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Work Programme leavers face Job Centre threats and bullying

Those leaving the Work Programme can expect very little help and a great deal of bullying and intimidation

As the first of the unemployed begin to leave the government’s failed Work Programme, sceptical about returning to the tender clutches of Job Centre Plus, those who have been unemployed for years are now reporting that they are being bullied by Job Centre Plus staff who have been ordered to be “tough and uncompromising”.

The failure of the government’s Work Programme has become almost legendary. Despite monumental efforts to spin the policy as being successful, the fact still remains that less than 5% of those who have been on the Work Programme have ever found and kept a job.

TheOpinionSite.org suggests that no one should be surprised at this vindictive approach that is sadly typical of this Conservative led government which seems to delight in gaining political capital from victimising ex-offenders, those over 60, those on the sex offenders register (now over 50,000 people) and the disabled.

Indeed, the new Job Centre Plus policy – announced by minister Mark Hoban – is symbolic of a government that is only interested in helping the young, has no interest at all in those who have strayed from the extraordinarily narrow path laid down by the current and previous administrations and is determined to play to the middle classes in the vague and desperate hope that Conservative votes can be gained.

In a clearly politically motivated statement, Hoban said:

“The Work Programme is getting some of the hardest to help claimants into work despite a tough economic climate.

We always knew that there would be some who would require further support after the Work Programme, which is why we’re introducing this intensive and uncompromising regime.

We’ll be stepping up the pressure on claimants, who will be expected to attend the Jobcentre more frequently, with rigorous monitoring to ensure they are doing everything they can to find work.”

Claimants will be expected to undertake training (even if unnecessary), join unpaid schemes and do anything else that will make the government look good, regardless of whether it is beneficial to the long-term unemployed the government are supposed to be helping.

If claimants do not comply, they risk losing their benefits for up to 3 years; a ridiculous policy that is bound to drive some people to crime, particularly theft and burglary.

Weekly signings will become common and some people – possibly the majority – will have to visit the job centre every day; although this will produce no practical benefit to the unemployed person as each daily appointment lasts for only 10 minutes.

The government hopes that the moves will impress the voters and convince them that ministers are taking action against so called “scroungers”.

In short, those leaving the Work Programme can expect very little in the way of help and a great deal of bullying and intimidation instead.

TheOpinionSite.org contacted the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) in the hope that some light could be cast upon these extraordinary measures that are quite clearly political in nature and have nothing whatsoever to do with getting people back into work.

Regrettably, nothing sensible was forthcoming and we were referred back to Hoban’s statement with no explanation being given as to exactly how the new measures were supposed to assist people to find work.

The DWP instead spoke about “support”; the same word that is used by probation officers when they actually mean “restriction” or “control”.

However, on condition of remaining anonymous, one DWP source did tell us that the measures are in fact not so much designed to get people back into work as to make it so unpleasant for them on benefit that they will simply opt out of the benefit system altogether, even if that means turning to crime or some other way of making money in order to survive.

The source also told TheOpinionSite.org that the government was not even remotely interested in helping those over 60 to find work, principally because the likely tax take was irrelevant when compared with the amount of tax that a 24-year-old would pay over the course of their working life.

Although this may make perfectly good fiscal sense, it exposes the callous nature of the Conservative led government which David Cameron insists is a government for everyone.

Meanwhile, as usual the Liberal Democrats are intent on saying nothing.

Whilst the nasty and vindictive former (and failed) leader of the Conservative party, Iain Duncan Smith – now the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – continues his vendetta against the poor and the unemployed, Nick Clegg and his cohorts have more important things on their minds as they prepare for their summer holidays.

Conservative backbenchers, also looking forward to getting away to their holiday homes in Northern Cyprus, where they are exempt from tax, have likewise made it clear that they have no interest in the unemployed or the poor and would much sooner introduce policies which benefit their banker friends – especially those that are inclined to donate to the Conservative party.

Over the next few weeks, take a look at your local job centre and take note of the increasing number of people who, after two years of “intensive” activity on the Work Programme, are still unemployed;  not because they don’t want to work and not because they are lazy but because they either have criminal records, disabilities or are simply too old for any employer to consider as a practical possibility.

When governments start writing off hundreds of thousands of people who, often because of punitive and politically driven policies cannot find work, all those who are employed should become increasingly worried.

The new Conservative party paradigm seems therefore to be a very simple one:

“If you are working, middle-class, under 40 years of age, have a mortgage and two children, then we like you. If on the other hand you are over 60, unemployed, single, have no children and live in social housing, we not only don’t want to know you but we actually wish you didn’t exist at all.”

Nothing illustrates more the demise of “compassionate Conservatism” than the new post-Work Programme regime which – as confirmed by the DWP source who was brave enough to speak to TheOpinionSite.org – is designed not to get people back into work, not to support them in any meaningful way or sense, not to help them rejoin the community and be a productive member of society but is instead designed to make life so unpleasant for them that they would rather turn to crime and the black economy than suffer the bullying, the threats and the sheer indignity that comes with being a person that the government has turned against purely in order to secure votes at the next general election.

We know that government ministers read TheOpinionSite.org regularly. We therefore implore them to think again about the Draconian regime that faces those who, after two years on the Work Programme and two years of doing their best, are still out of work.

If any government is prepared to drive people towards crime purely for the sake of political gain, that government does not deserve to be in power.

If that same government is prepared to openly hurt those who cannot defend themselves and to do so purely for political benefit, that government not only deserves not to be in power but should expect to be in opposition for very many years, particularly if that administration’s objective is solely to make the rich richer and the poor poorer – and more submissive.

(If you or someone you know is involved with the Work Programme or if you want to discuss this and many other topics, join our exclusive Members Only Forum: http://theopinionsite.org/forumsp.html)

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150 Responses to Work Programme leavers face Job Centre threats and bullying

  1. Milo Madacky
    May 30, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Is there a way of sending the DWP to the court for violation of Human Rights ? or some other courts and if yes, how and where to start ?

    • DITTO 2017
      June 3, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      SEETEC “harass” people illegally and have totally ignored my “Cease and Desist Letter”. Solicitor has advised me I could take action against them. They used trickery and deceit (fraud) to try to get me signed into their “Contract”, and SEETEC do not Legally have any Legal Right to do this. We need to group together and use the Laws of OUR land to overturn Police State “bullying” behaviour! I did certainly NOT give SEETEC permission to do this, and at what stage does “NO” mean “NO” ?!! This is a Human Rights issue that is being totally overlooked: UK Laws are there to protect us ALL.

      In answer to Milo Madacky – YES THERE SHOULD BE A COURT TO DEAL WITH THIS – WE ALL HAVE A RIGHT TO HUMAN RIGHTS !!!

  2. Hunter
    March 8, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    The work program is a total joke I been visiting People Plus Ebbw Vale and my advisor was a lady by the name of Clair Swan who an evil bitch.

    The work program works by making profit off a claiments employment which builds a bad mentality Amount the staff and clients. I am one step ahead of the work program because as they want you to sit there for 3 hours searching for jobs when I’ve alrwadu sat down that morning as o do every morning and apply for jobs.

    In my eyes it’s a total waste of time effort and money. And Clair Swan People Plus you can fuck off ya slut.

  3. Stephen Riley
    January 3, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    I’ve got more fuel for the fire (as if you needed anymore) but I just got done with 2 years at the work programme. I cam honestly say the last time I was so belittled, patronized and talked down to was in primary school in the 1980’s.

    Most of the staff are like this (but not all of them to be fair) and I’m sure it varies on the provider up and down the country, but the worst ones are the ones that tell you that you are going to be sanctioned for something really petty with a smile on their face! Seriously all the bullies and weirdo’s you ever knew in school clearly ended up working in these places, and they still get a kick out of treating people like dirt.

    I was unemployed for a long time due to genuine health reasons. I tried hard to find a job (which I have now, a good job, that I of course found all by myself, with no help from these idiots) and I think its really unfair that people get treated this way when they are down and out of work for whatever reason.

    We can only hope these places are shut down soon. But then you would still probably get hassles from the job centre as the next government come up with an equally unfair and stupid idea or system to “help” the unemployed. Best advice – work hard to find a job on your own and stay away from these places, and never stop complaining and telling them like it is if the worst happens and you get sanctioned, you have nothing to lose anyway.

  4. gabriel
    November 28, 2016 at 11:03 am

    The work programme is a joke. Just not a funny one. And certainly not a witty one. The staff are rude, patronising, and all seem to have a Hitler complex and a grossly inflated sense of the powers they’ve been given. Anyone who believes that this programme was designed to help people to find work, is utterly deluded.
    When the Jobcentre requires you to look online for work every day, what the HELL is tghe point in the work programme making you participate in 4 hour job-search sessions? If you are looking every day, like you agreed to, then why does it take 4 hours to search through fewer than 24 hours worth of new vacancies, most of which are fake.
    Oh, that’s right…the voters are never informed that most of these vacancies that are not being filled, are not being filled because they are not real.
    At best, they are duplicates: A single vacancy that, for some reason, is being advertised under hundreds of postcodes. Then there are all the vacancies advertised on behalf of employment agencies. These may have been real once, but, once the vacancy is filled, is the advertisement removed? NO. It’s left to sit on the system for months on end. In fact, it’s often re-listed, despite the vacancy being filled.
    Then there are outright fake vacancies.
    All of this seems designed to help turn the voters against anybody who has lost their job. TV shows and the newspapers constantly ram stories about benefits scroungers down the poor, dumb voter’s throats, and the poor, dumb voters, can’t help but fall for it.
    At least there is fre tea and coffee

    • JT Smith
      December 12, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Well said Gabriel, my experience was much the same of the work programme (I didn’t get offered any tea or coffee though, despite having to listen to the over-weight staff complain about not getting enough food and drink all day!)

      On a more serious note, the way you are treated is awful, and no one cares. Interesting about the fake job vacancies – you are right about that, mostly sales “jobs” which are permanently advertised on the job sites. That’s those annoying people that hassle you when you are walking through a shopping centre to get you to switch energy providers or mobile phone companies. Yes, those horrible jobs that only suit over zealous students on part time hours. They maybe do this for a few months before moving on after realizing how bad it is.

      Remember people in the end you can only help yourself and get out of unemployment, which is easier said than done, but remember these places will never help you, they only put obstacles in your way, totally counter productive. I’m in a better job now that was of course found by myself with no help from the work programme or job centre, and I’ve never heard of anyone find a job they like with these idiots.

    • gina
      December 14, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      Hello Gabriel

      You are so right, many of these jobs do not exist. Or it is one job vacancy advertised everywhere and peopleplus will do some sort of deal to sent a number of job seekers just to make it look like they are making their targets, with no regard for the feelings of the the jobseeker.
      Sainsburys, WHsmiths, Primark…. the list goes on THEY DO NOT HAVE JOBS!

      My job advisor – who I am always polite too, now just talks to me like something that she stepped in, I am a grown mature women who is smuggling to find work because of age discrimination, I know how to look for work but she now talks to me like a dummy. Recently she told me that even people without qualifications are getting the jobs, whats wrong with me with qualifications, great if my confidence wasn’t low enough already.

      What can I do?? She has the power to say one word at the Job centre that will stop my benefits.

      I have never felt so helpless and angry in my life. Also, they push and push for you to use a hobby to go on their self-employment scheme, I nearly did it – just to get them off my back. However, can you be sure to make at least £20 a week – sounds reasonable at first but when you really look at it you could end up in some serious debt and worst still back with Peopleplus.
      I dropped out because I ended up with 3 enterprise advisors within a month – not good.

      As for getting your travel fares back for trips to the meetings and interviews, good luck, it has been a constant struggle, as they either run out of money, or the person giving it out is away or on one of his power trips.

      I am ready to take any job, I hate them so so much, and this is how they win.

      ALL THE BEST AND HAPPY XMAS TO ALL THE JOBSEEKERS OUT THERE. LOVE AND GOOD LUCK FOR 2017

      Gina

  5. Lokie Young
    November 18, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Got referred to Seetec when homeless and in temp accommodation in Dagenham. Got moved to London so could not attend the 2 week course. Seetec understood at first. I went to 4 different temp. accommodations and not having internet, I explained this to them. I use the library 4 miles away. It’s hard as kids school is so far away and take 5 hours commuting a day. Seetec have contacted me several times to ask for an update from me on my housing. I said since I am not in your area (Romford) could you refer me to someone closer. Nothing happened. So despite not attending their 2 weeks training, they are still hounding me. Now they want me to send them a weekly jobsearch and applications I make. This on top of already doing this on Universal Jobsearch. Is this legal? I said to the advisor, I need a job not time wating activities. Is this a requirement on my part even though I already submit my jobsearch history and applications on Universal Jobsearch?

  6. peter gray
    November 11, 2016 at 9:37 am

    since completing the work programme in 2013 the job job centre have pushed and pushed me to get into work in the last I have do some paid employment even though the employment each time lasted a few days the job centre are still pushing and pushing me to get in to work now they putting on my 16th scheme to get back to work and they tried to get me to doing a course I have do a number times before in this latest course I going to have to do 35 hours a week forced job search (7 hours a day 5 days a week), but I already doing job search at my local library (1hour a day 6 days a week)which I believe is sufficient enough and they also expect you to go for jobs you can’t do or want or involve walking for miles and miles. the trouble the people come up with these idea the politicians will never be in this situation so the will not know what how stressful it is.

  7. Peter Gray
    November 10, 2016 at 9:52 am

    since I left the work programme in 2013 I have had a few jobs recently many in the last 6 months and the jobcentre is pushing and pushing me to get back in to work and still classing me as long term unemployed also getting me to apply for jobs that are to far from when I live and they know I use public transport to get around and I have no intention of driving. finally they do not realise that public transport on the isle of sheppey is not ideal for travelling to and from a possible job you can obtain because when you need to change from a bus to train then train to bus you have to wait at least 30 minutes for one or thee another.

  8. ANONYMOUS
    October 27, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    I have been on job seekers for 6 years. I have learning difficulties and disabilities. I originally started seeing a disability adviser when i first started going to the job center but that stopped. I was then suppose to stay with the same person because of my disabilities but got moved from pillar to post and person to person eventually. then 2 years ago i got sent to ingeus who were to help me get a job. Well they didn’t and they just stress me out. every 6 months they change your adviser. most don’t care, they don’t care what alleviation’s they job center might have been kind enough to give you, they look at you like scum, make you apply for any jobs in the sector you are looking for even if they are beyond what you are capable of doing or beyond your travel capabilities. Many a time they have made me cry, they don’t listen to you, if you try to speak up they talk down on you more, accuse you of arguing and being insolent. they DON’T help with anything. one job interview i went to i didnt get the job but they gave me some information to take to my adviser to apply to a trust to get an apprenticeship with this organisation. so i took it to ingeus who did nothing and i get told if i don’t apply for X no of jobs a week they will report to the job center and i will have my benefits stopped. thankfully ingeus have no finished after 2 years. so i go into my job center this week only to be told now i am no longer with ingeus i now have to go from signing on once every 2 weeks to every day. I say i cant do that- they ask me why. I said i have learning disabilities. they say” well if you have a job you’d be going to work every day”. So i say yes well that will be different because id be being payed and it would be something i am comfortable doing etc and i get looked at like I’m just wanting money. So i say will i be getting help to look for job as at the moment i search and apply at home and have my parents help when i need it. they say NO we cant stand by you and help the whole time. they said you only have to come in for 2 hours a day. so i say to my adviser- you know i struggle to look for work for 1 hour every other day so how am i suppose to look for 2 hours in this office every day? i get told well you just do. I am dreading my next appointment next week when everything starts. I feel stressed, my anxiety levels are at bursting, i want to scream. i have added hours upon hours to my available hours i can work even though i have disabilities which prevent me from driving and the transport where i live can be limited on certain days or certain times of day. I get told off for not getting my jobs when i do get an interview and they look at me like you need to do better, and when they hear this down to the hours they complain i need to be more flexible. I’m as darn flexible as i can be. i cant apply for or take a job i cant get to in the morning or home from at night. I JUST WANT TO SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hector
      November 2, 2016 at 10:29 am

      If it makes you feel any better Mr/Ms Anonymous, you are not alone. Everyone on the work programme wants to scream. I could go on forever about how bad it is but I’d just be repeating what yourself and many others have said below – work programme is unfair and full of bullies, usually older bitter women who act like school teachers and try to talk down to everyone all the time. They hate their own job which is ironic. The employment situation is always gonna be bad and you have to work hard to get out of it yourself. Easier said than done I know, but just don’t expect any help from these people, they are only there to tick boxes.

