In Preparation

Posted: 15.07.09 in Blogging

It’s quite funny really. After six months of unemployment, Jobcentre Plus will send you on a “13 week course”. Putting you on such a “training programme” gets you off their books for the time being, and they give you about £15 a week extra. While you are on there, you are no longer regarded as unemployed as such: government figures on unemployment for July will exclude me.

I have an interview next week, which requires hotel stays and long train journeys again. It’s cost me about £150 so far. JC+ are, of course, unwilling to help remunerate that cost, for it is not a job I am applying for… it’s a course. Annoying.

Talking of annoying… and of this 13 week course…

Before I started, I was volunteering at a local secondary school, getting good quality experience. I had enrolled on two short courses to get decent qualifications. I was sending up to six application forms a week and getting a rather good ratio of applications to interviews. Now I’ve started, I’m not able to carry on my volunteer work, and the placement in exactly the same place doing exactly the same thing they have meant to have organised has not materialised. I have been told I cannot attend those two courses and must do one rather pointless one instead, because they can get double-funding. I attend this course for about 30 hours a week, doing six hours of “jobsearch”: which actually prevents me from filling in application forms.

When you add communist protesters camping outside, weekly bomb scares and fire alerts, crying staff and violent outbursts, it’s not a great place to be. Having said that, I’ve been allocated to a group that’s actually quite nice. But I still feel I would have been much better placed carrying on what I was doing off my own back.

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