Archive for Job Seekers Allowance

Mini-rant #2, JSA

Posted in Rants, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on 12/07/2013 by willsalt

Good Evening.

Are any of you currently on JSA? For those of you who are unaware for whatever reason, that’s Job Seekers allowance, commonly referred to as the doll. Unemployment benefits so you can not-starve-to-death while searching for work. Provided to the unemployed, assuming they’re deemed to be actively searching for work.

I’ve been on this twice, for a few weeks before I went to college (between being rejected by universities because I’m too lazy to pass exams and being accepted by a college as a last resort) and I’m back on it now that the college course has ended.

The first time, nearly two years ago, they’d talk to you about your particular situation, and come up with something that’s supposed to be tailor made for you. This however seems to have changed somewhat. Rather than a case by case analysis they’re merely stamping the same thing on everyone, with some rather odd requirements.

There’s a 90 minute travel time for jobs, which in theory I’m not opposed to, but it’s hardly easy to measure, and frankly would be pretty damn inconvenient if got one at that end of the scale. A journey that’s 90 minutes at 13:00 on a weekday could easily be two or two and a half hours come rush hour. A name I don’t think is overly appropriate, while people are rushing they’re not moving as much as they would be at other times, maybe we should call it “frantically not moving really more like two hours”, or is that long winded?

Then there’s an understandable you “must apply for any job you are capable of”. Well, who judges if you’re capable? I’m academically qualified to be a warehouse operative lugging boxes around, but I’m certainly not capable, unless they’re empty boxes. That said, most of these jobs ask for experience in the environment, well I have no experience in warehousing, so does that mean I can’t apply for those?

Then they say “You must apply for three jobs a week”. Well, in theory that’s easy to. I can grab the first three off the list. But I don’t, you’re expected to only apply for things you could get. For me, that rules out any job that asks for prior experience, which is pretty much everything on the listings I’ve seen.

Well, this quite obviously leads to people applying for jobs they’re not appropriate for, and who does that help? Well employers have to sift through the inappropriate applications that they just dismiss, and so increases hassle for them. Job seekers are forced to apply for things they won’t get or aren’t entirely appropriate if they want to keep, you know, eating. That combined with the “you must accept any job you’re offered” no doubt results in more people ending up in inappropriate jobs, and ending up unemployed again within a few months.

I guess in a way it’s good for the Job Centre people, they can say “look how many jobs our job seekers are applying for.” And skip over the fact they’re grossly inappropriate, and the fact relatively few are actually getting hired.

Although that last part’s probably bad for them if people notice, or at least not exceptionally good…

As a job seeker, I still apply for the few appropriate jobs, but if that happens to be less than three a week, I have to waste my efforts applying for things I know I won’t get to make sure I can, you know, live.

That seems like a slightly flawed system that they’ve moved on to, at least in my mind.

Thanks for reading, ta-ta.

Love Willski

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