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A Visit To The Job Center - Dear God !

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Guest skullingtonjoe
To anyone wanting to claim benefits it's important to A. know the system beforehand! B. To project yourself in a certain manner. I claimed JSA for 6 months after finishing UNI. For me signing on was like a social occasion bumping into friends from school and my old estate, happy times! :lol:

Tip#1: Aged <30 dress in Streetwear - tracksuit & trainers, Aged >30 wear an eclectic mix of randomness i.e blue denim jeans, black shoes (preferably scuffed) and white socks! Remember: It's all about perception, if the Job Centre Plus monkey sat behind the desk thinks they're better than you that's half the battle ;)

And whatever you do, don`t turn up in paint-stained clothing!! :lol::lol:

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For what its worth, I've worked in recruitment for many years. She sounds like exactly the sort of person I would look for on behalf of one of my clients. And with the greatest of respect to the OP I would advise her at interview to lose the helper, as he is pointing her in the wrong direction.

She needs to focus on finding work, not scratch around for a few measly quid. She has worked all her life, by taking her to the benefits centre the OP has probably caused her more anxiety than is necessary.

"Well meaning but misguided and muddleheaded" is how I usually describe these helpers to the candidates I interview. Too many times I have seen people like this lady go from being a happy hardworking employee who never miss a days work to someone who fails to adjust to life outside of the company theyve been made redundant from. She needs positive people around her - not navel gazers. Ive lost count of the number of Cvs Ive seen where someone worked for 20 years without a break but nothing for the last 2-3 years. This happens whemn the economy is growing, so she has to be even more on her mettle right now.

This lady needs a few positives. Someone to work through her cv with her. This will be something she has probably never done, and can be done badly by people who do them all the time. But by focussing on her key strengths and achievements (no matter how small) she will be putting on a positive outlook rather than the navel gazing introspection that comes with wondering "what the fvck am i doing here?" when sat in a job centre surrounded by human scum. It will also get her over the hurdle of compiling her cv - at this stage that will be something she is afraid of.

Never come across anyone like you when I've used recruitment agencies. Do you really exist. It's a shame that your positive attitude and obvious aptitude is not more widespread in recruitment.

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Indded, drawing all her cash and paying off debt would be a bad move if she still has debt left over.

But if she has no cash she will qualify for more benefits, income support. income based JSA, Mortgage interest benefit, Council Tax benefit, free school din dins, prescriptions etc the value of which would outstrip he meagre interest she could earn off £30k savings. As for the rest tof the debt...if she cant service it she will have to do what the all the others are doing.

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I think that is probably the most unhelpful advice I have ever heard on this subject.

That's our Hamish for you.

Neither is the only appropriate setting.

I could suggest a few alternatives. :P

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At the moment system is even more of a farce than usual.. It doesn't give a monkeys about you, if you are over 25 and a professional. For instance, as far as I'm aware of, there isn't a simple way of getting your CV checked. Sounds like a simple thing, where a well written CV can be make or break for many people - especially if you've been in a job for many years, and haven't need to change it. To get any sort of help, you have to sign up to a job club (after six months out of work), that you have to attend for twice a week for 26 weeks.

Apparently a scheme was brought in, in April to help all people unemployed for 6 months plus to sign up for courses with the local college (full time for two weeks, otherwise they stop your benefit) or a part-time course. Colleges and job centres had no idea about this scheme - the government just pushed this on local job centres and colleges without giving them any knowledge about the scheme. The courses are extremely limited as most of them start in September, so you have to wait months to even get on a course. You may even have a job by the time the course starts.

I think there should be much more help for those who get off their back-sides and try and help themselves looking for a job, even if its part time (under 16 hours). At the moment, JC+ will not deduct the first fiver of your benefit, but then its matched pound for pound to your "wages". If they said "right, if you work 15 hours a week (minimum wage or whatever), you can still claim half or three quarters of your JSA". I think that would encourage more people to do even some work - as at the moment, there isn't any incentive to do any legal work (i.e you tell them about it) whilst on the dole. Some people say, sod um, don't tell um, but I dont really want to go to court for benefit fraud. I'd probably be more heavily punished than these bankers have been.

Just dont, what ever you do, is to say that you do voluntary work that isnt arranged by the job centre. They can suspend your claim at a moments notice and expect you to live on fresh air.

Edited by zagreb78

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It's her own damn fault for not understanding the rules of claiming JSA. Honest and hardworking gets you nowhere, she had to hide her savings, ideally 6 months before claiming, ideally in gold :lol:

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You should never admit having savings to any government body....they can't check and anyone who says differently is full of poop. Hide your money in savings accounts and have a general account with a float of just £500.00...the tax man won't find out believe me. I have several off shore accounts where I hold all my savings and I spread the risk so I'm covered by the EU scheme.