  9. Gabriel
    September 12, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    It’s clear to everyone on the program tht it’s just designed to bully them into either taking the first low-paid, demeaning job that they can, or force them into a position where a sanction can be imposed. The staff are condescending, “private” interviews and discussions are held in full earshot of a room full of people, appointments are random and given out several in advance to increase the likelihood of people forgetting one, and these jumped-up little creatures attempt to exert control over any aspect of your life they feel they can get away with, from demanding that you change your answerphone message, to telling you to change your hair cut. This is designed to either goad you into speaking out, in which case, they report you to the jobcentre for, apparently, being unwilling to do everything possible to get into work, or to annoy you to the point where you just end your claim

  10. Neil
    August 21, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    I graduated in 2005 with a diploma in business. I just finished the work programme with brilliant work experience, Perfect practices, policies and procedures. NVQ in Retail level 2. Health & Safety + First Aid. Still can’t get a job. Jobcentre are making me come in every day and attend a course which helps me to move out of ‘my comfort zone’. I now share hints and tips with people who will throw a fit if someone interferes with their computer game and can’t spell ‘bananas’. The Jobcentre are not helping me, in fact, I would say they actually think it’s all part of competing for the jobs – putting their competition out of business on courses like this! I think it must be true what Tony Blair said, that once you’re in power you can just do whatever you want. How corrupt is that?

    • Mark
      August 25, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      I’m in a similar situation Neil, you are right, qualifications mean nothing to the Work Programme idiots. I have a diploma, + degree, and so on, in various subjects including Computing and Sports Science. I worked hard to find a job and get to where I am, but the truth is if no one is hiring, it doesn’t really matter how good you are does it?

      Not to get on my high horse and of course I agree I should be looking for alternative work in the mean time, be it cleaning toilets or serving food. What I don’t like is the patronizing way the job centre and work programme puts this to you in a way as if its gonna be a life long thing and you should be “appreciative” of even the worst jobs. They will never get permanent people for these positions, no matter how much they try and sell it to you.

      As some comments below have said, there is nothing wrong with these jobs, but poor management. I’ve had many an argument with managers over pay, conditions, and hours worked. They are all crooked and some of the things they do are illegal, but when it comes down to it, there is no point arguing with employers for your job, since you are fighting the people you are working with, chances are you will be moving on to a new job anyway the minute something goes wrong. To me this is the bigger problem that leads to unemployment for a lot of people.

      In the end its all misery with places like the work programme putting extra pressure on you to go back or seek out jobs with ridiculously high turnovers of staff and the inevitable will happen again – you will be unemployed. But who cares eh? So long as the work programme and government gets its “figures” that they are getting people into work, they will say its working, but really they are going round in circles.

  11. Julia
    August 16, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    I do part time hours working with a special needs client, but as I was doing less than 16 hours a week, I had to sign on with the job centre.

    I went on the Employablity Course from the 20th-24th June 2016. To be honest, I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot from that course.

    During that week, I met my so called, Seetec adviser. She was probably the most awful woman I have ever had the chance to meet. She told me that:

    1) I had to quit my job working with the special needs client – because it wasn’t a proper job!

    2) I had to come into Seetec from 9-5pm from Monday-Friday.

    3) I wasn’t allowed to take holiday, or even make appointments with my dentist, doctor or hospital – I’ll expand on this later.

    4) I had to see her on a weekly basis and apply for the minimum of 30 jobs a day!

    5) I was not allowed to go out for a lunchbreak – I had to bring food in and even then I wasn’t allowed to bring in anything bigger than a chocolate bar.

    I could go on, but it’s depressing me lol.

    So I went into Seetec the next day and I was told that my, so called, adviser had gone away on holiday, so my file had now been moved over to a second adviser instead.

    So I thought “OK, let’s see how this turns out”. I explained to my new adviser about my medical history and the fact that I also worked a few hours a week and he said, “OK that’s fine.” So I went about on my job search.

    The next day, I got told that my new adviser had transferred over to Watford and that I had another new adviser. By this point, I was really getting stressed out and frustrated by all the chopping and changing, so after discussing with my new, new adviser about everything that I had discussed with the second adviser, he said that was fine…but the next day, it was like nothing had changed and he was preaching to me about what the evil woman had said, completely ignoring what both myself and, by that point, my manager at work.

    The final straw came today, when I actually passed out onto the computer I was using. Another client who was job searching beside me, called out to the manager to come and see if I was OK, but all this stupid manager did was just shout at me and told me to get back on with my work and stop playacting like a stupid child!

    Needless to say, I have now started the ball rolling by talking to the Citizen Advice Bureau and have sent in a formal complaint into Seetec.

  12. Fred
    August 7, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Seetec is the biggest joke.
    I heard that back in 2014 there was a manager (Carl De Vries) caught with porn of his girlfriend, who worked in the IT department, on his laptop and on his drive at work. An IT guy was given the laptop to copy all files from his old laptop to the new one, he didn’t check and moved all files only to be pulled up and sacked because he hadn’t check the files correctly! But check this out, the manager in question kept his job and is STILL working at the company.
    Just shows how professional the company is and the quality of the managers they have at this company. No morals or ethics at ALL.

    • Ross
      August 9, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      You are right Fred, incidentally I was about to post about how bad the job centre and work programme behaviour and sanctions are un-fair and how people are treated like sh*t at these places, but I think a lot of people have already commented on that accurately and we all get the point. The bigger problem I think as you mentioned is poor managers, that’s why most people lose their job, not always through faults of their own – pick any job, any at all, from coffee shops to office jobs to driving, supermarkets, you name it managers are the problem. If someone does not like you, and they are higher up on whatever hierarchy and they decide its time for you to go, then that’s it you have had it. They will find a reason to fire you or use your probation to say you are not up to standard. Haha, more like not up to THIER standard.

      Example – I was working at a famously bad call centre and the female manager, (a psychotic feminist I might add), rarely turned up to work and shouted at people all the time for no good reason. Of course, when it was time to make a new rota, all the people she did not like got rota’d in for weeks and weeks of work with no time off and if you questioned it she just gave you the “you have no work ethic” bullsh*t patronizing talk. Unbelievable hypocrite as she rarely came into work at all.

      Best advice – avoid the sh*t jobs, work hard to find something you really like, stay away from the job centre and jobs with high turnovers of staff are the red flags. Easier said than done people I know, but you can do it, it will get better.

  13. Tom Burtchet
    July 12, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    They have just brought this seetec here into Ireland. Already, they have conducted themselves in an illegal manner. Firstly, the Designated Personal Advisor told me that her computer was playing up so I should leave the office & she will print out my Personal Progressive Plan later & sign both her section of the Contract & sign my name in my section of the Contract, this is illegal in every sense of the word. I got in touch with the Welfare crowd & reported the matter, who went straight to the seetec offices to have a “word” with the manager. I received a phone call from him giving me a half-hearted, half-arsed apology for it, explaining that the girl is only new, (poor excuse for attempting to break the law if you ask me). I thought that that would be the one and only hiccup. How wrong I was? Last week I received a letter instructing me to go to a Personal Progressive Plan review, which I genuinely thought would entail my DPA giving me the Personal Progressive Plan for me to sign, no problems there, I thought. I felt a second page behind this one & thought that the printer had either doubled up on the print out or it was a blank page. I was wrong. It was a second letter which started off “As agreed on your Personal Progressive Plan…..”, following by a whole stream of dates for Gateway that I would have to attend. Gateway was never spoken about during my introductory meeting with my Designated Personal Advisor.

    I thought to myself, I haven’t agreed to anything. How can I agree to something that I haven’t even seen? I rang the seetec office & spoke to a brainless twat. I explained the situation & asked him how can I agree to something that I haven’t seen? His answer was, “We are presuming that you will sign the PPP”. My response was never presume that someone is going to sign the PPP. Genuine errors occur in inputting information onto these forms & that the smallest error, however genuine, can make an enormous difference to the outcome of the PPP & that I will need to proof the output against the input to make sure it is all correct. He responded by accusing me of refusing to work with them to which I firmly told him I wasn’t that I was questioning the opening sentence of their letter with is a false declaration that I had agreed to something that they never presented me with for viewing never mind seeing. His response was “Oh, let’s not get into semantics”. My final words to him at that point was, “I need to go I’ve a couple of phone calls to make urgently”. This obviously got the wind up him something fierce as I got a phone call from his manager yesterday apologising for the whole affair. I explained the detail of the phone call to the manager who agreed that the fact I was in communication with their office was engaging with them & that I was only looking for clarification on some matters. I’m waiting for a letter as promised cancelling these gateway meetings untill I have received the PPP for my review. What these people do not realise is that (at 45), I have been heavily involved in Trade Unions since I was 16 & have spent much of my time working as a Trade Union Shop Steward/Union Representative, so while I’m not a law expert & will never claim to be, I do know a little bit more than what they think. Keep a written record of everything that is said, both in person & over the phone. Preferably, get & give everything in writing. Photocopy letter you send them. You cannot contest the written word. They will try their best. Don’t let them break you down.

    I can understand that the stress can make epilepsy worse, I have epilepsy & have a serous slip-disc (T6-T7) which means I can’t work in jobs that leave me open to lifting or handling heavy objects in anyway. We have something that these rotten gits will never have, and that’s common sense.

    • Mike
      September 15, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Tom, a very interesting piece. I have been called to Seetec on Monday but I have been researching them for several weeks now (from Brendan Friel’s first minutes in DSP on them all the way back to Mouna Kenzaoui and Mike Burger’s time with Rehab Jobfit (and then his time with a4e)). I have been in touch with 16 others on Seetec (and 12 others on the Working Links crowd, Turas Nua). I have also contacted the journalist, Frances Ryan, and other organisations, including 5 TDs.

      I certainly have a lot of questions as I think all of this job activation welfare to work industry has the makings of another tribunal of inquiry in due course.

      The thing I am wondering about – the PPP contract they make you sign, thus permitting them to release your data to (other) third party private companies – has that been tested by getting a legal opinion, I wonder? Surely if I do not want to sign it but do, I am signing it under duress and since the 1970s here in Ireland contracts are voidable if signed under duress.
      Be interested to get your ideas on it (and wondering if we can get in touch in any way?)

      Sorry to hear about the epilepsy
      M

      • Mike
        September 15, 2016 at 3:41 pm

        Should be
        Surely if I do not want to sign it but do, I am signing it under duress and since the 1970s here in Ireland contracts are voidable if signed under *economic duress.

  14. J
    June 21, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Helped a client today to find the courage to call their work programme person to explain they were ill as they had been cajoled into a job cleaning when they have allergic reactions to cleaning agents. The bully screamed down the phone that they should wear gloves or go to a walk-in to be treated as an emergency or be sanctioned. The screaming and belittling continued for 20 minutes. If any staff I was responsible for spoke to anyone like that they would be suspended immediately. What a disgusting society we live in where the government creates the conditions that bully and hurt people who are struggling already.

    • L
      June 29, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      Exactly. Currently my mother and I are locked in the jaws of Work Programme. I am at the end of the 2 years, now faced with the who-knows-what-now and my mother, who is in her fifties, is looking for work in the retail field is being forced into interviews across the country for salad bar placements for teenagers. Because of my health, I claimed esa in the assessment phase for almost 2 years before I was called for an assessment, where I didn’t achieve enough points. Back on jsa, thus WP, I can’t find proper work!! We want stable jobs, something that will pay the rent, council tax etc, not flexi hours for teenagers, or dodgy weekly contracts that offer guarantee…
      LD

    • James T
      June 30, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      You are absolutely correct, it is disgusting what the Tories have done. Saw a report on RT news the other night even the United Nations have said what they have done with the work programme and sanctions is against human rights, but of course the other mainstream UK media will not report on it, and given the current state of our politics it would be quickly forgotten about anyway with everything else going on. Hope to God the work programme and sanctions are abolished sooner rather than later, it is hopeless, and as people have been saying, more people found work when they were left alone and not pressured by Job Centre/Work Programme to jump through hoops for your benefits.

      • L
        July 6, 2016 at 6:13 pm

        Work Programme and many of these evil organisations are the abominations of the day! As it is, WP has been dealt a mortal blow and is now wounded (EU funds are running low). When you are in combat and the opponent has weakened you, you fight harder, deal out blows like never before. We the people (yes, PEOPLE, as in human beings, not scroungers, free loaders, degenerates) on WP are of course the opponent, because according to, we are bad, lazy, unproductive dogs that play the system and WP… the advisors(made of acrylic and stone) willingly sign up for a cruel, sadistic role that requires a profile devoid of human emotion and compassion. WP advisors are liars- to your face they will lie… Woe unto them when Name and Shame carries a prison sentence complete with 40 lashes.
        My mother received another attack today. She had to sign on at the Job Centre but the time clashed with a WP appointment, which is usually remedied with a note from WP to Job Centre. But today La Mister Sir advisor REFUSED point blank to give mother the note or to ring Job Centre as to her whereabouts, why? Because, according to another advisor, she didn’t show enthusiasm and was full of excuses about her ‘bad back’ when on another interview (Shake Shake) the other day. First of all, mother didn’t open her mouth or say a word to this lying advisor. Second, she doesn’t have back problems, she doesn’t complain and third, mother is of African descent, she happened to be sitting next to a white woman who complained of back problems. Hello?! This lying advisor is either colour blind or has a thing about mixing fact with fiction, or is following protocol, which is to lie and drive the people on WP crazy enough to leave! WP your days are numbered and you advisors will have to find another commission based job- because the days of 9 to 5 are LONG gone.
        Footnote: How the mighty fall

  15. Mark
    May 30, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    I’ve got another belter of a story to add to the long list of pointless things the work programme does – not saying any names or companies but lets just say this happened near a Glasgow area work programme provider. I’m sure there is similar stuff happening elsewhere on a daily basis – I was at an appointment doing my hourly job search (waste of time as I do it everyday at home anyway) and I got talking to another guy who was there, he had actually found a job (himself of course, not through the work programmes help) and was due to start it in 7 days time. All confirmed, guaranteed, and got a contract, he had the paperwork to show. When I asked what he was doing here if he had a job he said he would get sanctioned for that weeks benefit if he didn’t attend his useless work programme job search! Utterly utterly pointless! As if it was not bad enough sitting there for myself (and worse for him) doing an absolutely pointless job search, we were approached by a member of staff for “talking” (felt like we were getting into trouble at school) a truly horrible woman that clearly enjoyed lording her authority over anyone. She explained to the gentleman I was talking to that he had “better look for a job anyway and get sending a minimum 4 CV’s today”, she said, wagging her finger at us. I just looked at her. This just proves they only exist to tick boxes. Bureaucrats. These people are the worst. They redefine pointlessness. What job could he “find” in one week anyway? It takes your average employer weeks and weeks to respond, let alone setup an interview. And then if he did find a job within that week what would he tell them? “oh by the way I already had a job so I cant accept this employment, sorry for wasting your time but I had to otherwise I would have been sanctioned!” Honestly, these places put you between a rock and a hard place. By the way everyone, there are a few petitions I found to get the work programme abolished, cant remember the link for now but just search for it, currently 30,000 plus signatures and counting. Clearly myself and many others are not alone in our feelings that the work programme is not only a waste, but a hindrance of time.

