Sunday 29 July 2012

Some thoughts

A few disturbing ideas have been tapping on my brain.  The creation of a subclass of people the people who are morally inferior, who are lazy who just take take and take more.. iam talking about the governments stance on the unemployed.

They want to make people work for nothing, and while they say it will help people it may help some, but in reality all it will do is create a whole group of workers for free. why should these companies actually pay a living wage let alone the national minimum wage, when you can get infinite free workers.

The community work handed out to criminals is 300 hours.. the Work programme version Community Action Programme, is 780 hours and these are not criminals they are normal people.. but they are two and a half times worse. This is a form of criminalising the unemployed making them out to be lazy.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

in the past

Well today I had a thought, Last time i was in a4e, i got an email from a company saying you can earn £800-£2000 per week, for a 4 hours a week. I thought this was odd, so i took it to my adviser, and she said i should apply for it, i said it feels wrong, the words used were wrong. She said if you are unsure send your cv but with no information about where you are..  No coincidentally i had a friend who was going through how to detect fraud in the law area.. and they agreed with me and passed the email on.. i find out it was money laundering for the russian mafia.  It would have gotten me a 7 year prison sentence but she wanted me still to apply.. the job advert was passed to the serious fraud office and yet she still wanted me to apply

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Friday 13 July 2012

First they came for the disabled, I didn't complain, I wasn't disabled.
Then they came for the poor, I didn't complain, I wasn't poor.
Then they came for the unemployed, ididn't complain, I had a job.....
.Now I'm unemployed, there is no one to stand up for me!

Sunday 8 July 2012

A4e again

I have learned one thing from a4e that is to cover my back at ALL times, Protect me, Get everything on paper,  if you have to sign, check everything.

Get a copy of your own stuff, dont trust on the paperwork there staying around.

I would never suggest getting a spy camera  Or this   I would never suggest using these.

It is bad that you have to feel as if you have to use these devices. Not that i am saying you should..

A4e, has been in the news recently They have 115,000 clients, only 4,020 people have got jobs in 10 months,  A4e put foward 10,000 of these people for sanctioning, but only 3,000 were upheld.  Each "client" gets a4e £400.. so thats £46 MILLION just to get bums on seats.. working it out and for each person a4e got a job for earned a4e £11,000

I am talking today because i want people to know what these
organisations are like. I am nervous because i am slightly afraid of
any sanctions,  There is a large climate of fear when talking about
a4e,  Many people in my situation are scared of speaking out.

After experiencing a4e twice before, for 30 hours a week, reading old
newspapers using computers that fred flintstone things are ancient,
being talked down too, demeaned. Told its YOUR fault you havent got a
job,  the constant picking things apart over and over it causes you to
feel less confident, even though a4e is supposed to boost confidence.

I first arrived at a4e in 2008,  I had 7 placement officers
in 7 weeks, repeating the same to them.   There  i met one of the
nicest members of staff CH  she knew what it was
like to be unemployed.  during the first few weeks we had a new tutor
she effectively bullied 3 people, they went to the local job centre to
do a job search and one of them spoke to their advisor but she got a
call from teh advisor who spoke to her, and she really ripped into
them. these were lads that were not happy and they actually told her
but she didnt back down they were getting ready for violence. which
would have affected everyone else. So i went to CH and told her
what was happening.. at that time we had.only have 5 computers in the
building and many people each doing the job search  it was hard to do
it.  This same tutor said that she had noticed an odour in the room a
room full of 20-30 people and then proceded to lecture us about
washing clothes, how everything should be boil washed.

The second time i was sent there in 2010.  it was pretty much the
same, but this time they had 5 more computers but even more people..
CH was there, as well as another good staff member E
. They helped a lot,  This is when I went for an induction,
this tutor was very politically outspoken, blamed the conservative
government for everything that went on.  I felt uncomfortable about
his political views, which was not necessarily mine.  But i bit my
tongue because i wanted to  get a job, and thought even though a4e
last time had failed me, i would try again after this week of
induction were you got free orange juice and toast.. (the toast was
later stopped because it wasnt healthy according to a manager).  I
then met C, he was the placement officer he said he has a contact
at the local hilton hotel,  and he could get me a placement there,  ok
so i say yes please.. he tried to get in touch with this person but
kept missing them, I started asking him whenever i saw him is there
any word on it. and he said no not yet cant get her. then after a week
he gave up.   I was sent for another placement just had the interview
but this man wanted someone with a lot more technical knowledge of
website design and updating so i didnt get that.

