Thursday, 31 March 2011

I had a strange call. Is it a trap???

I was in town this morning at the place I volunteer when my phone rang. It was the JC. "Hello it is bla bla bla calling to check that you are coming in tomorrow at 12.40 to sign"??? I thought this was really strange, as I have been on jobseekers for 15 months now and my appointment  is the same time every two weeks. I have never been contacted about this.  By the way they allow you just 10 mins leeway. If you are late it causes problems for you, yet you can be sat waiting for them for ages, they must think you have nothing better to do, seeing as though you are unemployed, but sit watching them chatting in their lovely job. Why? Why ring me to ask this? Maybe it is just the good customer service they offer? not.  Maybe they have read my blog ha.
I think it maybe something to do with the feedback from my complaint, as I complained about the agency which I was refered to, I asked some questions about why they do not deliver the service that they are supposed to ??? The very reason you are sent there. They are so stretched themselves that they can not  deliver the very services that they offer. I think I will be given lots of statistics.
I guess I had better fill out my Diary, (A log of all the jobs I apply for) for the JC tomorrow. I have to have everything recorded in the same place. It is just a matter of me gathering all of the jobs I have applied for in the past two weeks, they put the evidence on the system, you have to show you have taken at least 6 steps to find employment. Mmmm I don't think they would find it amusing if I said " I have actually taken thousands of steps to get here today, and I have worn out my shoes"

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Training and courses.

I am part way through some training in diagnostic interviewing, it is ok as in theory they are skills you can take anywhere. I have been a volunteer for the past two years in an independent advice centre in the voluntary sector. They give out free welfare rights advice on benefits, tax credits etc and offer help, support, guidance and representation at Tribunal.  I have done lots of training and courses through them. They have given me loads of opportunities to really widen my knowledge and views. I have shadowed the staff and other volunteers together with the training and now use those skills and information and am an adviser there. The Centre has just had a major cut from the council, in fact it was one of their core funders which of course has had a major inpact on them. This is a time when these Centres are needed more than ever as more and more people lose there jobs or have hours cut and struggle to find anywhere to go for help. Ironicly this Council has cut back on staff so it is the very people who they have made redundant who are now seeking advice.  With many never having faced unemployment, it is so alien to them as they become so confused about the options available to them.
These services need protecting and it seems until people are affected directly they do not seem to care. But as we all know everyone will be affected some way or some how by the drastic cuts that are threatening our services which people rely on every day. And cuts mean job losses which will never amount to anything good only a larger unemployment queue.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Poverty Pimp and a BIG FAT SORRY due to blah blah blah.

I have just looked at my emails as I do every day, especially as I apply for lots of positions on line.  I had applied for one of many Administration Assistant jobs and was told,

We have now completed screening process and it is with regret that I write to inform you on this occasion your application has been unsuccessful.
Unfortunately due to the high volume of applicants we are unable to provide individual feedback.

I would like to thank you for your interest in the Company and wish you success in your search for employment.
" Thank you for your application.
                      Yours sincerely "

Well at least I got a reply .

Poverty Pimp.
I had a call from my JC adviser this afternoon and it turns out that the complaint I had made about the agency I was sent to was looked into. The staff are so stretched there, that they can not give you the time and support you may need and can not deliver what they are there to do. My adviser was sent a load of statistics about how these people were doing such a good job, the service users felt more positive after leaving and more confident about gaining employment. They are, what they call, job ready. This must be after being with them for the full 12 months and still found no jobs. Well after all the help they get and support and re writing of cv's and non placements  and job searches and begging to be taken on for no wage for large companies and how to look for jobs.  And whats this ???? you still havent found a job ?????. You are then sent to another agency. These agencies get money for each job seeker on their books.  More than most will ever pay NI in that time due to the lack of jobs out there. I think the term poverty pimp comes to mind. I had to look the term up. Here's what I found and sums it up
Poverty pimp or "professional poverty pimp" is a pejorative label used to convey that an individual or group is benefiting unduly by acting as an intermediary on behalf of the poor, the disadvantaged, or some other "victimized" groups.
Those who use this appellation suggest that those so labeled profit unduly from the misfortune of others, and therefore do not really wish the societal problems that they appear to work on to be eliminated permanently, as it is not in their own interest for this to happen.

 What pees me off is the fact that when you get sent to these places the JC never asks or gets  feed back as to what is happening with you or to you. Who gives a ....???  and these places get money to do, it seems, not a lot in helping you to gain  employment. In fact I would love a job with one of these places and would make sure I gave each and every person the dignity and respect, help support and guidance with what may be one of the most difficult times in their life. First and foremost being realistic.
Good Night x

Monday, 28 March 2011

Is there anybody out there????