  16. RD
    May 11, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    I have been the victim of a twisted hate crime carried out by both the police and local government misusing something called MAPPA, which stands for Multi-Agency public protection arrangements. My understanding is that (without the police or local council ever approaching me directly) they used and paid other people to make false statements to build up criminal data on “me” their target. Other institutes are also involved ie; Job center plus/DWP/NHS/The Court and Tribunal Service/Schools/ Super Markets, as well as lots of other institutes places and people. everywhere. An invitation to have dinner with a drug dependent former girlfriend of a sibling and their son (both are very friendly with corrupted members of the metropolitan police)resulted in my Shandy being spiked. I collapsed at the foot of my nephews bed. The police was then contacted, I was assaulted by some vulgar creatures in the Metropolitan police, and they arranged and filmed a vulgar sexual assault, then placed it on the Internet.

    The NHS attempted to assist cover it up, under the order of persons based at Chelsea police station, by placing data belonging to patients suffering from mental health problems, and data belonging to a 25 five year old female labelled a binge drinker by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. The 25 year is the opposite colour to me. It is clear to see that racism is also involved. The 25 year old data was added/uploaded to my records by the practice manager, then shared with all involved in MAPPA, at the request of the police.

    On 14th February 2014 the JCP manager informed me that MAPPA was being used against me. I never saw him in that office again. They removed him. The schemes work program need a serious overall. The police local government and all other agencies who think it clever to misuse, and use such dangerous laws against people, need to be warned. The government schemes and programs should be being used as a tool to criminalize members of the public “via the back door”. All involved in MAPPA have a duty to co-operate with the police, or they will be in serious trouble with the police.

    They even control the Court Service who had held an hearing with senior persons in local government and other, without me being present of informed of the hearing. They paid a lot of money to my brother’s son and his mother. They received £20.000, to spike my Shandy in 2009.

    Due to what the Metropolitan police and the local Council have done and been doing along with JCP, I have now been evicted. Strange to hear that the Council gave the new set of keys to the police to enable them to remove, destroy and thief personal items minutes after the locks had been changed. Corrupted Britain…

  17. MyLocal
    May 6, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    My brother, age 53, hardly ever worked, learning difficulties, does 12 job applications a week. No one will employ him as his academic and social skills are well below average. He wants to work, he is reliable and hard working in low skilled positions, but who will employ him when they can take on a young fit European.

    He is being bullied and threatened with loss of JSA because “he isn’t trying hard enough for a job” despite applying for everything within his capabilities such as zero hour cleaning contracts. The Job Centre tell him he should be applying for jobs a 25 mile round trip away with a 06:00 AM start, he cannot drive, he certainly couldn’t run a car and there is no public transport that would get him there for that time, and we don’t live rural by any means.

    He has been on the work programme, the one where you work full time for six months for your JSA money. It didn’t get him a job, it was just a 40 hour a week free labour for the RSPCA.

    His trips to the Job Centre have left him on anti-depressants and suicidal. He, like other vulnerable people is an easy target.

    I don’t pay 40% income tax so that my 84 and 80 year old parents can still be supporting my disabled brother from their tiny pension after their own 50 year working lives.

    Fortunately they have me to help fight their battles, and battle I will, but tears fall for those who don’t have anyone to help them.

    • Scott
      May 7, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      Sorry to hear about your brother but your story is unfortunately typical of the way the work programme treats people. If you look at the work programme, and the way the Job Centre operates these days, its basically a disaster. More people should complain, the work programme and sanctions should have had a U-Turn done on them the moment they were thought up much in the same way you’ve probably been hearing in the news lately about government U-turns on their other stupid ideas. Its a fact as the article states above – more people found work when left alone and not hassled by the job centre and work programme sanctions. Its really unfair when hard working people are penalized when they find themselves in between jobs. Job searching in general has become a joke. Look at your average application – they ask you really asinine questions like “Why do you want this job?” we all know the answer is money, bureaucrats that think up this rubbish live in a fantasy world kidding themselves people actually believe this crap when we all know companies would have you work for nothing if they could get away with it yet you have kiss a lot of ass to get your pittance of money from not only working now but a benefit that is simply to bridge a gap. Truly disgusted by these people and their ‘old-school take any old crap’ way of thinking just because they are bitter and had it tough they think everyone else has to as well, and make no progress what so ever. Keep fighting the good fight people and get yourself out of the unemployment situation and do your best (easier said than done I know) and keep away from the Job Centre and their insane way of working, they cant/wont help you, they only make it worse.

  18. Glenn
    April 1, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Hi I am 60 and was expecting to have a reasonably comfortable life . I am having to sign for JSA as pension credits have been pushed forward for me and many others. I feel particularly bitter about it all , when I was young there was full employment , pensions and every job had perks etc. The politicians promised that because of North Sea Oil we would become one of the most prosperous countries in the world and everyone would work no more than 35 hours a week and could retire at 55 . What a load of BS that has turned out to be.

  19. John Smith
    March 16, 2016 at 12:13 am

    The Government does not give a toss about the young. Their employer friends only want experienced people. So the older you are the more likely you are to find a job.

    PS Your time limit on CAPTCHA needs to be visible.

  20. Bernadette Matthews
    March 4, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Hello
    I am on the Work Program at Elephant and Castle and would like to contribute my experience of the work program to this site. Having seen some really unpleasant treatment of centre users by staff, I put in a complaint about it. The result was that I was then subjected to bullying myself by my advisor- meetings scheduled with him were not met for the agreed time with waits up to an hour and half and for no reason emails requested by him of my job searches went unacknowledged. A ‘Review’ of my job search now took place which was excessive and punishing – despite my work search effort being documented as very good and consistent effort.
    I have written to their management to say that the response to a complaint has been bullying and punishing behaviour by their staff member but I feel its hopeless as they seem to have the fullest remit to treat people any way they like with no adverse consequence to themselves.
    The idea of poor and indeed mentally ill people asserting themselves and seeking to be treated with ‘respect’ is met with real contempt.
    People of all levels are trying to cope with a system that expresses its abhorrence and contempt for them at every opportunity.
    In terms of looking for work, bullying and hateful staff add disturbing levels of unhappiness to people already struggling with depression and the attempt to get into work, which meets often with rejection . Jobseekers have enough to cope with without having added to their difficult bullying and punishing staff whose attitude towards the people using the centre is at the very least unpleasant and quickly becomes punishing when a complaint of their conduct is made.

  21. Jamie D
    January 20, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    After 2 years on the work programme I can only agree with most of what’s been said – a waste of time for all involved. Staff that don’t want to be there and hate their job (ironically enough) treating people with nothing but contempt while claiming to “help” you find work. The fact is most people out of work don’t want to be there and are doing there best to help themselves, they do not need additional pressure from the work programme or even the job centre threatening sanctions just because in their opinion you haven’t done enough to check all their boxes and satisfy bureaucracy. Personally I’m in a much better job now (that I found myself of course!), and those c*nts at the work programme still desperately tried to claim credit for “getting me into work” which shows its all just for government figures to make them look good as if this is actually working but the truth is if you are on work programme or not, most people find their own way out of unemployment. Places like the work programme can only help people who can barely use or turn a computer on. Fair enough people like that may need help but if you have half a brain then be prepared to be patronized by these idiots from beginning to the end, tarring everyone on job seekers with the same brush is not the way to “help”.

  22. Mike
    December 31, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    These ba*tards have ruined my Xmas and New year. Horrible authority figure women thinking they know better than you trying to force all the crap of the day on you. Take any job it will be fine. Great career advice. This will never work and I hope to God they realise what a disaster it is and shut the work programme down. Don’t give in to them people, fight sanctions all the way. You have more rights than you think so use them when these nasty people are threatening to send letters to the job centre. Make it more trouble than it’s worth for them.

  23. Marianne
    December 10, 2015 at 3:39 am

    John Robertson, since you’ve said you’ve worked all your life, i’m guessing you have never went near a Job Centre to sign on? If you haven’t then don’t comment on things that you don’t know f*ck all about! Can’t stand people like you who preach what you’ve just said yet they’ve never signed on in their life & never experienced the amount of sh*te that all of us go through with these bastards. You’ll be saying different if something happens that your out of a job & you’ll have no choice but to go down to the Job Centre to sign on then you’ll be changing your tune.

  24. Auriel
    December 5, 2015 at 3:30 am

    Totally disgusted by the ignorance of the Jobcentre. How do the staff sleep at night. It’s nearly four in the morning and I haven’t slept a wink. I’m being bullied into attending a 30 hours a week community programme to do a job search. You apply for ten jobs and guess what? It’s the same damn job advertised by ten different agencies hoping to steal the carrot. Nobody replies. I’m actually trying to build a home business but instead of offering support, I’m told I have to waste my days in some bloody community centre without earnings. Whoever thought this policy up is a total idiot. More money than brains and the total inability to understand what life is like on the other side of the fence. All they think of is saving money and their damned budget. They fill their own coffers with large pay rises. That’s why I don’t vote. All politicians are liars who make false promises and once they’re voted in they hang you.

    • admin sally
      January 5, 2016 at 10:43 am

      It is just so that governemnt agencies (well paid jobs at tax payers expense) can claim an extroardinary from an overseer role that doesn’t actually achive more than that.
      Some agencies cost 15 million pounds a year to run when wages and top echelon salaries are taken in to consideration, not to mention extravegent expenses. It is a crying shame that thios cost is added to the cost of providing benefits at the DWP and that many people are unaware of the scam being perpetrated with their public money for even the income of the prime minister is paid for out of public funds.

  25. Robert
    November 27, 2015 at 1:05 am

    Sex offenders in Denbigshire (North Wales) are exempt from doing work trials as it is too much hassle and paperwork involving, JSP, MAPPA and the employer. This is because over 1,000 live in the area, 800 of them in Rhyl and the only jobs in the area is teaching and nurses jobs.
    Sex offenders will be laughing when their victims are tax payers paying their JSA or ESA, Housing Benefit, Dentist work until they retire.
    Job centres know that Sex offenders have 0% chance of getting work and so avoid helping them.

    Sex offenders should automatically be put on ESA to lower the unemployment numbers.

  26. Gary Sleven
    November 23, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Agree with most of the comments here. Work programme will never work. My experience with it was unprofessional staff forcing people with health issues into unsuited work that is not helping. Sure people should take a job that may not suit them in the short term, but it will unlikely lead to anything better. You need to retrain, as someone said not just any old training for trainings sake, you need to know what you want to do and work hard to get out of the unemployment situation, or all they will do is force more crap in your face. Being in twice a week does not help, you need all that time to yourself to seek out options, not have rubbish thrown at you almost constantly and being told you risk sanction, which in turn causes you more stress and lack of cash to run about attending possible interviews. I think I heard of someone being sanctioned for being at an interview when they should have been at a useless work programme appointment but they did inform them and still got sanctioned! They don’t communicate with the job centre either it seem, the work programme is one big contradiction.

  27. James
    November 10, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    As people have been saying, the work programme is the worst. Infact its the worst thing to happen to the unemployed since unemployment itself. “Stop whining and get a job” some have been saying. Yeah right I wish it was that easy. The work programme claims they help people. They don’t. They force people into jobs they do not want and threaten sanction if you do not take it. Great way to treat people. As someone said below, complain, complain, and complain some more. Leave these idiots no room to breathe. The constant calls and harassment you get from the work programme workers is surely against human rights and we must stand up to it. Meanwhile, of course you should be looking for work – a job that YOU want or perhaps training that YOU want and not the work programmes idea of “what you should be doing”.

    • Lou
      November 14, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      I’ve been on the work programme now for 3 months, and I totally agree with all the comments here. Ever since being on this it has created more stress for me. The way you are treated is completely unfair and unacceptable. Does anyone else have to attend these so called “job search” sessions? I have to attend two, 2 hour sessions every week (something I can easily do from home and print of proof of the jobs I’ve applied for) – I have never been recommended any jobs by any of the staff there, and to make matters even worse, the staff and people on the work programme are all located in the same small room and each week you have to endure the “unprofessional” staff discussing/moaning about other clients!!

      • Peter
        November 16, 2015 at 1:25 pm

        Correct Lou and yes we all have to go through this pointless stuff at the work programme. The job searches are a joke. You could do it anywhere on your phone nowadays anytime let alone sat at home on a computer, yet they insist on having you come to the work programme to job search and fill out a little report on what you’ve done (just like school). Its awful and pointless and there is no defending it especially when they spend money on people getting there in taxis to these appointment’s that could be used more wisely.

        • Liam
          November 19, 2015 at 1:55 pm

          In an ideal world our government (past and present) would spend money on investing in the long term and start to build things again. HOwever neither Labour nor the Tories did.

          Therefore we are left with a Service run country – low pay, poor conditions, lack os security.

          HOwever you have to work with what you have. If that is low paid temp work surely that is preferable to sitting in the house doing nothing and taking thousands of pounds per year.

          The Benefits system was created to help people in temporary difficulties. It should not be a way of life.

          I have a degree but have cleaned toilets, worked in retailers, driven a car on commission only in between trying to find a career job. I now have one.

          I appreciate others do not have a degree but to sit and not work because the “job fit is not right” is embarrassing. Job shy and lazy.

          Get out and do something to show some self respect. It may be short term role but it can then lead to other roles.

    • Angela
      November 17, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      Someone only goes on the Work Programme after 9 months-12 months on JSA. The Work Programme is a further 2 years. Why should someone after 3 YEARS of claiming benefit still insist they only want a job or training that they want. JSA does not fall from the sky. It’s other peoples’ tax money. People that are maybe doing jobs they don’t want to do but do it to support their kids and pay their bills. After 3 years, I’d be embarrassed and want to get a job

      • James
        November 18, 2015 at 1:27 pm

        Angela,the point I was making is no one should be bullied into anything they don’t want to do. This old school archaic attitude of “just take any old job” is counter productive and a waste of everyones time. If someone has kids – that’s their responsibility and just because they may be forced under circumstances to take any old crap does not mean a single man or woman should also conform to this.

        • Liam
          November 19, 2015 at 1:57 pm

          People shouldn’t be bullied but if you sign up to “seek a job” what is to stop you saying you want to be an astronaut ?….but you live in Wigan!

          If you have money you have life choices. If you dont aside from starving you need to go out and look for work. My father would never have let me live off the state or him when there were jobs I could have done – however poor they are.

          • Kelly
            April 1, 2016 at 3:26 am

            I doubt many ppl are wanting to be an astronaut! My friend claims jsa as she has severe learning difficulties so can only ever get low paid low hours cleaning jobs, she got put on a training course that made her loose her job as it was at the same times! Also the training course was called ’employability skills’??? No employer has even heard of it! 1 year on and shes still working 5-10 hours a week as a cleaner so still on jsa as she looking for full time work. They tell her to take any job so she does, but they are never full time and wont get her off benefits and become independant. Thats what this article and ppl here are trying to explain

    • Alice
      December 1, 2015 at 6:11 am

      I’m a lone Parent who has been put on the work programme, one staff member has taken a dislike to me for no apparent reason, she gives me snide, bitchy remarks all the time all aimed at making presumptions I’m not wanting to work, (ive worked all my life, just fallen on bad times, no fault of my own) i ve even been followed I to the toilet by her (all I can presume she did this was to make sure I was doing the toilet?) As she waited outside my toilet door then as I flushed I heard her heels clip clop out? I’ve been taken off my charity work which I don’t understand as I was on this to keep my cv up to date and helping a good cause at same time, I worry every minute of the day about childcare, my child, sanctions I’m a good person made to feel like I’ve committed a crime, what’s the rules of this programme, how many hours must I stay there, who can I complain to about the way I’m being treated?

      • James
        December 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm

        Alice, this is so typical of the type of nasty bitter people the work programme employ. Complain DIRECTLY to your work programme manager provider about this idiot. I wish you the best of luck.

  28. Mike Brailsford
    November 7, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    My issue right now is not the Job Centre, but the CWP provider, Learndirect who seem to have a policy of one way communication.

    After being diagnosed with a degeneration of the spine which causes make huge pain in my neck and shoulders, they see fit (hah !) to put me on a farm. I end up raking leaves and ripping nails from planks which is taking merry heck out of my muscles.