During this time i was applying for a job a day sometimes 2 or 3,
doing spec letters, emails, filling in application forms, I applied
for many thinking that i may find a one eventually. When E saw i
knew computers she said why not think about getting a PTTLS course,
you can learn to teach and you can help out here. So she spoke to some
other people in the place and they said i may have gotten funding, but
they would have to wait for the head office to approve.  So while i
was waiting could I the client teach the other clients how to use the
computers as their computer tutor the same guy who did the induction
didn't.  I didnt mind helping when i had free moments, i enjoyed it
and thought it will help.    So i helped.. but it got weird when the
staff started to ask me to help them as i was the expert.  There was
only 1 phone for use by clients, in a place that had maybe 100 people
in.. this was mid summer so very hot  not much ventilation, to combat
that they had 2 electric fans.  They had a security guard there who
would stalk the building looking for trouble.

The newspapers were frequently late arriving, They also cited security
for them not to have a copy of your cv you had to send it to yourself
and download it each time you wanted one printing off, then deleting
it.  There was a lack of envelopes, so even if you could fill in an
application form it was a race to find the stationary.  Once you had a
CV and letter done, you had to take it to the staff member for them to
sign it to show that there was  a cv and letter in. Then it would be
put into the internal post.   Now, I have my health and safety level 1
from another provider,  and thought since they offer health and safety
level 2, i would take it keep me busy and maybe i could get a
qualification out of it,  I was told by JP that He didnt
want me to take that course because he wanted to teach it to people he
thought could use it to get a job, He wouldnt put me for it because
there was no point.

Later on i got told about a job interview, halfway in the middle of
nowhere and from where i live it was hard to get too. Now previously
someone had been sanctioned for refusing an interview.  So with this
in mind i went for it. The interview was jsut for me to go there and
fill in an application form..  The manager i saw wanted to call me a
taxi because i was looking in distress.  So i went back to a4e and
told them.. They then suggested when i spoke to the manager i could
have said no and not gone.. Which was not talked about add to that the
fear of sanction.  Just before this interview, C the now Not
placement officer as he was moved sideways took me aside and told me
there has been reports that i smell, I had a shower morning.  So he
came and  handed me a spray can of deoderant  and effectively told me
i smelled. This was not a good thing to be told before an interview
which he knew about.  He effectively destroyed my confidence.  when i
can back the admin and security officer wanted to call for a taxi for
me as they saw i was literally crying in pain.

That was my second visit of A4e.  Now this third time i got all the
paperwork saying i was going to Ingues Deloitte, the job centres
papers. so i was happy thinking new place new start then i get a call
from a4e saying i was going there.  Which destroyed any confidence i
had regained.  I go there on the 23rd of august with the letter that
was sent out confirming my appointment,  and i was double booked, so
they couldnt do anything.  So i signed the papers of which i asked for
a copy, adn was told to come back on the 7th of september which i did.
 I was asked did i have a cv, i said yes, and she went through it
saying well why do you think you havent got a job.. i replied well i
see companies wanting to hire graduates, and or people 16-17  to pay
them less. She said it wasnt like that.

She said later that something I must be doing is stopping me from
getting a job, it was a problem with the application forms, or the
look of my cv, how i am not using code words because employers use a
boolian search for terms.  I said there arent many jobs out there, but
she denied that. And she suggested that one of the reasons i havent
got a job is because i have a lot of temporary jobs that the cv is too
light of information in part but too much information as well.  Then
she asked was there any medical reason, i told her as i was asked to
do about my osteo arthitis of both ankles which i take cocodamol 8 mg
tablets.  she dismissed that because there was no evidence of it from
the job centre, so i could work at any job then.    which i did, then
she asked me did i have a faith.  I said no, but then i asked why did
she need to know that. she said it was for statistical purposes and
that i would prefer not to say.  It seemed odd to me that she needed
to know this. If it was part of the ethnic monitoring system form then
ok, but this was just on the computer. then she asked me to fill in a
self assessment form. Then she vanished for about 10 - 15 mins

I mentioned that i would work part time, full time,  because i didnt
have any bills,  i am more flexible like that.  But i had 3 strings,
one get a job, pay for a PTTLs course, then maybe get a small 2nd hand
bookshop with internet cafe but funding was difficult. she then
suggested i get in touch with some charities about a social
partnership with the charities.  This was done on a 1 2 1 basis but in
an open office so anyone could hear what was being said and i was
sitting in front of the photo copier.  She then arranged for me to go
to an application form session.  As that must be a reason why i am not
getting jobs.

