Delivery Centre (in Preston) informing me that despite a request for missing documents (bank statements) they had made on the 17th (I have no idea to whom and how this request was made), they still missed the documents require by the law and that they had decided that I was not untitled to the Jobseekers Allowance. They generously gave me until the 26th to send the missing documents.

Incidentally the 17th, was the very same on which I had sent an email to my adviser at the Jobcentre asking if I had provided all the relevant documents. I had not received any answer to that email and was therefore assuming that all was well.

To my questions about printing and advice, that same adviser has directed to some sort of local quango that "helps people get into work." The only slight problem is that to be able to benefit from their services, one has to be "affected by:
* Long term health problems and incapacity benefits
* Mental health issues
* Physical disabilities
* Learning difficulties
* Refugee status
* Young people leaving council care
* Drug or alcohol misuse and being an ex offender
* Childcare and being a single parent"

I therefore don't qualify. In other words, I am just going to have to do it myself and only use the jobcentre to sing on every two weeks. It seems to be the only service they provide.

Thankfully, today I was contacted by two agencies that want to forward my CV to positions they have on their books. Both are short-term contracts but so was my last employed and that lasted a year. It's also extra experience on my CV.

Fingers are therefore firmly crossed (and a few other bits besides).

An update to this post can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank God I'm not the only one who think's this Gov. dept is a complete waste of public funds... I don't want to bore you with my stories of this deaf, inflexible, and ridiculous red tape constipated dept....but a word to the wise. 15hours a week is not a job, but 16hours is...If after 6 months, you get a job, sod the hours, it's a job. and you are not on benefit... it is still not good enough in "their" eyes. well good luck for the future, my ....isn't a good rant good for the soul... carole

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