    Initially I refused this and was sanctioned by the DWP. However this was later reversed and I got back the money they stopped. Does this say they think I was in the right after all. I was told nothing of their change of heart and just saw it had been paid in to my bank account.

    I compained about the one advisor I saw and not long after she ‘left the company’. Sort of hope I was the reason why.

    I recently found work as a presenter on my local hospital radio station which the job centre are very supportive of, but I still feel in limbo as to whether Learndirect still expect me to do this plank work.

    They have offered me more presenter shifts which I will be taking and hope also to get work with another local station.

    If Learndirect don’t see this is more atuned to ‘community’ work that nail pulling I do not understand how they can still be allowed to be used by the Jobcentre in this way.

  29. church of the subgenius
    October 23, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Two words: class action.
    Are any of you prepared to do that.
    And has anyone heard of the cait rilley case in the European court of human rights?

  30. Molotov Cocktail
    October 18, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    I used to be a consultant on the Work Programme
    What a swizz! 80 – 90 % of those who find work, whilst attached to the scheme, do so without any help from the providers. All the Work Programme does is monitor what their clients are up to, and when they go into work, try to verify the employment details. If they can then assuming that the ex claimant stays in work for two years, the providers are paid anything between four and a half and fourteen and a half thousand pounds for a service they rarely provide. It is a swindle and s massive abuse of public funds. The real figure of those helped by this shabby programme is 20% of the claimed figure at best. They have a similar scheme in Australia, where private providers claiming outcome payments, when clients go into work without provider help is illegal. I think it should be here, although if that was the case The Work Programme would go belly up over night.

  31. BOB CARVER
    October 9, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I have just turned sixty, I attend the Job Centre every day and look at applying for a minimum of two positions per day. Some of these applications are horrendous with as many as sixteen pages of application for one job all very time consuming as well as having to make statements of component work experience for the post concerned. However it is starting to pay off as I am being shortlisted for various interviews but sadly not getting the job offers. I have looked at every aspect of employment including part time posts and the argument is always the same as soon as one makes an effort to secure part time work they reduce your housing benefits and believe me not just by a small amount! so in many cases you are no better than being on benefits.

    And to those who argue surely its better than benefits the total concept of going out to work is to have a quality of life! and to pay your way in life when one is out of work your expect hardship as the state is keeping you but by going out to work you should and must be better off! There are well paid posts advertised out there but when one applies you are up against One Hundred and Fifty other individuals who also have the same idea so you are then back to short term zero contract hours and insecure part time work which as a single person you cannot live on the wages without state subsidies to prop one up. After striving to secure work for a very long time I have been informed that I will be expected to do C.W.P which involves work experience with a
    outside employer I have worked out if this goes ahead I will be working for
    two pound eight pence an hour! this contravenes all employment laws let alone the national minimum wage! This is one of the most expensive countries in Europe to live in and everyone is out working for third world wages! THE CREED AND THE SELFISHNESS OF THE FEW OUT WAY THE NEEDS OF THE MANY. and so it goes on I am on the verge of signing off as I am so very frustrated with it all. but hey thats just what the government wants so they then can brag that the unemployment figures have gone down at the next election bloody horrible people.

  32. Angus
    September 10, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Having done the work programme for the 2 years (what a waste of time) went back to normal signing every 2 weeks had no issues until this week. I roughly apply for 15-20 jobs every 2 weeks document it all on there shitty universal jobmatch do all the BS they ask + regular get interviews. They are now saying my jsa agreement needs changing to include “searching for ANY job” instead of the 3/4 job sectors I have worked in in my career. They are going to review this and try and get me to sign this in 2 weeks time. I am very concerned is a trick into bullying me into applying for stuff which is totally not relevant. Seeing as I am genuinely after a job and regular get interviews (failing due to the huge volume of people applying for jobs in my area) I am not happy. Any advice about this … can they force me to sign a new JSA agreement that leaves me open to all kinds of bullying and threats of sanctions? thanks angus

    • John Robertson
      October 14, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      Stop whinging. I have worked all my life through good and bad times as did my role model (my father). If you have been unemployed and living on benefits (paid for hard working people) for TWO years, then you deserve NOTHING! You get out of life what you put in. Put nothing in and you get nothing back, so stop blaming everyone else for your choices in life. I would do ANYTHING to feed my kids.
      Ive seen people with a dyslexia classing themselves as disabled WTF! Its about time this country stopped nannying malingerers regardless of which party is in Downing Street. It is the decent, honest, hardworking people that have been bullied for decades. Stop moaning and get a job!!!

      • Jack
        November 6, 2015 at 3:37 pm

        The work programme is the worst thing ever. I finished my 2 years recently and had nothing but bullying during that time. Mostly from women in their 40s who have spent all their life in sales jobs so are trained on how to be pushy to get what they want (its no mistake the work programme employs people with such backgrounds). And then there is the work ethic rubbish they come away with if you don’t try hard enough according to them or take a job they recommend (which will be the worst jobs ever that no one wants). I am hard working but I don’t think bullying people into jobs they don’t want is the answer to long term unemployed, it has to suit or you will end up unemployed soon enough again if you hate your new job that much. Utterly disgusted at how they work, people should complain more. The job centres are useless you need to complain directly to the manager at your work program provider (ingues, triage, etc) but be careful as it still may fall on deaf ears as they are usually all pals with each other from management to the bottom in these places.

      • Richard Brodowski
        November 7, 2015 at 5:43 pm

        So do you support Ian Duncan Smith who loughs and takes the piss out of people committing suicide and when David Cameron tried to move him he would not go. That twat IDS should be jailed for indirectly murdering people.

      • Mike Brailsford
        November 7, 2015 at 11:18 pm

        John Robertson, are a true A class ‘hole who is too stupid to understand how it all works. When it happens to you and I really hope it does, I wonder who will be here whining his gob off.

      • gabriel
        November 22, 2015 at 8:59 pm

        I would like to see if your unemployed now as noone wants to be unemployed,,,every person has different circumstances ,,for instance I have 28 years experience as a chef ,,but since the los of my passport noone will employ me ,I got a new passport but ukba that haven’t imposed any restrictions on me as I’ve been in the UK for 47 years are not putting the ilr stamp in my new passport as the onues is upon me they say to prove I had ilr beforehand that was put in my passport when I was six years old ,,,so I want to work but noone will employ me as they think they will get fined 20.000 pound ,,,so please stick your comment were the sun don’t shine !!!!

      • honey
        December 16, 2015 at 11:20 am

        you absolute biggot are you serious. i am a single mum taken care of my children and due to that have no work experience. iv been on the work programme for a while now i apply for 10 jobs a day sometimes more and every job i apply for is declined or not responded to as i have no experience so come on brains of britain if no one wants to employ me as i havent experience what do you suggest? the work programme is a waste of time they have silly rules and basically say if you dont do what we say you get nothing. They havent helped me i have had to use my own initiative and go to college to try and gain some qualifications that will make me suitable for employment i dont deserve that and neither do my children. i dont ask for ‘free’ money as someone like you would call it, all i want to do is provide for my children. im not a sponger i dont look like a sponger and i certainly wont be treated like one. one day you will be in a situation where you will require assitance in some way shape or form but until you have been in that situation dont bother giving an opinion because the sad fact of the matter is there arent no where near enough jobs for the current population size and there will always be people that are unemployed.

      • Iain
        January 5, 2016 at 1:20 am

        John,

        If you lost your job, would you claim benefits and suffer the indignity of being viewed as a malingerer by the state and the rest of society so that you could feed your kids? Does that qualify as doing ‘anything to feed my kids’?

        What if you were or (apparently) are one of those decent, honest, hardworking people who has been bullied all their life and suddenly find there is now another tier of bullies above you, i.e. the decent, hardworking, etc group? Would you see them as role models? Something to aspire to? Something you had once been?

        Or would you forego your claim on your national insurance policy and work for less than you would be entitled to on JSA and starve yourself so that your kids could eat instead? That way you would not only preserve your dignity but also get the opportunity to refuse medical treatment on the NHS for your self-induced malnutrition and really prove your point. After all, why should all those sick people get treated on the NHS at expense of healthy people?

        I sincerely hope you never find yourself unemployed, John. From what you have written I would guess that you would not have the strength of character to survive for long. Worst still, it sounds like you would be exactly the type of person that recent UK administrations would like us all to be: easily led, willing to work for breadcrumbs, and possessing insufficient backbone to stand up to them and say ‘NO!’. After all, you admit to having done nothing about their bullying so far and that’s while you still have a job.

      • Jane-Louise
        March 24, 2016 at 4:22 pm

        Dyslexia IS a disability! Having been around those that have it, it has a real effect on them not least of all when it comes to CV , application forms and cover letters. It’s made worse by the jobcentre who ignore dyslexia and then try to sanction that person for “misspelling” a word. The fact you show no sympathy to those who suffer with it shows both your lack of empathy and utter ignorance. Think before you type such asinine, stupid comments.

        I also have paid in and then was dealt with health issues which put me on jobseekers, it’s not black and white; the fact you think it is shows you know little of the punishing regiment the jobcentre imposes. Please don’t reply if you can’t do so maturity and in all seriousness STOP reading the mirror and it’s propaganda drive.

      • J
        June 21, 2016 at 10:45 pm

        I guess you work for a work programme-nice.

      • L
        July 7, 2016 at 2:55 pm

        I was that, Mister Robertson, your so called ‘decent, hardworking’ so and so for many years- my mother too, but life (as it often does) did a shift. It is a shame that people like you need Cameron’s government to remind you that it is your ‘hard earned tax money’ that is funding us ‘malingerers’, that you cannot think for yourself or open your eyes to the reality of this country. I could say more, but it may be seen as an ‘exaggeration’
        Just keep on living, you will have your portion in due time.

      • martin
        August 22, 2016 at 3:30 am

        OH Dear John my guess 45-55, you are in middle management,not really a job as such but simply a supervisory role watching others which you have accomplished with maximum arse kissing on the way up.The term job is used loosely as I have observed in the passed it doesn’t require physical hard labour as such,only meetings and talking about the weekend football results. I would imagine you to be exactly like these helpful jsa staff,no compassion or leniency..my guess do as you are told or you know what you can do….John am I far away from the mark?.
        Final Punt imagine no savings & losing your cushy job, being put on road sweeping or else sanctions I don’t think you could do it Im afraid.

  33. James Gray
    September 7, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Callous the Conservatives, I was placed on the Work Programme whilst not receiving the JSA allowance, the ESA Allowance or even the Income Support Allowance and has duly punished for not attending a mandated Work Placement and for not consenting to pay my commute costs to this pace of labour. Owing to my age, and full employment before I do not even require N.I. contributions. I have been informed such a placement does not construe as an enforced, unpaid government sponsored work mandate.
    I was then allocated to the Post Work Programme which the DWP admit makes me unique in the country and even they have now accepted that as I receive no monies I can not be censured. My crime I did not accept that I should be categorised as financially inactive.
    The millions spent in legal fees to defend the Programme has been a waste of money as the facts prove their defence was based on lies.

  34. mary
    August 3, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    I was at the job centre today I have been put on the community work programme at the 62 years old due to retire on the 6th January 2016 told my adviser that it was a waste of time as would not finish the coarse she bullied me something terrible also I have worked all my life gave up my job to be my late beloved husband carer as he was very disabled now I feel that I am being punished for being out of work more so now as my retirement date is near women of this so called great Britain have been treated rotten if you were born between 1950 to 1953

  35. kerry
    June 25, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Can anyone tell me if I can cut my ties with the work programme. I have been with them for around 14 months but I have been employed for the last year.
    Today I have been informed that someone from their hr has rang my employer and asked about my p45 ( which I don’t want cos I intend to keep my job).
    Apparently I have to keep in contact with them for 2 years.
    Is their a way for me to leave now or do I have to put up with monthly calls to myself and my employer which I am not at all happy about.

    • Graham
      August 26, 2015 at 8:44 am

      I used to be a work programme consultant. Although you are attached to them for 2 years, from referral, and 2 years from the date you start work, you are under no legal obligation to have any contact with the programme, once you go into work. You are also under no obligation to give them your job details. Have a word with your HR dept and tell them you dp not want them to verify your employment details with the provider or the DWP. Both thevworl programme and the DWP will phone your employer on a regular basis to confirm you are still working. If your company refuses to coperate them the work programme cannot continue to be paid for a service I guess they never provided. Have a wordvwith HR

  36. Bernard
    June 23, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    I am falling foul to this practise by my “job coach”. I have recently been placed after scoring zero points on a WCA assessment conducted by ATOS. I currently receive middle rate DLA and I have a blue badge to help with travel. During my time on the work programme, 18 months of this was spent in full time employment (ironically working on a project funded by the DWP). My Work programme provider constantly phoned me every month for 1 year to see if I was still working. They did nothing to help me finding this job, that was achieved through a charity I was volunteering with at the time. Since this bullying tactic has been applied to my case, I have been admitted to hospital twice, my gp has signed me off with stress related depression of which the job centre refuse to take the sick note and as of my last visit to the job centre resulted in myself being sanctioned for 6 weeks. My wife who also attends the same job centre but a different department has no issues and vice/versa. In one week I applied for 22 jobs, but this was not good enough for them. I am going to tribunal for my ESA claim and I have been informed by CAB that I can be reinstated with ESA while waiting for the tribunal. If I fail I have no idea as what to do. Work with the system, get kicked in the jewels, appose the system, get kicked in the jewels. IDS I hope you are proud of yourself.

    • Rachel Dempster
      August 21, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      Dear friend I have the greatest of sympathy for you. I myself was pushed over the edge by the long term bullying I received and the daily phone calls from the work programme. Hard as I tried there was no way to turn, no solution to be found as there was no work and with the long term pressure I was put under I took a complete nervous breakdown and am now on severe disability and ESA support group benefits. I am terrified of civil servants and never go out. I am a female of over 60 and worked all my life. People are not only opting out of benefits but they are committing suicide and the papers never mention that it is because of long-term poverty bullying and harassment and the worry it causes.

  37. p***ed off
    March 22, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    I heard jsa and the work programmes have to make it as unpleasant as much as they can, so that claimants are least likely to go back! they don’t help you find work and if your on the work programme your automatically in the system for 2 long years, which means they will constantly keep ringing u even when you do have a job, I was on it for 6 months the work programme, they knew I was already going through the armed forces recruitment process, they still found me a job with fuckin yodel of all companies 10 miles away on an industrial estate so no way of getting home. I was told I had to take it! I thought fuk it I cant be doing with these pricks no more, so started yodel, I left after the 1st day as the non negotiable shifts were 3pm-11pm, signed off jsa ive never felt so free in all my life, until a month later I get a phone call its the work programme, asking if im still at yodel I said no, im no longer working as my enlistment for the army is in a week, they said they will keep tabs on me for the next two years I wished them good luck as ill probably be in Iraq.

    • scot
      May 27, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      Young lad on dustbin van told me he’s having to work 40 hrs a week for his £60 benefits a week, if he doesn’t he loses it , cheap labour at £1.50p hour and it should not happen..Im all up for getting people back to work but this is taking the pis*.

  38. david Hill
    March 21, 2015 at 8:12 am

    I have been sent to a place called pathways2work by the jobcentre. There I have been forced to undergo the same repeated mandatory courses that dont bennefit me whatsoever and if I dont go ill get sanctioned. I dont get a say about anything. I recently was told by an adviser not from pathways2work that my CV needed work and needed to be re-edited as pathways2work have never done anything to help me with it. Tbh pathways2work havent done anything to help me in any way whatsoever, only point the finger and tell me to jobsearch there for 2 hours about 3 times a week. I literally cant apply for anything anymore as I am either hindered by a lack of experience, it being to far away, or simply that I have already applied for this job. They wont provide any useful training to help me either. Ive tried to discuss it with the adviser there yet they fail to actually ADVISE and brush it aside. They dont care about me as a person, despite the fact i suffer with depression and anxiety, stress and other mental health issues which they simply have no care about. I decided to book myself an appointment to this other place where I can get my cv looked at and edited. My adviser from pathways2work rang me to tell me i have to come in to jobsearch on the day I am going there. Whe i told her where i was going and that I was unable to make it that day she ordered me to come to pathways2work, again i told her that getting my CV done there was way more important and benneficial to me, in the end she nastily and coldly threatened me with a sanction if i diddnt go, something i thought was discusting and unwarrented. The people on this work programme are given way too much power by the jobcentre and they use it to lord over people who, like me are not being lazy or not looking to better themseves, but simply trying to actually better themselves. I am going to the jobcentre on Monday morning before im due to go in there nand try and plead my case, and explain that I am doing something that is genuinly more beneficial of my time that going there and jobsearching. I dont want to be sanctioned but I refuse to be bullied into submission and treated so cruely. My depression has only got alot worse due to going to this place. I have requested getting a transfer to another work programme but so far its not working and they make excuses not to. Im not really sure where to go from here but its not right that i should be bullied in this way and i need to do everything in my power to fight it.

