Archive for the ‘jobs’ Category

Unemployed and actively seeking work?

August 17, 2009

I think I’ll have to first speak to Jobseekers Direct on a hypothetical basis, telling them that I am thinking about going back to university in October and find out if and when I would have to sign off. They will presumably make a note of my enquiry on the system (or at least they ought to).

Based on what they advise me, I will then approach either the Job Centre Plus personal adviser or the consultant at Employer Engagement on a hypothetical or actual basis.

I hope this isn’t dishonest – obviously I would value a second opinion. Should I take this hypothetical approach or just be upfront about it?

(I know that I will have to sign off my claim at the end of September. The issue is whether I can still continue claiming between now and then if I continue to apply for jobs and go for interviews and be prepared to take up any work before the end of September, with a view to leaving the job when the course starts.)

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For your perusal…New Deal For Graduates

August 11, 2009

Hey! I have talked about New Deal for Graduates (or New Deal for Professionals and Managers to give it its proper title) and I thought you might be interested to actually see the workbook which claimants are supposed to complete within the 13 weeks. (Apologies for some of the answers being completed.)

There are almost 100 pages but it would great if you could provide any feedback about the workbook.

Benefit Busters

August 8, 2009

Word up! There’s a documentary series starting Channel 4 on 20 August about the government’s welfare to work programme, featuring everyone’s favourite New Deal provider Action for Employment.

Is this the Holy Grail of JSA?

August 5, 2009

I finally had my initial assessment with Employer Engagement regarding a place on the New Deal for Professionals programme. The consultant/adviser that I met was very understanding and encouraging. She clearly knew what she was doing and knew the right questions to ask. The great thing about this particular programme is that it involves a 13 week work placement, minimum of a couple of days per week. It’s up to me to provide them with a list of small to medium sized companies for whom I would be interested in working. They then contact the companies and to secure a placement. Even better, I can save time by using the voluntary work that I am currently doing as the “work placement”. In other words, for 13 weeks or so, the Job Centre Plus Service is precisely tailored to my needs.

Going through the motions

July 31, 2009

Since accepting an offer to do a PhD this autumn, my relationship with job hunting has changed. No longer am I motivated to invest all my time in this relationship with a view to getting something out of it. And yet, it is difficult to let go of the guilt associated with not job hunting after ten months or so of committment. Any attention I go give to this relationshup is simply going through the motions, that it is something I ought to be doing without really knowing why.  This isn’t helped by continuing to claim Job Seekers Allowance until the start of the PhD. I have to show the government that I am looking for work when in a couple of months I know I will be signing off anyway.

Give me a break!

July 23, 2009

Despite my positive posts about Job Centre Plus lately, it is still fundamentally inflexible. I was suppose to have an “initial assessment” for the Graduate New Deal programme yesterday but had to reschedule due to a job interview (yeah, me). Apparently, Employer Engagement, the course provider, only hold initial assessments every two weeks. That’s not a problem. But today I have been advised by my “personal adviser” at the Job Centre Plus that I am running out of time before I have to be booked onto a New Deal 13-week course. If I haven’t been booked onto the Graduate New Deal course by the deadline, I will be booked onto the next New Deal course, regardless of its suitability. Come on, give me a break! It’s not like I am resisting New Deal. I have accepted that it is something I have to do and both my personal adviser and myself agree that Graduate New Deal is the best option. So, if I am lucky enough to get another job interview which clashes with my “initial assessment”, and as a result, have not been booked onto the programme, is it just tough shit?

Something for Jobseeking professionals

July 22, 2009

Those of you you have visited this site before will know that I have had major issues with Job Centre Plus, namely that they do not serve jobseekers from professional or middle class backgrounds. Well, in the space of the last two weeks, I have discovered four different initiatives that are aimed at white collar workers.

Employer Engagement are running New Deal for Graduates (or New Deal for Professionals and Management, as my personal adviser at the job centre called it). It’s only available after you have been claiming Job Seekers Allowance for six months and have completed the two week New Deal Gateway course. It’s a combination of job hunting skills and a 13 week work placement from which there is a 60-80% chance of job.

I picked up a leaflet at my local job centre for a programme run by GR Law for lawyers and legal staff, finance staff, professional services support staff, job seekers looking for work internationally and/or salary earners of £25K to £300K. It’s not advertised on the GR Law website, so I assume it’s by referral by Job Centre Plus.

I also picked up a leaflet in my local job centre for Response to Redundancy. A google search reveals quite a few entries so I think it is a larger project. Also, you can contact them directly without referral from Job Centre Plus.

Finally, there some useful online career tools available from Careerplan4me (yes, I know catchy URL). I clicked on a banner advert and was taken to a website, where I requested details online. I then received a letter to be shown to my Jobcentre adviser, who would then fill in a form and register you so that you can access for free. I have not proceeded with this service, so I don’t know what tools are available.

From their comfort of their own homes…

July 13, 2009

In true spirit of global communication, and the risk of sounding like a right wing bigot or Daily Mail reader, foreigners do not even have to come to this country to take British jobs – they can do it from the “comfort” of their own land.

For clarification, I am not white or working class. I am British and Asian and middle class. And I have personally seen the effect of this outsourcing of skilled jobs halfway across the world for the sake of cost. At my previous employer, it was the legal administration team who were made redundant and their jobs were carried out by qualified lawyers in India. I have previously written about this concept of offshore outsourcing. Whilst I can see the benefits from a business point of view, it is just wrong from human point of view.