I worked for 18 months in a Job Centre and it was the most soul destroying time in my life. During that time I did not deal with the long term unemployed because I was earmarked to deal with employers. The reason that I was profiled to deal with employers was because I was educated, I had professional telephone technique and at that level I was a jewel!
I was also a nuisance because I questioned the culture of the Job Centre which eventually led me to transferring elsewhere (1999). So perhaps it is time to examine what I questioned. I asked why we continued to allow claimants to 'sign on' when they were clearly 'working'. I mean when a guy jumps down from a lorry, wearing paint stained dungarees and runs in while the lorry revs up outside the Job Centre then there is a good chance that he is working!
I questioned why we issued temporary national insurance numbers to foreigners who could barely utter a word of English. All they had to do was pretend to be interested in a job and they were allowed into the system with no proof of identity required! That is how they did it folks!
I questioned why vagrants, with no fixed abode, were allowed to abuse the staff with no recourse. Why were they allowed to enter the premises carrying opened cans of strong lager? Why could we not impose minimum standards of behaviour on these louts?
Mostly however I questioned the use of the statistics which the Job Centre manufactured to prove how efficient they performed. It was done through a system called positive outcomes. If a claimant obtained employment via a Job Centre advertisement then it was counted as a 'postitive outcome'. Nobody however checked on how long that job lasted! We had one guy who had 14 positive outcomes in a year. He was a complete waste of space but he was continually allowed to apply for jobs when he was sober!
So it is little wonder to me that the young have discovered that if they want a decent job then your local Job Centre is probably the last refuge. In my opinion once you decide to enter those doors you have probably reached rock bottom! They are a national scandal!