    • Dave Evan
      October 20, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      The bullying by dwp staff is crazy: Here is my experience of the dwp Work Coaches attitudes towards Jobseekers:

      On Wed 27 Jan 2016, I attended Seven Kings Jobcentre as usual, and Julia insisted I register with Universal Jobmatch, which I declined several times before as there is no
      legal requirement for me to do so, and I as I find UJ totally useless as a job board, it doesn’t serve my needs as a jobseeker with its ‘job feed’ and fake self-employed opportunities.

      Julia kept insisting, so I asked why I’d not been notified in writing from DWP, to which she had no real answer except to suggest DWP doesn’t inform jobseekers. I then said until I see a written contract, I’m not joining UJ – she then went nuts and threatened me with actions and suspensions etc. So, I agreed to the courtesy of registration and reminded her that I opted out of any access control by dwp staff job coaches before when I registered at an earlier date, (which had expired so I showed her that document previously on 13 Jan 2016) – to which she accepted. Julia then asked me to send proof of my registration to UJ, and said I’d bring it in next sign day in 2 weeks, but that wasn’t good enough and she threatened me by trying to make me attend on Thurs 4th Feb, so she made notes of my refusal to make it look all authoritative and her to be in the right etc , to which I declined and forwarded proof by email.

      Despite getting her way, she was disgruntled by me changing my mind to send the email rather than attend an extra day, no doubt she wanted to punish me for losing her silly game of one-upmanship. So I thought that was the end of the matter, but no, she wasn’t finished and turned to my CV instead!

      On 21 Jan @ 1:40pm I sent my CV as an attachment to Julia, but this was somehow illegal or wrong as dwp systems cannot open MS Word documents, so re-sent it the only way an email system will allow, and that’s by pasting it into the email body. On 27 Jan, during a phone conversation, Julia wasn’t happy with me sending my CV within the email body, but as DWP staff cannot apparantly open attachments, what am I supposed to do? – anyway, she eventually accepted my CV despite her aggressive, disgruntled approach to my compliance.

      She then proceeded to attack my CV and said “this isn’t the way to format a CV” – now there was no need for that ok, then not satisfied with that, she then saw my dissatisfaction
      to her silly remark and she said “Save the attitude” – what the hell, I mean what a thing to say to a client, what attitude lol – as shes the one with the problem, not me – see, she’s simply a lunatic…

      She then further attacks me by saying “You can suck through your teeth as much as you like, it makes no difference”

      – oh, what, another attack and threat then, yes I think so.

      Further more, I strongly suspect Seven Kings staff were talking about me, as the first time I even met Julia, she said to me “I’ve heard all about you” – proof enough I think.

      Now I don’t know what their staff are upto bullying jobseekers, but I won’t stand for it, and seeing as this is now my 4th complaint, I’m sure their Director General has to act and discipline all staff who have been involved in these rediculous, revengeful attacks.

      • TheOpinionSite
        October 21, 2016 at 1:09 pm

        Personal details of individuals has been removed in accordance with our Terms & Conditions. http://www.theopinionsite.org/terms-and-conditions/
        – Editor

      • Jackie
        October 21, 2016 at 10:20 pm

        Interesting story Dave, and rest assured millions like you are going through the same crap at the DWP/Work Programme.

        The job centre and work programme have essentially become extended more condescending versions of CV workshops we used to get back in the day. Don’t even get me started on Agencies. I’m not going to deny people need help with CV’s, but most of the time people just get patronised about everything. I was unemployed for a long time and attended the work programme and DWP. I cant count how many “advisors” I had and every single one of them had a problem with my CV. One woman would get it “perfect” – how she wanted it to look, regardless of my thoughts! Its my CV for gods sake! – but of course that does not matter anyway, by the time the next person looked at it, of course it “needed” changing again.

        Show your CV to 15 different people and you’ll get 15 different opinions of how good/bad it is. I have a good CV with good work history and qualifications and a clean layout and good statement. This is never good enough and I remember at one useless work programme appointment waiting for an hour and all they did was change the font and add bullet points! Honestly utterly pointless. I think some of them just like playing with Microsoft Word.

        In short I’d do your best mate and try to find a job on your own and make your own CV how you want it and if the DWP and work programme get picky with you about it, just keep making it difficult for them, they are idiots beneath contempt and deserve nothing less, they treat you a lot worse anyway.

        • Dave Evan
          October 22, 2016 at 9:46 pm

          Oh thanks Jackie – agreed totally.

          I used to be a freelance Copywriter and also a Work Coach for a private training company, actually serving the Jobcentre Plus, so been on both sides of the New Deal programme.

          But yes, your correct – show a CV to several people and it will be changed multiple times for sure, but the format isn’t so important with employers as long as you make it easy for them to extract key info they want for their files.

          Personally, I find it all draining, as if everyone wants to wear down good, hard working folk, with all this recruitment cobblers, when a chimp can do most jobs out there, as most jobs don’t even need GCSE’s. The Jobcentre Plus needs to scrap the work programme as it doesn’t work.

  39. Becky
    March 12, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    I got made redundant a couple of years ago and have worked part time ever since in many different low paid jobs. I finally had no choice but to go to the Job Centre for the first time in my life as i only have two small part time jobs, one employed and one self-employed. Well what a shock!! i always thought that everyone that moaned about the JC was exaggerating!! my god, how wrong i was!!! My JC work coach behaves in a nasty & vindictive way, she actively looks for reasons to sanction me. I do work part time so i don’t get the full amount of Job seekers allowance, she constantly bombards me with veiled threats of sanctioning me. Today, i went to work, went for a job interview and then signed on, this was not good enough for her as i had not filled out the activity on the Universal job-search enough over the last week, i tried to explain that this was due to the fact that one of my cleaning jobs is self employed and i had been trying to fill out a tax return for the first time in my life, i had already received a £100.00 penalty by the tax office . She has also threatened me that i have not provided wage slips which i have, however she wants them every week, my new employer has just taken over and i do not have any wage slips from them so i am unable to give her what i don’t have! I also told her that as this is an employer which has taken over from a previous company i am being emergency taxed so im not even getting the full amount of Job-seekers as my pathetic wage make up to the 70 odd pound per week. She also forced me to go for a job over 40 miles away, my car is on its last legs!! i just feel bullied by this woman and that she gets slightly to much enjoyment from her constant threats. This is not help and support to find work, this is barbaric draconian treatment of people who are completely down on their luck!! the government should be totally ashamed that they allow this to go on, talk about kick people when they are down.

    • Idontwant Toworktoo
      March 15, 2015 at 11:20 am

      i too have been unemployed since 1989. I lost my job through no fault my own, my employer kept on having a go saying that I was always let for work. I was only ever 10 minutes tops all the time. So the F***er sacked me. So I had to claim benefits. Now those scumbags are trying to force me through that experience again. The other week this pissy little Jobcentre person said my job searches were in their words inadequate! I look on the Internet for a job twice. But all the jobs I was looking for said that I need to be qualified, sod that I’m not going to study anything. And I need a job that pays me about £35,000 a year to keep in the life I’ve been accustomed to. Why can’t they just leave me alone. I’m entitled to benefits my grandad fought in WWII for our rights. Why can’t they go after those immigrants who come over here and take our minimum wage jobs. Why can’t they deport them back to Eastern Europe.

      Oh wait if they do that I’d after get off my lazy backside and find job and stop blaming everyone else for not having enough money to live on! I would have to think of ways to get money honestly like everyone in the rest of the world where there’s no benefit system! Maybe I would have to do what those Eastern Europeans do and emigrate to another country to find work. Only in that I won’t be an immigrant but an expat! Because deep down I know that the only person that find me gainful employment is me, the Jobcentre can look for work me but its me that has to attend the interview and impress the employer, and if I can do that why can’t I find my own job!!!! And if I can’t then why I am bitching about those people who to help me into work. I wonder what, we all would do if they got rid of benefits…..?

      • Angela
        November 17, 2015 at 11:49 pm

        LOL!

      • Laura B
        November 21, 2015 at 7:13 pm

        Sounds like you read the script for benefits street. So obviously made up. I think you’ve fallen for the stereotypes in the Daily Mail. LOL

      • c
        July 5, 2016 at 9:58 am

        u ain’t had a job in nearly 30 yrs and u want £35.000 per/annum..get real…. my mate is a top manager of a large firm and he gets about this amount..!

        Let me ask, what experience have u got that justifies a wage of £35k a year and uve been unemployed since THATCHER WAS IN CHARGE..!

    • Caroline
      June 1, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      You are within your rights to request another adviser. Send a letter to the manager of your JC+, outline briefly your concerns about this horrid adviser and ask for another one. Make sure you state how badly the current adviser is affecting your working life and your mental health.

  40. Dan
    February 11, 2015 at 11:47 am

    I have been signing on, on and off since I left school. In that time I’ve done everything they asked of me. I know now that the jobcentre and Ian Duncan Smith are rapidly running out of ideas to punish the unemployed. For a start they are punishing the wrong people. Instead of chasing the people who abuse their useless system, they target the people on the dole. As if giving us £100 every 2 weeks is us sponging of the taxpayer to live the high life! Whether it will change if labour are elected this year, I don’t know. Best advice I can give is apply for as many jobs as possible, or if you know what you want to do pursue it stubbornly. When they threaten you with sanctions, that is just their way of assuming they have power over you. know that they don’t.

    • Nora
      March 7, 2015 at 11:54 pm

      Had an appointment with work programme provider 4 weeks ago, I got a charity fundraising job through them, zero hours and the work was on a three month probation, failure to sign up charity supporters would mean dismissal. When I went to the work programme the advisor said to me now that you’ve got a job you have to sign off, I told her that since I can choose my hours that I was going to do a minimum of 14 hours a week to see if I was capable of the targets that the employment entailed, she said no I am going to ring Stratford DWP and you are going to tell them you are now signing off, when I disagreed three times to her request which I knew to be illegal since she wanted me to carry out an act which I did not agree to, I left her ringing the DWP office while I said excuse me and then signed myself out in the reception area and left the building. As it happens I am having trouble at the charity fundraising job because I refused to bully an old lady to part with more money than she was already giving and have been given 2 warnings which means I will be out of employment with them. Next week got an appointment with DWP
      compliance officer am going to tell them that I refused to be coerced and that I will be taking it up with my MP I am interested to see how this will turn out, I hope that the U.K and DWP hasn’t completely lost the rule of law to the crooks at the work programme.

  41. Laura D
    January 30, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    I’ve just read ALL the comments on this page after receiving a letter from the Manager of my local Job Centre in which she threatens to take legal action against me IF I EVER become angry and start screaming (gross exaggeration I ONLY raised my voice?) at my personal advisor AGAIN!!
    I confess that for the THIRD time in the last six months I DID allow ‘Jan’ (my Dutch JC Gestapo officer) to goad and infuriate me … the man seems to derive a perverse pleasure in periodically provoking me beyond endurance by giving me HIS particular brand of ‘support and advice’ which has ALWAYS been inane, illogical and of NO help whatsoever in helping me to find gainful employment??
    YET he insists that I have NO choice in the matter and that I cannot afford to ‘pick & choose’ WHAT work I do, etc … hence he tries to force me to apply for jobs that are totally inappropriate and unsuitable??
    THIS young man was clearly hired by MY Job Centre a couple of years ago to insidiously bully, intimidate and coerce the long-term JSA claimants into finding work OR (as emphasised in a few of the other comments) making their signing days (and lives) SO unbearable that IF at all possible they will (hopefully) sign-OFF!
    I absolutely CANNOT bear the sight of Jan NOW and I’m drafting my response to the JC Manager’s letter so that she at least has MY version of events which WILL I’m sure be quite different to HIS account … after speaking to her briefly on the day of the last ‘incident’ and demanding that I be allocated a different advisor she assured me that it WOULDN’T be possible and that I could always go to another Job Centre (yeah right!).
    It’s my 62nd birthday in a few weeks’ time and I’m counting the days until I’m eligible to retire on my 63rd (yeah!) ALTHOUGH I hasten to add that I have NO intention of actually retiring because I’m going to write my books AND one of them will dedicate a whole chapter to my long stint of ‘unemployment’ and HOW I ‘didn’t let the b******s grind ME down’ … HEY if JK Rowling can do it then SO CAN I?!?
    GOOD LUCK to anyone and everyone who HAS to endure signing-on at their Job Centre and thanks for ALL your comments here which have been an eye-opener and made me feel that I’m NOT the only one they try to harass and persecute!

  42. satc44
    January 19, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Reason why I signed off a year ago..was made redundant back in 2010 as a meeting and events administrator loved the job but the industry took a big hit with the recession.
    So I was made redundant and since Jan 2010 I have been unemployed.maybe the odd temp job.
    I’m 44 single no kids and live with my mum.had everything have nothing now.i was treated like a leper when I went to sign on .didn’t need there help as I have a laptop at home and fully aware of how to do Cvs letters etc.
    Then after a year when to seetec in Manchester to be fair the 3 .yes 3 advisor’s I had were all ok but they all said there was nothing they could do for me..so once a fortnight I sat for over an hour applying for jobs, which id already applied for..but it shut them up..
    I then one week had had enough I signed off, luckily my brother supports me..but I’m no longer on any benefits plus I help look after my mum who has dementia.
    Seetec still bother me with letters I they want payment for my employer details I’ve told them no I’m mot working and am a carer for my mum.
    Honestly I’d rather be skint than go back on jsa and the dreaded work programme I knew it would get harder and I’m glad I’m no longer on benefits

  43. amazingly
    January 16, 2015 at 12:35 am

    I went on a compulsory work search scheme, called action for employment, some 7 years ago, and did land myself a job – without the intervention or assistance of the course leaders, who took all the credit for me securing work, and was never given the £250 food vouchers as promised – I did try to pursue this at the time, but got nowhere.

    Like many others here, I have worked since leaving school, and only ever unemployed no more than a year at a time throughout my 20’s and 30’s. I paid my taxes and contributed significantly to the national economy, as well as put myself through adult education and even some University courses, yet not confident enough to go slightly higher paid jobs, precisely because many of the jobs I had worked in, were well below my skills set, and bullied out of at least one of them, because of my fantastic people-skills, now called ‘interpersonal abilities’.

    The government genuinely unaware of there being no jobs for the mass unemployed, debatable, even though the job center personnel far more on the level of the reality of the situation – why some who have worked their adult lives in these places, have packed in their jobs as job center employment advisors – especially so in the North of britain, if the information I have read from various sources indeed, true?.

    welfare dependancy, as some suppossed intellectuals and even some television celebrity figures lament: ‘a generational thing’ even though this is most certainly not the case at all. Oftentimes the reasons are to do with lack of fundamental free quality training.

    I have therefore reached my own informed conclusions, that however enlightened MPs for work and education appear, do not live on the same planet as those they are wanting to help get back into work – or force them into the unpaid arena of employment, so as to appease and satisfy middle-earning voters’ riotous angst about what they wrongly and always asumme, the jobless are in receipt of generous benefit payments – not fully abreast of extortiante rents/bills.

