Posts Tagged ‘Job Seekers Allowance’

New Deal for Graduates

August 14, 2009

I met up with the consultant from Employer Engagement for a practice interview. She gave some positive feedback and I found out more about what was involved in New Deal for Graduates.

There is a work placement of up to 24 hours a week but, since I am already volunteering of my own accord, they have no problem with using that as the work placement. Once every two weeks, I meet up with the consultant and there are exercises to do at home. Essentially, this is something that I can live with – no major difference to my “job hunting”, continue volunteering and no pointless courses.

Oh, I also learnt that I receive Job Seekers Allowance as well as the Training Allowance. I clarified this with the personal adviser at the job centre. He confirmed that even though the main part of the programme is a work placement, it is still considered a course, so a training allowance is given as well.

Employer Engagement are based in Brighton, so when they come up to South London, they use an room in the offices of Career Development Group (CDG). So I have had the opportunity to observe another New Deal programme. This is what I saw – people coming and going as they please, people sitting round and chatting, very little job search and token classes. In fact, it seemed very much like a student common room than the offices of a “welfare to work” provider.

When I was doing the two week gateway course, A4E were a little bit more disciplined but is was effectively the same sort of atmosphere. Employer Engagement aside, if this is what welfare to work is all about, then the government really needs to reconsider its policy.

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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.

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.

Back to the Job Centre

May 14, 2009

Having been unemployed and signing on for almost six months, I was put onto the New Deal programme, initially for a two week introductory course. I use the word “course” in the most liberal sense possibly – there was two days of CV writing and interview skills and the rest of time was spent on the computers, going through papers and looking for jobs. I ended up having an argument with my “Personal Adviser” (again used in the most liberal sense) when I wanted to some extra voluntary work.  All he could say was that those were the rules. This led me to rushing out and getting some casual work as a telephone researcher, so that I could have the flexibility to look for jobs and undertake voluntary work as well as have an income. Of course, after about three weeks, the work dried up. After about another month, I crawled back to the Job Centre, tail between my legs, to sign back on. And off course, I start again from where I left off – another pointless programme.