I got a phone call today from Radio Sheffield. They had seen a link on Face Book and wanted to speak to me about my job search and blog. So I have agreed to have a chat in the morning about this. If it helps to rid the views and myths that unemployed people are lazy scroungers living the life of Riley then it will be good.
I remember someone said to me "People are potentially one wage slip away from the back of the dole queue". Only now it is not likely you will walk into another job is it?   People are out there day after day looking for work, going on training courses and volunteering. They are not sat at home watching day time tv going on holidays and driving posh cars. More like they can not have the heating on or can't buy decent food or afford a tv never mind a licence. They can not afford the bus fare or tavel costs looking for work. People are punished for being unemployed. In the past if you had no Education there was at least some jobs available to you. Now people with  a very good Education can not find work. All of the factories in my town have gone. Glass works, Steel, Pits, Chemicals, Tube works and Lots of pubs and independent firms have closed  to name just a few.  So finding work is just not that easy. Yet I have to provide the evidence of at least 11 jobs I have applied for every 2 weeks between the JC and the agency I was sent to. The JC requires 6 and the agency 5 others. Evidence being what job, where I saw it, who I spoke to what they said and what was the outcome. You are lucky if you even get a reply.

Job hunt

Just returned from town. I had a wander round the shops to see if there has been any updates in the windows. I went to ask in the one of the council buildings.   It is a place where they have properties and people go in and bid. I applied online as they had a vacancy. I was told that the job had gone.
I then went to ask in the Portland Hotel for bar work or any work.  The young lad said they had just taken someone on but if I go online I may apply for future vacancies. I carry a cv with me always but most employers will not except them now as they want to ask you questions that they want the answers to - not you tell them what you want them to know.

What the Law says

I have wondered for a while now about the amount the Law says you need to live on. For a person over 25 with no illnesses it is £65.45 a week.Whether you live at home with your parents as a non dependent or in a house/flat on your own it would be interesting to know how they came up with this figure. Well this winter has been terrible - the Gas and Electricity have been a killer. I am on key and card meters and have to pay up front. The Gas was £30 a week and Electricity £15. And remember I am not in most days so did not sit with the heating on and my kids are out at college and school. I thought there was a gas leak as we were only having the gas on for about 5 hours. I have two dependents so get Child Tax credits for them. I do worry when they leave Education as it is so difficult now and just can not bear to think that I will not be in paid employment by then. Although I have officially been a Job seeker for just over a year. The last time I had any paid work was longer than that..
I am going to write to my MP and see if I can find out about what the Law says I can live on. A loaf of bread is over a quid.
Any way talking of gas, my boiler is leaking so I am expecting the fitter to come out this morning between 8 and 12, we'll see.This is the fourth visit and they have had to change so many bits on it and now I have found where the water is leaking from and put a marker on so I can show them. Maybe get a job as an apprentice ha ha.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

March for the Alternative 26//03/11

I have just come back from london, having taken part in the march. It was a very peaceful demo and was refreshing to see our local MP came along, in fact he was on our bus. There was a good mix of people including families with very young children. My son came with me and found it funny that lots of Teachers from his school was there in support. Even the very younger Generations are well aware of what is happening as it is affecting them daily in one way or another. It seems that since we left there this afternoon there  has been lots of trouble and damage caused to major firms. Top shop, Vodaphone, The Ritz and more. You see these are Tax avoiders and it makes people angry that they are allowed to get away with it. While people are loosing Jobs and services due to the cuts. The Goverment could pull back Money from other sources. As it was not the the average person who created this mess yet they are the ones paying for it good style.


Ed Milliband made a speech to the protesters in Hyde Park. He was brave to come if you ask me , but then again he is the opposition of the Con-Dems.

Star Wars. This was my favourite banner.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Return Call re Shaw Trust

I was given a phone number from my Job Centre Adviser which I rang 4 times and eventually left a message.
I got a call back yesterday. It is for 16 hours a week  up to 18 weeks at National Minimum Wage. They have some funding available and they have to encourage a potential Employer to take you on. I was told it is called Work Experience.
Anyway he told me someone will contact me next week to arrange an appointment to discuss in more detail.
The funding and terms sound similar to those for the FJF, Future Job Fund. A Fund set up by the previous Goverment, Jobs in the Public sector. A bit of a joke now as the public sector is having loads of cuts.
I had an Interview for one of these opportunities a few weeks ago which had gone through the Job Centre only to be told that on the day of the Interview the funding had ran out. I guess the interview was experience though.

I have just come in from another training day in effective communication skills. It was quite useful as this can then lead to an accredited course in the open college network. It does help to keep your CV up to date.