This is not entirely true. Any UK savings account that pays tax gets reported to the Inland Revenue by the banks. So if you pay little tax and declare low earnings and the Inland revenue see that all of a sudden you are paying a large amount of tax on your savings you will be flagged up on their radar.

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Tell her to go to her doctor and get signed off for stress.

Upon getting the sicknote apply for sickness benefit or whatever its called these days, and get her to be sparce with the truth ... you can be pretty sure that the JSA claims and Sickness benefit claims go to completely different buildings and army's of staff as this is how Gordons created so many jobs in the last 12 years.

Problem solved, poor mare cant be to bright being 4 years from retirement with that much mortgage ... unless its worth a few hundred thousand of course.

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No, im deadly serious. Do you really think people would choose to employ someone who can take a year off work, that I have to keep their job open for them. Even though by the time they come back they have probably forgot how to do everything. AND I probably have to pay over the odds to employ a temp to do their role as well.

Or was your comment re the dolly bird on the reception?

No, my comment was related to you not employing women of breeding age! So you'd rule out all women aged between 20-40?

The very sad thing is this is a common view shared mainly by your fellow male employers, but female employers too.

Women having children and working is so common-place, why is it not just seen as the whole employment process. That there is a VERY good chance that your employee will need leave, so is factored in before the employment process has begun. The extra cost to this process should be the recruitment and training of a temporory staff. Of course this will only be worth it if you have chosen the right candidate for the position in the first place and that her added value to the buseness is worth the extra cost.

I have discriminated against women and men too, but not for this reason. I ran a landscape and gardening business for a number of years (before I had kids). I would only employ men for the landscaping aspect, and mainly women for the gardening.

Hauling 25k bags of cement and stone slabs is no job for even the 'ardest of women. Even being muscularly strong, our hands and joints are too small to do this over a prolonged period. (my hands are still not right 3 years on).

However women made better gardeners. They were a lot more carefull with pruning, planting, weeding etc and seemed quicker to learn the difference between a plant and a weed.

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Calm down, Nick, no one is saying she should not do all of the things you suggest. Bet it does your head in to think that there are people (who, me?) who can game the system so as to be on the sick in one country, claiming unemployed in another and living the life of Reilly in a third, eh? :P

No. I accept that there will always be an element of society that has no ambition or work ethic. But the lady described in this thread is oviously made of sterner stuff.

What really does my head in is the ineffective help/advice these people get. Generally speaking the job centres are staffed by morons giving the worst possible advice that would only serve to further disenchant the job seeker.

No one seems to have acknowledged the problem that has been widespread in this country for a long time. People made redundant from a job after a long service (15+ years) find it very difficult to adapt to life outside of that company. We all know that someone serving in the army can become institutionalised and find it dificult to adapt to civvy street. People that are looking for a job for the first time in 15-20 years have the same fears, difficulties and anxieties. The worst thing about my job is to see the massive number of regular people who fail to adapt after redundancy - for the want of a bit of sound positive advice.

For example, in the early part of this year the industry I work in took a hell of a hit. I am based in the west mids and industry here was the hardest hit in the country.

Bearing in mind that companies get help from recruitment and employment agencies when they are too busy to recruit effectively themsleves, it was no surprise that a lot of our competitors closed their local office or were taken over.

I found myself doing what the job centre should have been doing. I was giving advice to people that I couldnt find work for and had been badly advised by the JC. Literally hundreds of people came to speak to me and my colleagues on the advice of the job centre. Get out and register with every agency is what they were told.

The ones that came to see me were advised that the world hadnt stopped dead, but a lot of companies were not using agencies as their business levels were lower than before and they could cope without our help. However a significant number of local businesses were currently recruiting but doing it in-house. I advised people to apply directly to the companies that could use their skills. I also showed them how to find these companies as well as how to improve their CV so that the hiring manager had a compelling reason to see that candidate.

None of this advice was given out by the job centres. The JCs did go through a significant amount of recruiting of new advisers to help with the increase in their workload. I know of a few candidates that were successful - I honestly cannot think of people less suitable to give the advice that is really needed.

All of this is exactly why people like the lady described by the OP are being sold short. I wouldnt expect the OP to know whats best for someone in the lady's position, but the advisers at the job centre certainly should.

Meanwhile, I expect that over the next few years I will have a plentiful supply of candidates that had a solid and successful work history until late 08/early 09 but have failed to find or hold down work since. Not because the work isnt there, but because they have been advised to adopt desperation techniques and apply for anything and everything instead of concentrating on what they are good at.

