Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Job Centre...does it work...and why not?

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!


SAB said...

Wow, that's an eye-opener! Fortunately since leaving the itec i've never had to visit a Job Centre. I've always thought that if the worst came to the worst I would find a job, ANY job at all would be fine to pay the bills and i think it looks better on your CV (imo) if you at least apply yourself to something whilst looking for something more permanent. Opportunities are out there if you (want) to look hard enough. I always remember the chap that decided to stand on the Ashby Road into Loughborough just off J23 wearing one of those double sided boards saying "Job Wanted" or similar. He got so much coverage on the local tv/press that he wasn't out of a job for long!... Anyway, it would appear Job Centre's are a complete waste of time and tax payers money then. Every system we have seems to be open to abuse. On another note, took my father to the service at the Carillon last Sunday. The fair was still hogging the granby street car park so parking was a nightmare. Returned about 35 mins later to find a parking ticket stuck to my window, together with the line of cars behind. In fairness my front wheels were a few inches over the start of the double yellow lines (blocking nothing), but you'd have thought some kind of 'understanding' whilst the nation pays their respects to the fallen would have kicked in. How naive of me! Rant over :-)

bryboy said...

My advice would be to challenge it. Tell them that you will see them in court because your wheels were only inches over the line and not causing an obstruction. They will drop it because it is not worth the trouble of prosecuting. They only exist because people are scared. I know because I have done it on the advice of my late son when he was studying his law degree. If you want an expert pop over to Captain Ranty's blog and read him!

bryboy said...

By the way you are right about any job being fine to pay the bills. That is how I came to work in the job centre. I rejoined the Civil Service to avoid dipping into savings. I didn't want responsibility anymore just something to make me comfortable in my old age and it worked.