I left feeling as if it was all my fault, and felt low.  In this
current economic climate fighting dozens of other people for a job who
are more qualified, more experienced, Its hard for a unemployed person
to be even considered for a job.  There have been reports that
graduates are doing the admin jobs that i go for and i cant compete on
an educational basis. My home  is a town lacking in jobs, the major
employers have moved away or shut down. Add to that transportation is
a large problem . It makes getting a job harder than
normal.  I don't hold out much hope for this new scheme, which all the
staff at a4e state is completely different except its pretty much the
same.  And since its a mandatory scheme that lasts 2 years. they can
send me on any scheme at any time. They could send me every day, or
once a week, or once a month, and if you cant do what they say they
may sanction you. I know one of the staff members there is very
sanction happy.

I am not scared of them, because i feel people need to know whats
going on.  I am a little nervous as i said incase i have my money
stopped this is the reason why so many people dont talk about what
happens the fear of getting benefits stopped.

a4e History

The local council housing has been moved to a private company,   and just recently we have lost a T J
Hughes, and a Woolworths, so there are few jobs in the north west,
there has been a recent report that a about 1/3 of shops in the region
are empty.

Now in 2008 i was sent to a4e for the first time.  Imagine about
60-100 people in the place, there were about 5 computers, these
computers were so old and slow that when you could get on they were
too slow to be of much use.  They said we will find you a placement to
give you recent job experience,  Needless to say they didn't.  The
only ones they offered was working in a4e as a receptionist, but they
said i couldnt use their computers as i hadnt signed a confidential
agreement, and the person who knew where that paper was wasnt around
and they couldnt print it off for me to sign, so all i was ding was
sitting there and answering the door.   They sent me to retirement
village, which was a nice place, great people but it was awful to get
to from where i live, I said to the staff that since i couldnt drive,
and i had osteo arthritis of both ankles i have to take my time
walking there.  They said but we can get there and finding out they
drove there they didnt even go on public transport. Imagine you being
there for 30 hours a week, reading old newspapers sometimes two weeks
old.  Where we live there are the 4 Local paper. now these papers came out on
thursdays, but they were never bought until at least monday's, There
is just so many times you can read a paper in a week.  During this
time we had some new members of staff, and one of them treated some
clients really badly they said they were going to throw her out of the
window, because of her attitude.  This same staff member said there
was an odour in the room (this was mid summer in a place with no
ventilation) then proceded to lecture people aged 18 to 55, about how
to wash clothes, how we should boil wash clothes. Essentially telling
us we all smell this infuriated many of the people there.  The venue
there was bad,  exposed wiring, broken glass, no ventilation.  The
kitchen was dirty.  They apparently could only offer water to drink
but as a "gift" they had a kettle and some coffee and tea for people
to drink.

Also when i was there, I had the start of a urinary infection, now i
felt uncomfortable speaking to the female staff members about it so i
spoke to the male member of staff.. and he understood, but the female
staff members wanted to know, and when i said they smirked.  I felt
uncomfortable, and afte 11 weeks there they find me and another lad a
placement in a charity. The other lad had just started the scheme i
was just finishing, So it wasnt as good for me to do it, what made it
worse was there was only enough work for one person.. I was so bored
there that i volunteered to tidy the store room.   It also didnt help
i was going through a divorce and they appeared to be unconcerned
about personal problems. I left there feeling bad and depressed and
felt worse than when i started it took me a long time to start to feel
confident again.

The second time i was sent there, I immediately felt bad, about a year
before i had lost my brother, he dropped dead in  front of me, and
that affected me.  So i went not holding out much hope and i was
correct.  I was pushed onto the induction week, yes a week of
induction, My tutor that that induction was supposed to be teaching
computers but he never did.  He was a very vocally politically biased,
and since my politics wasnt his i felt uncomfortable at speaking out.
He was constantly denigrating any other political party and anyone
believing in them.  He constantly talked down to people.  This second
time was supposed to be more cafe like.. their idea was to have 2
bowls of fruit, and orange juice.  Then once induction week was done,
I was sent to the main group, it was the same as the last time only
they had a few more computers.  This was during the heat of the summer
of 2008.  Now since the staff knew i understood computers they
suggested I teach them as a preview of doing a PTTLS course teaching
computers, and they suggested they could get funding.. .  So i waited
13 weeks to see if they could arrange funding apparently they can't or
won't fund any courses  Apart from fork lift truck, and security
cards.   During this time I thought i have my health and safety level
1 certificate, i wouldnt mind doing the level 2, keeping me busy and
maybe helping me get a job.  I was told by this tutor, That he didn't
want to put me forward as he only wanted to give the health and safety
course to people who would get a job in manual work and since i was
administration there was no point.