    What these same type of voters don’t quite compute, is that those very same benefits’ claimants, are paying the earnings of many thousands of people, not just those who work in the energy field. As a consumer nation, everything we pay for, become the wages of national workers, and even benefit claimants themsleves. Those on low to middle incomes, should understand and embrace this fact. As for the defeciet, we all know that it is as real as a skiing yeti outside our frontdoor step. If the government have the almighty funds to pour billions of national funds into the EU and fund the comfy lifestyles of the elite, then what is this debt’s existence?

  44. Steve Robinson
    January 9, 2015 at 1:34 am

    I’m on jsa, and the work programme. Was due to attend an appointment at 10am on the Wednesday just gone, at half 8 that morning I called to say I was unable to attend due to illness. My ‘Advisor’, instead of saying fine and he’ll arrange a new appointment,began to bully and threaten me with sanctions.I replied, in short, not too threaten me I’m ill, are you seriously telling me you can sanction me?? Basically the people in these places, jobcentre/work programme advisors, Ian Duncan-Smith et al are a bunch of twts!
    In short I’m all up for protesting, placards and all, any place any time.
    Vote anyone but Tory! @steveErobinson73

  45. Just another Lassie
    December 29, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Today its now a Crime to be poor , if your on Benefits – your a scrounger , and that’s by fellow people , all other organizations that claim to be able to help when on benefits , and the Job Centre itself .

    My partner and I had a Joint Claim for 9 months , due to me being quite ill , 4 sanctions back to back due to them telling lies , 4 sanctions overturned weeks later .But the hassle you go through in the mean time just gets worse , and even though your sanctioned for no apparent reason , your still expected to fork out money to sign on , an utter joke!!!

    My partner decided to walk his 45 minute journey both ways btw, then had to attend the work group 3 days a week also …… they were bloody useless , yes we tell you all we will help you back into work , but really we just fluff our way through your appointments and then moan at you for not being able to afford our hoop jumping techniques .

    Most jobs on the Job Site are for Teachers , School Leavers , JVC drivers ….. I mean come on , what bloody chance have we got ? and even though you sign up on the Job Centre Site , they still cant tell you your log in details if you lose your password , plus they tell you that even though you clicked that job link , they cant prove you applied for it …. so whats the bloody point of it ??

    All in All , its History repeating itself , the poor are being punished for being poor . I mean come on , we need Food Banks now , surely that shows the Gov and any Official Arse that our Economy is jacked! But hey , you still have legs – you can walk to the JC – You still have fingers – you can still sign declarations – you still have ears – which we can pour our poison into …… but is that it now ? Are we to be punished for having a bit of hard luck ? Not only are you on the lowest income in the bloody world (meaning JC income) but you also have to put up with the sanctions when you have no money as it is , really it sickens me , your reduced to poverty for not being employed , and god forbid you become ill when on JS , that’s you just ASKING for trouble .

    My partner and I are lucky though , we just got a job in a warehouse , and we actually danced when we found out . But the second we told the JOB CENTRE , they cut all ties with us that day!. Hey , we don’t get paid for 6 weeks , but whatever , apparently we are not in receipt of Benefits anymore , so we don’t ‘qualify’ for help …… and they don’t help that way , can you not borrow money from friends or family ?! As to your pets , maybe you should give them up to an Animal Charity , that would save you money !! Lol I wanted to climb through the phone and punch her , so so badly .

    So I may be even more skint that I was when on Job Seekers , but Im richer in body and mind , I dont have to put up with the lies , the sanctions , the terrible , terrible work program which is just utter bloody useless , nor the letters they send per month telling you , that you owe them money , but you actually don’t . The letters I receive from them make no bloody sense whatsoever , and I love that they write on it ‘ we have broken this down for you to understand’ and I just gut myself because Im still unable to understand half of it , so I just bin the letters unless it was an appointment .

    Dear Mr Government Official …. Lets do a wife swap , come live in my house for a month , come see what us normal people with money problems have to put up with , bet you any money you would not trade your life and way of living for 5 seconds , go sign on in normal clothes , go Undercover , go see how they treat us like utter garbage , then struggle daily with bills and simply things like milk and bread , hell never mind Gas costs in this cold! Then you will have a glimpse into our Badly Maintained , sanctioned the ass out of , food banked , poverty lifestyle …… maybe then you will stop targeting us for being poor and stop feeding the grape vine with lies about us being scroungers .

    I am a SCROUNGER , I admit it , there is NOTHING I would not do for my child , and if me having to sign on and claim benefits that we are apparently ‘entitled too’ but get called names and put down by your campaigns , then by all means I will wear that t-shirt proudly .

    I hope you shit a jaggie hedgehog , and a Happy New Year!

    *Soap box back under bed , kettle on*

    • Stressed out
      December 1, 2015 at 6:42 am

      I think the work programme has hacked into my email account and there’s some little virus in my computer, it’s never worked right since I’ve attended their office.

  46. oscar
    December 17, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    The entire signing on process is flawed.
    The first year is about signing on.
    I was offered IT training worth £2,000, but the offer was withdrawn because the job centre could not find a trainer in IT, and I could but I could not find a trainer that was “accredited” according to the Job Centre’s standards, despite my proposed trainer being an industry leader.
    Then after one year I was sent on work programme, which is scheduled to end in a couple of months.
    I have been given some help by them, basically they reviewed my CV, and gave me some interview training which actually was very useful and an eye opener.
    But I only go this after 15 months there.
    All of that should and could have been done within one month, the first month.
    Not of the work programme, but of signing on in itself.
    Why wait?
    Otherwise work programme has consisted of being sent on a couple of unsuitable interviews, or hours of pointless “Jobsearch” sessions at a computer in the work programme office which is slower than the one I have at home.
    I get my travel re-embursed…but so far after £180 worth of travel money re-embursed…no job.
    That money could have been used to send me on a training course.
    I have begged them to send me on IT training courses, written out my own proposals and found locations and dates of courses only to be told “We have no money”.
    The truth is that they do have money, but do not spend it correctly.
    My advisors have varied between the pushy, the nice, and the utterly inept.
    Most mean well, but simply do not have the skills, training or experience to help those looking for work.
    As for JobCentre, one lady I sign with is nice and understanding, one other is extremely rude and I am convinced she is trying to make me lose my temper so she can stop my benefits by claiming I threatened her, but I refuse to rise to the bait.

    • collette
      June 11, 2015 at 5:49 am

      Ive just finished the work programme and was called into the job center for an appt. with “corpral wendy” she told me ive got to sign on DAILY with supervised job search, for 15 weeks! the time i have to spend “searching” will be determined on the day, so i arrive at 9am and if she decides to make my life anymore miserable than she already has, i could be there all day! i have to apply for ANY job she tells me to and i they can be as far as an hour and a half car journey each way, and i have to be prepared to work an evening shift which is until 10pm! im a single parent of twin teenagers, my day is filled with housework, ironing, shopping and cooking as it is, i cant cope with her demands, but feel i dont have a leg to stand on, i have queried her actions and apparently its down to her, and even after 15 weeks, she could make me do another 15 supervised job searches! The thought of having her stand behind me fills me with so much dread, its all i can think about, so thankyou CORPORAL WENDY! our once happy home has become a miserable one, my kids will go anywhere rather than be around me and my stress!
      i just pray for the day the tables are turned!

      • Tarquin
        September 6, 2015 at 11:57 pm

        Speak to her at her home. She is hiding behind her employer. Find out where she lives and visit her on a weekend. Explain that she must treat you with some respect.

  47. Rob
    December 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Please note the Intensive Activity Programme is not only aimed at long-term claimants. I’ve been off work for a few years but chose NOT to claim benefits in that time, running up debts instead. I was forced to sign on 2 weeks ago, and have been put on an IAP sessions. Apparently this scheme is being expanded following successful trials.

    I am now *required* to supply recent references. Even though there simply are none! Failure to comply is twisted by them into being a “choice” that will lead to Jobseeker’s Allowance being automatically cut off without discussion or further warning.

    As well as demanding the impossible, the list of daily actions they demand is rising. I can’t remember them all. I mentioned my difficulty with this, and my worries about whether I’m becoming senile, and they didn’t even bother to record this.

    I could understand this approach if I’d been claiming for years, or even months, or if I’d been uncooperative in any way. But it’s a shock to be treated this way from day one, with NO account being taken of a person’s ability to comply with the demands. I know that other people will suffer through this far more than me. I still have some confidence intact, but the JC people seem hell bent on destroying it.

  48. Colin
    November 21, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I like many others have had to put up with a negative attitude from Jobcentre staff, they do not care, they just make excuses like we are only doing what the Government wants us to do. If a jobseeker proves them wrong on something, all they do is start making life difficult for that person, knowing that you can’t win, you basically have NO RIGHTS, what do they have to hide.

  49. Alex
    November 5, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    I hate this country, this attitude I mean bullying each other come from Government , I have been asked silly questions in Job centre every week and being bullied many times and they think we are stupid. they never help and wants to be a close friend and help us , in fact they make it worse for them self because people to start stay away from job centre adviser which I believe they are not adviser in reality . On they I will get out of this country because this government is truly useless.

  50. Eran James
    September 24, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    “Arbeit macht frei” is a German phrase meaning “work makes (you) free”. It should be placed over the offices of all Work Program providers, such as it was posted above many German concentration camps in WW2. Never have I seen such eveil and draconian methods of abuse against a vulnerable group of people. Pages from “Verschärfte Vernehmung” which was the German Gestapo bible for interrogation methods, strangely enough adopted by the US in interrogating terrorist suspects (that is if they are not killing them or their families), is the easiest way to describe the government sanctioned work program and its providers.
    To say we are a democratic 1st world country is an embarrassment having witnessed this abuse first hand the last 18 months. People are treated on an equal par with the Jews in the Ghettos in WW2 being systematically interrogated, harassed, and only coming short of execution because they live in the UK and not the Middle East where they can get away with it. They have fallen short of making the unemployed and sick wear red arms bands, but I am sure something along these lines have probably been discussed at some time.
    The government should be ashamed, but unfortunately that would require the people involved to have morals, and integrity, something I do not believe they have any more.
    If they spent as much time investing in business, expanding output and export, and actually creating jobs, as much as they do hounding people who are in a dark place, the world would be a better place. But this would mean MP’s actually doing what they are paid to do, get off their arse, and that will never happen.
    This government has completely lost its moral compass. Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, the founders of the welfare state in Briatin, would turn in their grave if they knew that the most needy were now being victimised rather than helped.

  51. Vanilla
    July 25, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Everyone is complaining but you all ain’t doing anything about it! go protest! Cuz things won’t change unless u stand up 2 them.

  52. Jan O
    July 22, 2014 at 7:07 am

    My daughter was told that she had to attend a Work Programme – 10 miles away, meaning two buses and a 30 minute walk through housing estates in Sunderland, and she did not know Sunderland. Yet she was told it was to help her local community. She was actually given the address and the post code given by Job Centre plus in Washington turned out to be a postcode in Birmingham over 200 miles away. When she eventually found the place she was kept waiting for over 40 minutes then told Job Centre Plus had not booked her in. The same with another man who was also waiting. In the end we asked as she suffers Epilepsy and is Dyslexic if I could come into the room. We were refused. My daughter said she had just done a pregnancy test and was pregnant. The person on the desk said that she had better go and speak to her advisor and cancelled the appointment even though my daughter wanted to do the interview. The other person, the man who also came along, his appointment was also cancelled. We then realised that my daughter was expected to go into a room with another claimant and sit for over one and a half hours for a placement discussing all her private data infront of this other job claimant and then he also had to do the same. I always thought all Data was private and always treated as such. So why are Job Centre plus not honouring this. Two days later after the person cancelled the appointment my daughter went to Job Centre plus, she was bullied and shouted at by a young man and told that she had better have a G.P.’s letter and the name of her midwife and a big white pregnancy pack by the next day to hand over to Job Centre plus in Washington Tyne and Wear or she would be sanctioned. My daughter as said suffers epileptic fits when under stress and this young man bullied and refused to listen when she said it would be impossible to see her G.P. and have a letter from him as it was already 3.20pm in the afternoon when she was at Job Centre plus and it takes 2-4 days to even give a doctors appointment never mind the name of a midwife and a large white pregnancy pack. I could see my daughter getting more and more stressed and I started to become frightened in case she had a seizure. As I walked over to my daughter the advisor said, Get back, sit on the sofa, you are not allowed to approach the desk. I simply tapped my daughter on the arm and said, Come on Dear, its’ time to go, and we got up and walked off. He shouted, does that mean your signing off, I replied, Nothing is worth this bullying, you have done well today, you have bullied my daughter so much, yes, pat yourself on the back, a disabled pregnant woman aged 23, you have got her off. I then asked to speak to the Manager, who was at a funeral, 20 minutes later a very high handed person arrives, no name given, and we asked if we could speak to her privately in a room as other claimants were in the foyer. No, she replied. Then said I could not talk. My daughter said that it would be impossible to get a G.P.’s letter by tomorrow morning as it was almost 4p.m. and also said she could not get the name of her midwife by then. I said the advisor was a bully and the woman replied he was not and that he had not said she needed the name of a midwife by the time she came tomorrow. (She simply denied, and did not even say she would check with him to find out what had been said). Anyway, my daughter is now off benefits, but it speaks volumes about this country when they are bullying vulnerable people like this. I am actually ashamed to be british.

  53. Gillian Aspinall
    July 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I am 61, due for retirement next year. After leaving the Work Program which was utterly useless for most people, and bad experience of A4E, i am now back with Jobcentre Plus. I have attended a mandatory course for two weeks on targetting your CV, (so that it goes through machines which filter CVs with the right buzz words so that it doesn’t go in the bin), some interview technique, how to work a photocopier etc, didn’t get me a job just worsened my irritable bowel syndrome. Now I have a “Work Advisor”, have to go into JBC plus every week for an interview from someone who can’t wait to retire, and who says things like “have you taken your CV round to …where? shops, companies etc, well no not recently but yes in the past, and never heard a thing. “sounds like you’re in a rut,you’re a clever girl, you want to get yourself out there…” well yes of course after applying for jobs for 6 years and not getting anywhere, apart from doing voluntary work, and a very part-time job at Homebase, where I landed up worse off and getting a debt letter from some private debt chasers for over payment of the privatised jobseekers allowance because the job had messed it up (p/t job money taken off your jobseekers!!).
    What I’m saying is that the treatment of jobseekers disabled or not is appalling, and the hoops you have to go through (total waste of money) when its highly unlikely you’re going to land a decent job at my age but still have to go through this farce every week is crazy, nasty and wasting taxpayers money. I should have been able to retire 18 months ago instead I have another 16 months of this. Just spent the pm having great difficulty printing off CV’s to walk round different places in case I might get a job offer. Why are we being abused by these governments when they caused all this mess in the first place! Constant humiliation and lack of real help from JBCPlus is the norm now,everything is about targets these days not people.

  54. Rammy Lammy
    June 25, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    There is nothing we can do we have to endure it, some advisors are not nasty, but some are. P.S the Work Programmes are a waste of time, you get nothing for doing them, it’s just to make the country look like loads of people have been given work that’s all.

  55. Shabina
    June 2, 2014 at 3:28 am

    A friend of mine who works in a London Jobcentre was given a list of names by his manager which was titled “The 20 Most Wanted”. My friend was told to call up these customers and invite them to an interview the next morning…then to make notes on the customers record if they refused. If customers did not have their phones on or their phones were on answerphone then customers were done for not being available for work. If they did not turn up for their appointment then their money was stopped. If they refused on the phone to come in or said thet they couldn’t make it their money was also stopped.

    This proves that the unemployed are treated like criminals !

    • Chris O'Hare
      June 16, 2014 at 4:46 am

      I’m now what’s known as a ‘Work Programme Completer’. I did the full two years on that programme and didn’t find a job. The programme is a waste of time.

      Later this morning I’ve to attend my local Job Centre Plus office where I’ve to meet a ‘Personal Advisor’ who’ll offer me intensive help to find work. I’m dreading the meeting because the government has recently introduced a new set of measure to ‘help’ people into work.

      Such new measures include working for benefits, Workfare’ and attending the Job Centre every day. Neither of which will help anyone.