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Guest skullingtonjoe
At the moment system is even more of a farce than usual.. It doesn't give a monkeys about you, if you are over 25 and a professional. For instance, as far as I'm aware of, there isn't a simple way of getting your CV checked. Sounds like a simple thing, where a well written CV can be make or break for many people - especially if you've been in a job for many years, and haven't need to change it. To get any sort of help, you have to sign up to a job club (after six months out of work), that you have to attend for twice a week for 26 weeks.

Apparently a scheme was brought in, in April to help all people unemployed for 6 months plus to sign up for courses with the local college (full time for two weeks, otherwise they stop your benefit) or a part-time course. Colleges and job centres had no idea about this scheme - the government just pushed this on local job centres and colleges without giving them any knowledge about the scheme. The courses are extremely limited as most of them start in September, so you have to wait months to even get on a course. You may even have a job by the time the course starts.

I think there should be much more help for those who get off their back-sides and try and help themselves looking for a job, even if its part time (under 16 hours). At the moment, JC+ will not deduct the first fiver of your benefit, but then its matched pound for pound to your "wages". If they said "right, if you work 15 hours a week (minimum wage or whatever), you can still claim half or three quarters of your JSA". I think that would encourage more people to do even some work - as at the moment, there isn't any incentive to do any legal work (i.e you tell them about it) whilst on the dole. Some people say, sod um, don't tell um, but I dont really want to go to court for benefit fraud. I'd probably be more heavily punished than these bankers have been.

Just dont, what ever you do, is to say that you do voluntary work that isnt arranged by the job centre. They can suspend your claim at a moments notice and expect you to live on fresh air.

Too right unfortunately. Doing voluntary work without telling the `jobbie` really is a case of `the road to hell being paved with good intentions` :(

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I have more than one current account for just this purpose (3 actually). May seem like over-kill, but it leaves my main current account free of large transactions.

Snap. Me and the wife have a 'shadow banking system' from whose accounts we have never made or recieved payments to our other accounts. If money needs to be transferred then we use the cash machine and then pay into the other account manually (in differing amounts + over time).

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Never come across anyone like you when I've used recruitment agencies. Do you really exist. It's a shame that your positive attitude and obvious aptitude is not more widespread in recruitment.

I think you have identified the difference between doing the job properly and doing it cheaply.

Alas, many of our competitors trade on the (ahem) USP of price, and many buyers think they want that. Also, many buying decision makers in my industry buy from attractive members of the opposite sex. The industry at large has responded by employing attractive sales people. It doesnt matter if they understand recruitment, sales or even how to sell recruitment. Furthermore, it is definitely not necessary to understand your clients business.

Its often a case of 'I will try and say a smaller number than my competitor'.

So, in a way, the recruitment insdustry gives clients what they say they want, but fails them miserably in the long run.

I am ashamed of the industry but proud of the work my team carry out.

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I'm pretty sure that paying down debt is the one thing you can do with savings and not be penalised for by the social. I think there has been a muppet on the other side of the desk.

Edit :spelling

Edited by zebbedee

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£29,000 in savings

Car on finance £12,000

Credit card debts/Loans outstanding £20,000 approx

That looks like £3,000 of Debt to me?

It sums up why Banks were making £Billions until the crash. Pay out 2% on savings, charge 8% on Car Finance and 19.9% on Credit Cards.

Sounds unemployable to me.

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This thread has made me chuckle. Do people honestly believe that people go to Job Centres in order to get help finding work? Just to clear it up the function of the Job Centre is to attempt to cut off whatever benefits a claimant might receive. People go there in order to frustrate this aim and continue receiving those benefits.

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She was in a pretty bad state before we went into, she was a wreck when we left. The system does not work in its present form to provide a safety net for those who have just lost their jobs.

It's a safety net for those that need a safety net, she has 29k savings and property - why does she need a safety net (yet)?

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Just being honest. Women know they are unemployable now with all the pregnancy benefits they get dont they?

Regardless of the accuracy of this statement, I really don't think a women of 56 years of age is going to have a problem on that score!

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Guest skullingtonjoe
This thread has made me chuckle. Do people honestly believe that people go to Job Centres in order to get help finding work? Just to clear it up the function of the Job Centre is to attempt to cut off whatever benefits a claimant might receive. People go there in order to frustrate this aim and continue receiving those benefits.

LOL - the job centre is pretty damn useless that`s 100% sure. Find a job there? Yeah right!!! :lol:

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Guest skullingtonjoe
I think there has been a muppet on the other side of the desk.

Edit :spelling

Nothing new there - I just want to know who`s playing `Kermit` in Jobcentre plus offices! :blink::lol::rolleyes:

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Guest skullingtonjoe
It's a safety net for those that need a safety net, she has 29k savings and property - why does she need a safety net (yet)?