I am at the back to work agency tomorrow.  I have been there 3 months. I was referred to one by the Job Centre after I had officially been a Job Seeker for a year. I was then told it was a mistake. They then sent me to another one who then put me in touch with a sub contracted firm. I was given information on what they could do with me or help me with eg one to one time and support for planning next steps, Job and skills matching, help with CV, available courses and opportunities. I have received no help or information at all!!!! I am just a pawn in this game where someone gets money for me being on their books. The agency staff are quite honest and have revealed that they have too many people on their books and can not afford the time and support for individuals so find they can not meet their own targets. I was told they can not in fact do a deal at all for me. I have spoken to a few others who are due to leave as they have been with them for 12 months. They have said they have done nothing other than sit on a pc looking at Job sites. I have complained about this to JC adviser. She has put this in writing and will inform me of outcome. She says that they do not request feed back from service users and people are so worried about loosing their Benefits that they shut up and put up, jumping through as many hoops as they are required to do. I guess I better make sure I have all the information with me. Evidence of all the Jobs I have applied for in the past two weeks. Names, Companies, Phone numbers and outcomes etc.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Jobless. TV programme

I watched part of a TV programme last night about families who have recently lost their Jobs.
It was different to the the ones usually shown on prime time and this one was on late. After all who wants to know about  this???
It did highlight some of the difficulties families face adjusting to unemployment and the lack of vacancies available.
eg claiming Benefits and the amount of time it takes for them to get processed only to find that the amount allowed comes nowhere close to being able to manage everyday living costs.The  Law says a single person NEEDS £ 65.45 per week TO LIVE ON. I would like to know where they get this amount from.
Some of the people felt angry to the fact they have paid into this system and yet get little in return when facing difficult times. Things that people may just take for granted in everyday life such as  a Car, Shopping ( food ) School meals, Public transport,  heating and electricity Suddenly become a main focus as you are forced to make really difficult decisions as to which ones to cut back on.
I hope that If nothing else it may go towards changing peoples views on what they think about people out of work and on Benefits. Some think it is a lifestyle choice. Thought by those with well paid Jobs usually. If they are unfortunate to lose their Job and have to experience it  for real then would soon realise the word choice has gone altogether .Life style, well you don't have any life, just an existence.
Anyway I have just returned home. I am part way through a Training course and I am hoping all of this Training and Courses will help with my CV. If nothing else then I can at least keep myself active and take up any opportunities to gain Skills and experience in as many varied roles as possible.
Hoping that a Job is just around the corner.

Saturday, 19 March 2011 site

Looking on the Job site tonight.  There is not a lot of new vacancies on there.
The ones I have applied for in the last few days have not yet sent an automated response.
It seems that most of the Jobs are usually placed by an external agency .( I say this as it is not always possible to post your CV as an attachment and the Job advertised is in the name of another firm ). The receiver blocks them. It must be after they receive a certain amount.

It is a bit difficult as the Employer only usually gives one way to Apply. Email

They don't usually give an alternative.

Also I have recently applied for Jobs in our local paper.
One requested own hand written letter, others gave a phone number or you could  request an applicatiuon.

  • Sent off  my letter for one.....Admin in an Office. No response yet
  • Sent off for application for another ......For a  housing authority.   No application has arrived.
  • After I rang yet another, I am told the position has been filled.......Hire Shop  .This makes me wonder as it has only just been advertised.
Well we will have a look tomorrow

Follow up of Job

Applied for a Job two weeks ago, I saw it in a window in  Town. When I went in  the lady took some details.
She asked for a CV which I took in the next morning as the Manager would be in.
The Manager  told me the Job would not just be at the back of a till and that there was a lot of work involved.

I told her I don't mind hard work . Only to be told that in fact she had taken two people on and that I should come back past the shop in 2 weeks and if the Jobs are still in the window it's because the people she took on are not suitable. Any way been in today asked about the Jobs and she says she has people in on a trial.
I mentioned this place to my adviser yesterday and it turns out there is always some Job advertised.
It is just a small shop and only about two staff.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Job Seeking

Been to Job Centre today 12.40 to sign.  Had to provide 6 jobs I'd applied for.Was a message with my details as I had complained about the back to work agency that I was refered to, as I go every 2 weeks and just sit at the pc for 2 1/2 hour looking at Job sites..Do not deliver service that was told I would get. So had to have dicussion with adviser about this(upstairs)

Was telephoned by adviser re possible job, up to 20 weeks .Gave me some hope.
Rang number no answer .  Tried 4 times I left a message.

Welcome to my Diary of a Jobseeker

Hello I am 36 and currently Unemployed. I am doing this Blog to share my experiences and feelings, both positive and negative in my quest to gain full time employment.  In the past I have had many jobs in factories, pubs, shops and with cleaning agencies.  I have two children, one at college and working part- time and one at school with a paper round.  I have always done voluntary work in schools and for community organisations.  I left school at 14 when my parents split up and started work in a factory when I was 15. I had no formal qualifications but have since taken up training opportunities that have been accessible to me.  The jobs I have had have not been very rewarding but up until recent times were more easy to find.  Now even rubbish jobs are scarce in this area.  I become very upset when people look down on those who are unemployed and dismiss lightly the problems that we face.  I hope my blog will shed light on the difficulties and the issues that unemployed workers face in 21st Century Britain.  People who have never had to deal with the employment services and their outsourced off shoots do not understand what we have to go through.  I hope my blog will help to give an insight