      As I type, I’m psychologically preparing myself for a confrontation later this morning. I’ve already experienced a four week sanction (hell)and another would mean a thirteen week sanction. That’s thirteen weeks of starvation.

      I’ve completed my Jobseekers Diary (another waste of time) and I’ve been using Universal Jobmatch to look for work, however several of the jobs I’ve applied for are fake. I discovered this after sending off my CV. Where my CV went to, I do not know.

      Being unemployed is a nightmare. Jobcentre Plus staff don’t help.

  56. hopeforjustice
    May 28, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I happily report that the DWP’s contempt of the law, and their refusal to accept it backed by my local MP.
    I was placed on the Work Programme on the express command of a single senior member of the DWP which handily enabled them to avoid answering any questions. No explanation was given as to what the programme was designed to achieve. I was duly censured for not attending a work placement and the DWP refused to accept as I was not receiving any JSA allowance or any benefits at all, and that I would receive no remuneration from the employer, that this amounted to an enforced labour programme, I was even expected to fund my trips to this place of work as I had to my mandated meetings with my work provider which is against their own rules which state no one should be financially disadvantage by being placed on the programme. They they even refuse to acknowledge that their legal argument put up at the High Court has any bearing when at the tax payers expense they argued that as the state was paying the individual (JSA) it could not amount to a slave programme. The refuse to acknowledge the legality of Judge Foskett’s High Court judgement. The DWP advise contacting ICE (joke as they appear to be governed by their desire to earn bonuses) but this esteemed body can not comment of legal matters as neither can the Parliamentary Ombudsman.
    Having survived the Work Programme which relied purely on blackmail, coercion and intimidation which legally invalidates any contract, but again who cares about the legal process, and being informed that immediately you are allocated to the Work Programme you lose all your rights under the law and that they could demand my internment at their will, I was allocated to the Work for Welfare programme (post work programme).At my interview for this new exciting programme I was informed that as I was considered not to be vulnerable and that as I was not receiving any JSA allowance I would only be permitted to “sign on ” as the DWP had to conserve their resources fro deserving cases and at the age of 59 I should not be selfish by looking for employment and depriving more deserving individuals. I was also told that as I had had sufficient NI contributions that I was wasting their time and mine and was costing myself monies it was pointless to still register as unemployed. This statement was followed up by a declaration that I could consider, after a lapse of time, that I could re-register as unemployed and it that way the local employment office would be credited with helping someone out of being unemployed which would help when bonuses where being distributed, to be really helpful could I do this three or four times a year.
    As to the Minister every declaration he makes is a lie as I have the documentation to prove his public statements are false.
    Well done Dave slavery is alive and thriving in your new Britian!

  57. Elena
    April 14, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Today I attended a back to work interview where I am expected to now look for work. Assessor asked me if I was going to apply for part time or full time employment. I have severe M.E ( chronic fatigue ) and have a personal carer who does everything for me. I also have asthma, reynauds disease and depression, well who wouldn’t be depressed with this carry on. Cried myself to sleep the night before thinking how my health will deteriorate with the stress. I get ambulance transport to hospital appointments and have a doctors medical note. Even drs are are only giving a sick note for a few weeks at a time. We need this goverment out before people start rioting. What with a class divide now created by the government with the working people on one side and the unemployed on another it’s a recipe for a future disaster. Job centre staff and drs are under government orders to crack down on the unemployed and it’s not about how to get us into work but get us off benefits at all cost due to the cost of paying us. If they need to save money They really need to be looking at stopping mps claiming thousands in expenses it will save the country a fortune but they don’t look to get their own house in order. This country is being brought to its knees with bedroom tax and the the job centre having the power of gods and acting like nazis. This will end in disaster and future governments will hang their heads in shame when the damage is done and someone in power comes to their senses and stops this nonsense once and for all.

    • Gillian Aspinall
      July 8, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      hear hear!Bastards

  58. Steve Butler
    April 11, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Well, that has really helped me a lot, thanks Jobcentre!!!!. Despite having a back condition for over 25 years & working for over 20 of those year,appling for approx 400 jobs since 2009,putting myself on the work programme for 2 years,being on morphine patches & other strong medication.The jobcentre has decided to ignore my Doctors & hospital letters & in his words ” you do not have to tell potential employer about your medical condition,….its not lying, its just not telling them” followed by ” I am not a Doctor,but you can apply for any job”, what the hell have I been doing since 2009!!!! except I have been declaring my medical condition, FFS!!! I already feel really low,lower than snake sh*t, now I feel even lower & had enough of all this pain & pressure, just feel like giving up.

  59. sarah b
    April 10, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    I have been bullied into signing papers at a4e that i do not understand. i have mental health problems, when presented with papers i asked if i could take them away to read and/or get someone to help me understand, they refused, started talking about how i have to comply with what they say or there will be sanctions. so i told him i didn’t really understand what i was signing and he said ‘ it’s nothing important, just that you will let us help you and will turn up to appointments’ so i signed, now i am worried because i don’t really know what i signed. he said at my next appointment i would meet someone trained to deal with clients with disabilities and when i asked if i could bring someone with me he said there was no need and she would really want to see me on my own the first time, so i said i wouldn’t. i feel so upset and confused. i told him i had been going for one hour a week to train in some IT skills and thought one day i might like to work in an office and he said ‘ that’s too high pressure work for you’…so after only one real meeting with them i feel devalued and crap, and i may have mental health problems but that does not mean i’m stupid, before i became ill i was on my way to get 1st class honours degree,now i am patronized by a boy in a suit. i told him that every letter they had sent mentioned sanctions and it made me feel scared and he said they had to do that cause people wouldnt come otherwise, i said yes they would, people want work, he said they don’t want to work, go out there and ask and 90% of em don’t want to work. this is a horrible attitude, i think people do want to work but don’t want to be bullied, threatened and patronised by idiots in smart clothes. i do not trust this agency, why would they not want me to get help to understand what i was signing?

  60. muriel park
    April 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    i have been sick for a number of years with copd asthma and i can ham even though i struggle to walk on a crutch i need hip replacements i now been sent on a mandartry course ,told im fit for work im 60 had my pension taken away till im 64 think its disgusting

  61. TonyDiBz
    March 29, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    I have been on 3 work programmes over the last 3 years including work trails… illness had stopped my attending job centre from November 2013, having left last work programme couple of months prior.

    I am in my 50’s have worked. My children all work [dismissing the tory line of non working family!]. I still search around my ability to do type of employment posts.

    I have seen alot of changes in that there are more part time and zero hour posts than full time posts. Most have to have full time posts in order to have enough to live on ~ those [like me] have children grown and flown the original family home, so will not have the likes of tax credits that those with children to support will have.

  62. work programme jobcentre jokes
    March 24, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I am currently living in Keighley west Yorkshire I am under the interserv work programme.
    I was sent to the work programme and the jobcentre was running a course that would have had me back in work within 2 weeks and they refused point blank to send me on the course and sent me to interserv for two years where is the sense in that??? They say they want us to work so why be so backwards? I have worked all my life but due to the present climate I had to stop working for my self as a sparky and claim benefits which I hate I Just want to work I have 5 months left at the work programme and I have gone through 5 advisers so far as the are useless!!! Im lucky if I get an appointment every two months what a joke! The jobcentre runs free courses for hgv driving as there is a 45% increase in hgv expected next year but a 5 day course that could have me working in 2 weeks because im on the work programme they are refusing to send me on it and have also said they won’t send me on it even when im back in 5 months how dose that get me back into work? I can be working in 2 weeks time and they would rather pay me benefits for 5 months more then to get me back into employment! If you are being bullied by them then I would have to look at the basic human rights as stated no one has the right to bully any one and the court of human rights can be contacted on this subject seek the citizen advice on this matter. The country is run by idiots that fill there pockets with the profits of the country 2 houses cars holidays on expense accounts no wonder the country is falling apart at the seems giving billions to other countries and not getting any return! Also the amount of illegal immigrants in this country coming over here to get benefits to send home and never work a day in their lives close the boarders get all the immigrants out of the country back to their own countrys and maybe get rid of the Conservative party as they are causing the problems

  63. carol carter
    March 23, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I worked since leaving school until i damaged my neck. I have a medical condition now through this (put not disabled enough for esa according to the stupid medical assessors) so I thought ok i will try and get a job i can do without ending up in total agony. I have been through the work programe – which was a total waste of time and I am now on the post work program list at the job centre. Who like many others are becoming paid bullies for the government and say ‘they are just doing their job’ – people under hitler said the same thing.
    Many on jsa / esa have worked and would love to work again and are NOT scroungers at all.
    The job centre (ironically titled) bully, threaten, intimidate, pressure and treat you like scum. They force you (people like myself with medical problems – which are hard enough to deal with) to do things – that would put your health at risk. Pointless, laughable things that will do nothing to get you a job.
    All I want is a job that i can do without killing myself doing it. Althoug to tories and there mindless middle class sheep that vote for them this is a preferred option.

    Cant a government (just for a change) help the people of this country and go down in history for being a successful, loved and forward thinking government – rather than nasty, money grabbing, life destroying, heartless, corrupt, evil thugs.

    • Shabina Houque
      June 2, 2014 at 3:00 am

      Work programme returners have to sign everyday. When a WP returner questioned this , the advisor replied “If you can’t hack it then I recommend that you sign off now, as its a tough regime that is going to get tougher” the advisor is from an eatern european country and is really nasty to the jobseekers.

      • Tarquin
        September 7, 2015 at 12:03 am

        I wouldn’t tolerate a foreigner giving me orders. Tell tell the slavic fool to get back to his own country. His forefathers were not so tough when faced with Hitler’s men.

  64. Graham
    February 14, 2014 at 5:03 am

    We are in the hands of Lunatics..!! I’m done…….

  65. Catrin
    January 29, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Does anyone know where I can report the job centre in Pwllheli. I’m disabled and I’m being bullied by them. They are trying to make me do jobs that I can’t do because of the Dyspraxia. I’m trying my best to find a job that is suitable for me. I have just been to the job centre now and I’m crying my eyes out wrighting this. I don’t know what to do or where to go. If anyone knows how to report the job centre please contact me on facebook { my facebook is catrin elen williams, I have red hair and glasses }. I just need some advice. I can’t take it any more. I go on the website and type down what I’m doing to look for a job and sometimes it doesn’t save and then when I go to the job centre they shout at me and threaten to take my money for me. They know what I can and cannot do with my disability because I have a report from a work psychologist saying what I can and can’t do but they seem to be ignoring it. I’m close to going to the police because they are so bad, but I don’t want to get the police involve in it. I’m trying my best to find a job that’s all I can do.

    • one of the lucky ones
      January 31, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      Listen just hang in there, most of the time its empty threats try and not let it ruin your life.
      I was in the same situation as you and have social anxiety, I was bullied so badly that I thought abt living off the grid.

      Things will get better, I eventually got a job and have been working for nearly a year now.
      Just don’t give up and when you finally find work you can forget about the jc and work programme.

      Please don’t let thum get 2 u.. a wish you all the best.. just keep your head up.x

      • Catrin
        February 1, 2014 at 11:46 pm

        Thank you for the replies and support. I will not to let them get the better of me. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who has problems with the job centre.

    • ken
      January 31, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      What there doing is common up and down the country,and illegal under disability laws. sadly jobcentre staff are highly two faced,nice to your face and very nasty behind it,occasionally here also their true colours’ surface at interviews.G4s have been intimidating also with hard intimidatory stares at people joining in.people with learning difficulties are easy targets for abuse.

      Their main tactic is sanctions through jobsearch if that doesn’t work expect a more upfront approach.best advice go to the citizens advice bureau or the parliamentary onbudsman.

    • giselle
      March 29, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      Have you asked to speak to the disability advisor at the jobcentre? All job centers are supposed to have one, and they can be quite helpful. Make sure that it says on your jobcenter notes that you are vulnerable and have a disability.

    • k donohoe
      May 18, 2015 at 11:03 pm

      hi,am sorry to read about your visit to job centre but dont despair. i to have had problems with them which ended in me telling them exactly what i thought of them & their methods last thursdayTake my advise & ring your local M P & explain everything to them as i did.They need to know & will act for you. Good luck.

  66. colin sanderson
    January 6, 2014 at 11:24 am

    The problems come from the attitude of the English people,we are like turkey voting for Christmas, we just don’t know that one day we may be one of the turkeys(unemployed)People think that they are somehow different and are somehow immune from unemployment or that they are so in demand that they can find a job easily

    Until the attitude of the British people changes there is little hope of change in the policies. People like politicians to be tough, they are tough on others, is that being tough, when its purpose is to make life easy for themselves. Being tough is going against popular opinion an being kind.

  67. diane
    December 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Im on the works programme and basically its rubbish. Ive found myself 13 hours work. No help from the works programme. I have to find 16 hours so im getting there. But ive been told that if the job centre find me a 16 hour job and I go for the interview I cant tell the person who is interviewing me that I already work. If I mention it I will be sanctioned. If I go for an interview and get the job I will be forced to give up my 13 hours work or lose my money. Im in a no win situation unless I can find 3 more hour. How ridiculous is that!!!

  68. Jodie Collingbourne
    November 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    My boyfriend claims jsa for me and him. Not a day goes by that his not out looking 4 work he also goes on job sites online everyday and applys for endless jobs with no luck what so ever. i just had a baby and he didnt attend one meeting and they stopped our payments for 6 weeks even though we could prove id be in hospital. They dont care about people they just care about meeting there targets and making sure they keep up with the rules state. What they give u 2 live of is the bare min why would anyone not want to work.

    • Shabina Houque
      June 2, 2014 at 3:16 am

      At a London Jobcentre an advisor would fill out forms to sanction customers and lock them in his desk drawer. He would then invite these customers in to an interview and deliberately try and trip them up, he would then just sign the completed form and send it off to get the customer sanctioned.

      He was then rewarded by his district manager for hitting his targets for getting so many customers sanctioned each month. These rewards in the shape of £25 shopping vouchers , and were often paid for my the district managers themself !

  69. Maria
    November 7, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Hate this government .have to attend my first interview this week as the previous two had to be rearranged because they couldn’t organize a pee up in a brewery!Hate them already!

  70. Mike Jay
    November 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Okay, so, I’m currently on the work programme and this will end for me at the beginning of 2014. However, even though I actively job search (Upto 7 jobs a week) I’m actually being threatened with sanctions already by 2 seperate advisors, not by a JC Advisor but my current 2 advisors that I see at Interserve… This downright bullying method is uncalled for and to be honest, pure pathetic… I and everyone here is doing as they’re asked to. They keep “reminding” me that if I fail to do a JSA Directive I’ll receive such a sanction… The amount of times I’ve told them, “You don’t need to tell me this as I already know, I can read… Ya know, the letters you post, the agreements I sign, the reminding notices you hand out about not using the UJ (Universal Jobmatch) online websh*te/service.”… To which most of the time they’ll say “Careful. I’ll sanction you for getting sarcastic…” Seriously! I could get a sanction for being straight forward as to me acknowledging that I already know the “rules”.

    To be honest with you all. The quicker I get a paid job, the less I’ll hear about the stupid pathetic JobCenter and anything the idiotic government does to amend the JobSearch policies. And still even when I get a job, this stupid government will never get my vote… yeah, I’m talking to both the Conservatives (The idiots making the rich richer and the poor poorer – to be honest, that’s elitism) and the Lib Dems (cowards).

  71. RockNroller
    October 17, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I finished the Work Program not long ago and they now have me going to the jobcentre around twice a week and they just try to bully you in too doing free work trials for free, wich the companies take advantage of and rarely give anyone the job after, also most of the unpaid work you are forced to do is not even the kind of work you are looking for or suitable, they make you feel low and depressed, they should be ashamed the way they treat people is horrendous.

