So what now?
I really don’t know where to start on this. I’m a long term unemployed person who’s likely to be caught up in this new government scheme, but I can’t see from looking, even where I to believe the rhetoric, how it could possibly help me.
- I have more than 20 years of work experience and so the lack of work experience can’t be my problem.
- I have a degree in an IT related subject, which means it’s not likely that they can offer me any useful training. In fact I’ve asked, and they’ve turned me down for training courses because they aren’t officially sanctioned ones.
- I spend between 5 and 6 hours a week volunteering, so it’s unlikely to be that I can’t work with people. I help teach IT to adult learners.
So putting me on their work-experience (aka work for £2.40/hour so that employers don’t need to pay someone a living wage) programme isn’t going to increase my relevant experience. The intensive training, unless it changes from basic literacy and numeracy into something useful in finding work, won’t help me, and since each visit to the JCP takes 40 minutes each way and costs me about £3, then that’s 7.5 hours a week (unless they want weekends as well) and a cost to the taxpayer (assuming they cover costs) of £15/week for no benefit other than ensuring I am there where I can’t do what I would normally.
I’ve been unemployed for three years now, and regularly apply for between 40 and 60 vacancies per day. In the few (and they are few) interviews I get — even getting a response to the application is rare —, I’m told that I was their second or third choice for the job, or that because I’ve taken lower paid jobs in the past, then I shouldn’t expect to get a job earning more than that. Every so often, the JCP sends me to an expert who can get me into work 100%, but who, after speaking to me, never contacts me again.
So, I’ve been looking into courses that I can do at colleges, but while everyone tells me these will be free or subsidised, the JCP still tell me I could lose benefits for doing them since I wouldn’t be available for work. This is of course, different to what I was previously told, but times change.
I expect part of the problem is age and/or gender, but nobody will ever admit that.