I had a placement officer who said he would get placements for me his
first attempt he said he had a contact in the local hotel, but after 3
weeks of playing phone tag with her, he GAVE up. So i was there
applying for at least one job a day, usually bringing in my own papers
because of the same issue as the first time old papers.  But added to
this, I became the tech support of the staff as well.. the staff
couldnt be bothered to do anything when one computer went wrong so
they asked me to speak to their tech support because I knew what to
do.  I then was asked to teach the other clients how to use the
computers,  As well as doing my job search I didn't mind helping out
the clients but it got to a point where it was disrupting my own job
search. The induction teacher was supposed to be the one doing that
not me.

So there i am sitting doing the same as last time,  then 2nd to last
day i get we have a job interview for you, you have to go..Now at this
time it was again mid summer, and hot.. the placement officer came
upto me and took me into another room and said i have been told there
is an odour and he proceeded to give me a deoderant can.  This was
before the interview. I got upset and angry they destroyed any
confidence i had going to this interview.  So i get there, the nearest
bus stop was miles away from this place so i walked there once again
with my ankles crying out in pain, i get there and see this man, and
he said do you want me to get you a taxi to go home. He said i looked
as if i was going to have a stroke or collapse.  I went back and said
it wasnt good enough as it wasnt an interview it was for me to just
fill in an application form. They said it was my fault i should have
told them about my ankles and i could have said i wasnt going.. (the
week before a lad there said no and was sanctioned for the same thing
they said i could do).  You couldnt store your cv on a memory stick as
they were blocked from use, so you had to email yourself your cv and
letters, download them when you needed them, then deleted them as the
computers were wiped every night, and if you needed your cv again you
would download it again.  I ended up taking my own netbook there to
actually type stuff up because you could never get onto the computers
apparerntly that was wrong. You had to use their computers when you
could get on them.

Almost all the staff members in this place are not from the area. They
live where there are better public transport lionks  So they
have no idea of the local situation they claim  there are many jobs
out there but if you cant get there then those jobs dont exist in any
effective form.  The first two time i was sent there, the government
gave you £15 extra a week, and they would pay back the travel costs,,
apart from the first £4.  so they were taking £4 off you for admin

Now i have been sent yet again to a4e, I had all the paper work that i
was going to Ingeus Deloitte the other provider in the area, so i was
happy i wasnt going to A4e, then i find they got it wrong so it was
A4e.  My first meeting was on the 23rd of August So i turn up and they
say why are you here, we have no evidence.. they had double booked me
so it was sign these papers and go..(i asked for copies of those
papers).  Yesterday, i went for me "proper" interview.  Apparently My
cv which has had rave reviews by staff at the previous A4e, and other
employers is wrong, it has too much information, and too little at the
same time.  Apparently one of the reasons why i haven't got a job is
because all my past jobs have been temporary contracts.  She asked me
in this interview what my faith was.. I felt uncomfortable about this,
didn't feel like saying.  She said it was just the computer asking.  I
could see if it was ethnic monitoring but did i have faith..  I said
prefer not to say.  It is my fault i haven't got a job, I must be
failing because there are Many jobs out there, that my applications
must be wrong, my CV must be wrong otherwise i would be in work.
This is a very simplistic answer. As this is a mandatory scheme that
lasts 2 years they can send you on any scheme they wish any course
they wish, even if its useless and you cannot refuse. If you do you
get sanctioned. The will not fund any course like the PTTLS course
even if it will get you a job.

The a4e schems have never worked, they have always failed they promise
the world and fail.  So i am not holding out much hope, and i feel
even more down and depressed about going there.  I think these places
need to be reviewed and have people going in to experience what its
like, to be told you are wrong to tell people who are blamed for all
the ills (the unemployed) to be talked down too, to be treated like
children by people younger than you.  Apparently since the job centre
doesnt know about my ankles (but they do) i am fit for work.  To me it
sounds like they will push everyone into any job. So a4e can claim the
bonus for getting people into a job.

Now apparently if you say anything about how badly a4e treated you,
they claim its all new, its completely different, but from my first
few experiences it seems the same to me.  Pushing people into doing
schemes when they wish, forcing you to go when they wish,  it could be
every day, every week, or once every 2 weeks. no consitancy.  I want
to know how can A4e justify making a profit, when they have pushed non
profit charitable organisations out of the system.  If a company fails
twice before, why have they been given the contract to do it again?
How much money is spent on this scheme money that can be spent to
create sustainable jobs rather than hiding the true figures.

Thank you for listening  I know this is a massive email but they are
my experiences, Questions need to be asked about is it value for
money, Is it actually helping.  I feel very down and depressed because
i have no confidence in them at all.  And i am terrified of speaking
to anyone about this incase of sanctions.  This is a climate of fear
that a4e creates, for me i dont really care because to do nothing will
make it worse for everyone else.