    • Susan whitton
      December 10, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      I know what’s it like because I just been to the job centre and feels like that I am been bully into doing free work for this useless government to make them well that is going to change because I will be ask to come off this useless post work programme and asking to a regular signing on with a normal adviser

  72. john
    September 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Ive been on the work program for a few months. Initially all was well, my advisor seemed friendly and supportive. I am a therapist who works in substance misuse/mental health. My advisor has told me to apply for jobs in Zoo’s because of my knowledge of psychology, hilarious! told me to apply for senior specialist sales management jobs because i once worked as salesman during university, not funny at all, and now i am told to apply for driving jobs with no driving experience, very depressing. How Interesting! bearing in mind i apply for jobs every week in my own profession.

    Hows this for a change. i cannot afford a mobile phone as the bedroom tax has left me with just £16 each week to live on after electric, gas, water and housing payments and this money is all i have for food. No problem i will suffer like everyone else until i get a job.

    Then out of the blue i get an email:

    you say that you did not agree to a telephone interview as you have no telephone and have stated in the Email your son has informed you he will not be an intermediary. In this case, I would advise you to use your Job seekers Allowance. If you are unaware of what your Job Seekers Allowance is for, it is exactly that. For Job seeking proposes.

    Is that true? what about buying food to live? sounds spiteful and degrading to me

    then more:

    If you are unable to purchase a phone, I will mandate that you save £5 per week for 5 weeks until this action is completed and you have a working phone. Not adhering to mandated activities by your Work Programme Advisor may result in a doubt being raised for failing to comply and effect your full entitlement to benefits. On this occasion it would mean the purchasing of a cheap phone from CEX ( £20 pounds ) and a sim card ( £3 pounds )

    Unbelievable! how do i respond to that??

    Not loving the work program at all. i can get my own job.

  73. chris
    August 18, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Hi, Slightly off topic, but I have just logged into my UJM account this afternoon to find that 4 notified jobs have been saved by my advisor. I have been in hospital for 3 days after suffering from a severe epileptic seizure late on Friday night which required medical intervention in order to enter recovery.

    The vacancies that have been saved for me are all over the 90 minutes travel time specified by JCP, with the nearest vacancy being 46miles away. All four vacancies are totally unsuitable for me due to my medical condition. Three of them are for driving roles even though they know I have no driving licence due to epilepsy. The 4th vacancy is for a HVAC (High Voltage electrical) engineer on railway lines, also requiring a driving licence and PTS (Personal Track Safety) certificate which I do not have at present. Also would they seriously expect me with a doctors note for Complex Partial seizures to work with the danger of 25’000 volts around me? I have to be selective about the work I do as I cannot work with machines, high voltages, heights, driving or new water.

    I did not tick the boxes giving permission for my advisor to access my account, yet when I’ve been on there today they were ticked and the CV my WPP did (which is fraudulent to the point of qualifications added/removed) has been added. I have gone back into my profile this afternoon and unticked them again and saved the settings. Have also deleted the WPP CV.

    Since my 1st post WP appointment at JCP in July I have already been sanctioned for not attending an appointment which I did not know about. The letter was handed to me in the Jobcentre when I went in as they had put a non recognised number on.

    Where do I stand with regards to the positions I cannot do? I have composed a complaint directly to the Ombudsman Service and Independent case examiner (as advised by CAB) to be sent by special delivery as I have had no joy with JCP (they advise me to sweep under the carpet and I should be aiming to get back into work, ANY work). I’m totally knackered, not sleeping and the stress from this bullying is probably the main contributory factor to my epilepsy getting worse and putting me in hospital. I have another appointment at the Jobcentre on 6th September at 9am. Then ATOS (who I’ve had to overturn twice already) the following week.

    I think that DWP are making it so unpleasant to claim benefits that people are forced to sign off just to keep their health and sanity. I have already been back into work twice in the last 2 years and both times witnessing my epilepsy has been enough for my employers to comment that I shouldn’t be at work. I don’t cry often but these crooked b***ards have got me in tears.

    • UnderstandYourFeelings
      September 28, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Sorry to hear about the Epilepsy, Chris. I suffer from the same and have had right temporal lobectomy surgery. The fact that they are pushing for driving and risky electrical jobs is outrageous!

      You, if you’re anything like me, probably have a couple of photos of you looking bruised and battered after a seizure (if you knocked your head against the ground or a wall or something hard?). If so, I would get it increased in size and email it to your local MP, the CEO of your Work Programme provider and your Work Programme provider local manager, stating that you wish to avoid this in the future and, as such, are unable to accept offers of employment which place your health at risk.

      You could, probably, dig out some kind of medical letter/email that explains the lower tolerance you have to employment-related health risks, given your fully documented disability.

  74. Martyn
    August 6, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I am soon to finish the WP with A4E, but did manage to find work with them. Unfortuntely, I had to leave the job after 6 months because of work place harrasment and bullying. This week I was bullied by a member of staff at the Job Centre because she felt that anyone could fill in their record sheet and pretend to look for work; I could sense that there was something not right with this woman when I sat down to sign-on, she was very dismissive and the questions were asked in a mean-spirited tone of voice. I defended myself and demanded to see the manager. I felt as though I was being interogated for a serious crime. Instead, I was put through to an adviser upstairs who threatened to sanction me for a month or so. It has now gone to a decision maker.

    I am fully aware of the implications of non-compliance with the job seekers agreement, but it seems as if everyone is subject to different criteria and standards; some people can avoid sanctions and some people cannot. It depends upon what is stipulated in the agreement.

    But to be treated like that is just out-of-order.

    If the sanction goes through I will be taking steps to inform my MP. I have already logged a complaint against this woman in the job centre.

    • Tarquin
      September 7, 2015 at 12:06 am

      The only jobs they offer are warehousing and arse wiping and nobody wants to do that.

      • Stressed out
        December 1, 2015 at 7:05 am

        Why oh why can’t I get a job part time, daytime hours Monday to Friday? I’d consider most work within reason although it’s office based on my cv but there’s just nothing out there or so many want this and I’m just not the lucky one chosen, someone hinted that Scotland is being punished by England because we were so close to independence. They are pulling businesses out of Scotland and taking the work to England as they want to see our country fall as punishment for daring to think we could stand on our own? makes you wonder.

        • UnderstandYourFeelings
          September 28, 2016 at 11:41 am

          I was made redundant from a good job at a well known multinational mobile phone company in 2013. I have a MSc in Computer Science, BA(Hons) in Public Administration and Management, loads of professional accreditations and 14 years’ hands-on and managerial technology experience, looking after budgets, people, and projects that were high profile and share price sensitive.

          Despite the above, I have been unable to get past the first or second interview stage, for over one hundred interviews since 2013. My CV is honest and gets me regular interviews. However, for one reason or another (perhaps, through lack of confidence, or due to my Epilepsy and side-effects of my medication inhibiting my memory during interview), I just do not get the job offer after interview. I have tried to ask both employers and Maximus Work Programme to arrange for the interview performance to be weighted less and augmented by a trial period in the workplace to demonstrate my suitability, but no-one seems willing to do this. I would have thought this would fall under the guise of a “Reasonable Adjustment” for the recruitment process and would help the employer gain a true insight into my capabilities and how I could contribute to their team?

          I have been very close to suicide due to my 3 year unemployment and the way the JCP and Work Programme have treated me. So close that I have ended-up in hospital after an unsuccessful attempt.

          I am feeling a little better now as I have decided to go for a PhD in Advanced Quantum Computing Network Security and have had some interest from BT for them to pay for me to join their Quantum Key Distribution PhD team at Cambridge University. The money isn’t great initially, but goes up as I progress through the PhD. I feel if it hadn’t been for the PhD offer, I may not be here today to talk about my experiences with unemployment and Job Centre Plus and Maximus (my Work Programme Provider).

          I think it is high time that 99% of people woke up and started to shine a light on the 1% at the top of the tree who are avoiding/evading taxes, fraudulently stealing taxpayer money, rigging the financial markets, starting wars to sell arms, fuel and other commodities to both sides in order to gain profit by losing lives. With the ruling elite pitting us against each other, it is time for a backlash where the ruled send a clear message to the rulers that love is stronger than hate and all humans have more things in common than we have differences. Remember, the only way we are abused and treated badly is by being divided and conquered. Strength in unity should be the route out of poverty for the masses. When people come together, we can achieve anything and protect our interests, frustrating those who seek to divide and abuse us.

  75. julia whatley
    August 5, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    I have been put on the Post Work thing and I din’t even complete the work programme! My first encounter with Prospects Ascent was so alien to me in a class room situation surrounded by complete morons and this was just the team who suppose to help you! So I decided never to go there.. I was lucky secured a job in a millionaires mansion and after 6 months got given the push. COW.. I signed on again reluctantly and for some reason they thought I had been with the Work Programme for two years!
    So of course I am subject to this cruel harsh regime by people who worked for the Gestapo!
    Trouble is I am 57 a active environmentalist with lots of skills but not the ones these hard face Civil Servants recognise!
    JOB SEEKER ALLOWANCE.. anyone unemployed has to take any job even though it destroys the planet, creates garbage, pollutes the planet!
    I am off , f*ck this credit me with some intelligence only just bloody signed on!

    • ken stokes
      August 23, 2013 at 9:49 am

      Dear Julia
      I do sympathise with your predicament. I too have finished Work Programme – largely a waste of time- and am now having to go through a series of pointless DWP courses, where the course facilitator didnt really know what she was doing and couldnt see the point of half of the stuff she was supposedto teach- all really demeaning- now getting v hard time from DWP @personal advisor’ who wanted to sanction me last week but realised he coulnt do it on a non-signing day- I know they just want tp bully people off their benefits but most people have no other income- I live in Carlisle and theres v litte decent work here would love to have A MEAANINGFUL JOB THATS ETHICAL ETHICAL -fat chance- hope things pick up for you soon.

  76. Sharon
    August 3, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I am due to finish my work programme in November, when I asked about unpaid work I was told by an adviser at the job centre that unless it is a charitable organisation you have to sign off. They cannot force you to work for no pay it is against the rules.

  77. Marge
    August 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    I was 56 when I was placed on the ironically named Work Programme and, despite emailing several applications per week, simply watched the months go by until I reached 58. And the end of the programme. With zilch to show for it except several folders on my email account stuffed with so many applications I couldn’t begin to count them!

    I was told by my ‘adviser’ (and they changed at almost every review because A4E has a suspiciously rapid turnover of staff) that my age was not a factor. Considering all the ‘advisers’ looked bright, shiny and definitely under 30 I think they may have been having a larf……..

    Now I am on the Post Work Programme Support Programme and expect no change in my prospects whatsoever unless someone at the JobCentre has a bloody big magic wand they can wave to knock about 25 – 35 years off my age.

    • ken stokes
      August 23, 2013 at 9:53 am

      Dear Marge
      I sympathise with your situation Im 55 and had much the same experience as you with A4e- 2 years and nothing to show for ot and now v nasty hassle from the Job Centre- only looking forward to old age!

  78. sean
    July 15, 2013 at 5:53 am

    i just had my appointment at the jobcentre having missed the post work programme interview as i did noot recieve the letter!, i arrived at the jobcentre on the expectation they were going to tell me taht i was being sanctioned etc etc,then BAM! this f***ng horrible vile cretin of a woman started laying into me repeated to the point i lost my temper with her,she preceeded to state that i have been unemployed for to long and within 5 minutes of being in there shes put me on a 4 week training course to gain a f***ng first aid certificate and other sh*t which isnt industry recognised!,then another blow she signed me up for an 8 week course yes 8 weeks ! at a pub/restaurant to be a f***ng waiter!,my circumstances have changed i have a long criminal record with very severe offences on i told her this,i then preceeded to tell her that ive finally got into college and will be starting in september,to this she replied well how are you going to suppot yourself ? i told her that i would be waiting until the funding has come through for the course the JSA and then i would find work to this she said no one at college is on JSA.this arguement went on for a long time and everytime i tried to explain she would crush my dreams of a future career telling me that she has 2 people on her books that are fully qualified motorcycle engineers and they cant get work and said why do you think you will! she kept going on and on putting me off college .

    this basically ended with me leaving the interview with a stack of paper .feeling so low it amazes me that theres this woman crushing ambitions 10 times a day .im now at a huge sadness as i dont know what to do i want to start college but she says that i will need to give it up if a job comes along (meaning forced job) somehow ive gotta last this out until the funding is finished and im enrolled .very upset with this words cannot describe how hard my life has been ive seen things no one should see ive endured things no child shouldve endured. been in and out of cells since 15 .now when im sorting this abyss of decay that is my life this hitler turns up and undoes all my work .if i have to go back to crime i really will but like most the crime i commited i only did it because i had to .

    i really dont want it to end this way and it will kill me inside if i have to do all those horrible things again especially now as i truly value whats right and wrong .

    kind regards sean

    • Tom Brown
      August 26, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      No one at college is on JSA to be fair – because when you’re at college full time you can’t be job seeking. If you’re still young then take the waiter job, it might not be what you want to do but if you’re developing yourself and building your CV then that’s only a good thing. Once you’ve done that you may be able to find a bar/restaurant job for evenings and weekends to support yourself through college.

  79. Jonny
    July 9, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Well it does get worse I was senton the 2 year work programme what was/is a complete waste of time and money alls they ever did was make me sit at computers and look for work or try and persude me to do work trials Now i’ve finished with days Jobcentreplus had me in there office I have to sent I felt they was rude inconsiderate and horrible ad felt as if I was picked on I now have to sign on everyday with them and see the same adviser for 6 months I don’t see how going everyday is going to get me employment when the jobs just aren’t there and the jobs that are there hundreds of people apply for My next appointment is for thursday at 8:40 am Well I think i’m going to lose everything cos i’m going tell them theres no way i’m attending everyday and theres no chance of them having access to my universal jobsmatch they think they can do what they want but they cant I’m absolutly sick of being passed from pillow to post by jobcentre well it stops now and if I lose my benefit I will fight to get it back

  80. uaruman
    June 23, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Having just reached the age of 65, I can breath a sigh of relief. Having watched my own industry pay less in real terms than it did in 1984, coupled with the fact that it relies more on none UK workers than ever, it still boasts incredible profits.

    How? Very simple. It relies on non-union involvement and low wages coupled with Working Tax Credits. How is it possible that 30 years on massive profits are being made with wages and conditions that are more akin to the 1920’s?

    There are people, who through no fault of their own, will never work.
    As employers demand more flexibility (zero hour contracts are a prime example)and the Governments refusal to take this issue responsibly and seriously, it slowly becomes the politics of the madhouse.

    Everybody, before leaving school, should be made to read The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell.

    Published in 1914 anybody reading this for the first time will find it hard to believe that it was written one hundred years ago. Absolutely nothing has changed and never will.

  81. Arthur
    June 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    The work programme was supposed to be the answer to unemployment. However, the government have not taken into account the millions of people with criminal records and in particular, those who will always fail CRB checks due to the nature of their offence.

    There is no government help for ex-offenders and certainly none at all for sex offenders – of which there is an ever increasing number thanks to the over-broad definition of sexual offences in the UK.

    The government doesn’t even want to talk about thses problems. I know – I’ve tried

  82. joseph
    June 23, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I have just come off the work programme which was a total waste of time. Because i have a criminal record, they didn’t even try to find anyone to even give me an interview.

    Before the work programme, the job centre were just as useless.

    Now they want me to go to the job centre everyday, go through the same cv training i have already been through and even consider doing unpaid work for companies that should be paying the minimum wage.

    It’s all a political con trick to make the government look good.

    • kevin robson
      June 3, 2016 at 9:52 am

      Name Kevin Robson South Shields

      I have sad sorry about the dole put on the work program board out of my mind was total to job search bingo I get a job with they did nothing to help. arrange to start and then I said how do I do the work program and yours as well after that she said sorry but if you are on the work program (we can not accepted you) I went sorry (we can not accepted you) and cancelled the job I was going to take

      Go back on new deal same thing happened I got a job said I was on new deal and I got yes (we can not accepted you) as you are on new deal so much for the rubbishy course I now do not trust any one in the job centre or those that work on course as well I have no respect for them singing on is just what I have to do at the moment I think we should replace the advisor with computers we have self service tills now how about a self device dole

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