From herself? It was pretty dozy declaring the savings and all that. Still, some people are under the guise that telling the truth is the best policy!! <_<

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No. I accept that there will always be an element of society that has no ambition or work ethic. But the lady described in this thread is oviously made of sterner stuff.

What really does my head in is the ineffective help/advice these people get. Generally speaking the job centres are staffed by morons giving the worst possible advice that would only serve to further disenchant the job seeker.

No one seems to have acknowledged the problem that has been widespread in this country for a long time. People made redundant from a job after a long service (15+ years) find it very difficult to adapt to life outside of that company. We all know that someone serving in the army can become institutionalised and find it dificult to adapt to civvy street. People that are looking for a job for the first time in 15-20 years have the same fears, difficulties and anxieties. The worst thing about my job is to see the massive number of regular people who fail to adapt after redundancy - for the want of a bit of sound positive advice.

For example, in the early part of this year the industry I work in took a hell of a hit. I am based in the west mids and industry here was the hardest hit in the country.

Bearing in mind that companies get help from recruitment and employment agencies when they are too busy to recruit effectively themsleves, it was no surprise that a lot of our competitors closed their local office or were taken over.

I found myself doing what the job centre should have been doing. I was giving advice to people that I couldnt find work for and had been badly advised by the JC. Literally hundreds of people came to speak to me and my colleagues on the advice of the job centre. Get out and register with every agency is what they were told.

The ones that came to see me were advised that the world hadnt stopped dead, but a lot of companies were not using agencies as their business levels were lower than before and they could cope without our help. However a significant number of local businesses were currently recruiting but doing it in-house. I advised people to apply directly to the companies that could use their skills. I also showed them how to find these companies as well as how to improve their CV so that the hiring manager had a compelling reason to see that candidate.

None of this advice was given out by the job centres. The JCs did go through a significant amount of recruiting of new advisers to help with the increase in their workload. I know of a few candidates that were successful - I honestly cannot think of people less suitable to give the advice that is really needed.

All of this is exactly why people like the lady described by the OP are being sold short. I wouldnt expect the OP to know whats best for someone in the lady's position, but the advisers at the job centre certainly should.

Meanwhile, I expect that over the next few years I will have a plentiful supply of candidates that had a solid and successful work history until late 08/early 09 but have failed to find or hold down work since. Not because the work isnt there, but because they have been advised to adopt desperation techniques and apply for anything and everything instead of concentrating on what they are good at.

That's a good post, Nick. Hope things pick up for everyone. (even I can only take so long on the doss before cracking up!)

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Indded, drawing all her cash and paying off debt would be a bad move if she still has debt left over. Most businesses fail because of cashflow problems, not profit problems. She is right to keep a float of cash. Once the wolves are at your door, it's all downhill. If you can pay them, you can buy time (and you are buying because it costs big time). It's better than the alternative though.

The job market is indeed grim and although I have been hiring lately, I almost feel I am exploiting people because I am getting people with superb skills at close to minimum wage. That's the way the market is though and business is tough. I hope personally to have some kind of bonus scheme for my employees tied to gross profits in some way.

The fact is that for any basic minimum wage job I advertise, I get over 200 CV's and get to take my pick.

Sad but true and it's only going to get worse.

Very true - ive just taken on a guy as 'admin' - MSC in computers etc - hes now building me databases, doing internet switchy things, and designing websites! His CV also mentin Cisco which I understand to be pretty near the top of the list of hard stuff on computers. Wish I neeeded it so i could exploit it!

All for 14k a year.

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Tip#1: Aged <30 dress in Streetwear - tracksuit & trainers, Aged >30 wear an eclectic mix of randomness i.e blue denim jeans, black shoes (preferably scuffed) and white socks! Remember: It's all about perception, if the Job Centre Plus monkey sat behind the desk thinks they're better than you that's half the battle ;)

I'd second this. When I had to sign on I just acted as thick as possible. The monkey opposite me thought they were better than me, didn't feel threatened, and gave me every tip going on what to write on forms etc. Never had any hassle and often got jumped up the signing queue as they knew they wouldn't get any hassle from me.

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I'd second this. When I had to sign on I just acted as thick as possible. The monkey opposite me thought they were better than me, didn't feel threatened, and gave me every tip going on what to write on forms etc. Never had any hassle and often got jumped up the signing queue as they knew they wouldn't get any hassle from me.

Absolutely. Keep the head down and act dumb. Any initiative you show could end up costing you money so forget it. Just plead ignorance at every opportunity.

Just accept that the system is not there to assist you back into employment in any way. I signed on briefly when I left uni in the 90s. Got a decent grad job pretty quickly, but for a month or two the housing benefit and JSA did the trick. File in, claim to be actively looking for work, sign the form and disappear for a couple of weeks. For those actually in need of some assistance in getting back into employment the system is useless. Bit of a shambles, really.

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