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So I’m a Job Snob?

I am angered and upset.

According to the Employment Minister, Chris Greyling, I am a “Job Snob”, defined as a person who is able to work, but is particular in which vacancies and jobs interest them. I.E. Selective. Well, forgive me for having an idea about which career I want to excel in. This doesn’t mean I’ve been passing up opportunities for other types of work. My daily job search ranges from Cleaner vacancies to Web Design (even though I can do it, I have no qualifications to go with it). With this broad range of search, time and time again I come up with the same barriers which stop me from actually applying to some posts, the top three being:

1) MUST HAVE OWN CAR AND FULL UK DRIVING LICENSE NO POINTS. I don’t know how to drive.
2) ENHANCED CRB REQUIRED. Now this one is strange, because in my experience, CRB costs are usually met by the employer. However more and more jobs which require CRB are asking for the payment to be met by applicant. I can’t afford it.
3) Not enough hours compared to the cost of transport to get to work making my potential wage suffer OR the location of the job is within my 90 mins travel to work area, but would mean having to get three buses or two buses and a train, which would mean I’d spend a hefty amount of my potential wage on transport costs and would be no better off.

Luckily, however, my town is pretty much central to three other major towns in my area and the city which is only one bus ride away.

To get to the main point of why I’m writing this.

Chris Greyling has branded anyone against the Mandatory Work Activity, Workfare and Work Programme a job snob. He is confident in the fact that he has many high street retailers working with him on providing work placements for thousands of unemployed people, yet large national companies and charities are beginning to leave the scheme, what’s now a trickle could become a flood. Tesco have asked for clarification that the schemes are actually voluntary in response to vast public pressure to get the company to leave the Workfare scheme.
Critics of his schemes have compared them to “Slave Labour” , an accusation Greyling has vehemently denied, maintaining his stance that the work placements will help thousands of people back into work and is aiming to increase such placements to 100,000 by the end of the year, whilst failing to realise that a DWP Report into other schemes like the ones under way in the UK are more likely to REDUCE the likelihood of gaining employment.

I am not against the idea of Work Experience for young people. Any teenager or school leaver who willingly approaches an employer and asks for work experience should be given that opportunity. I am not against the idea of Volunteering. People who want to better themselves by Volunteering for local and national causes should be hailed as honourable and valuable members of their communities. However I am against the idea of people working for their benefits. Being paid what the need to live on for doing the same job as an employee of a company for less than minimum wage. Every story, anecdote and newspaper article I read of peoples experiences on Workfare bring images of Victorian-esque poverty, family’s forced to live in one room of a house because they had the “luxury” of a spare room and were made to move. Disabled people being hidden away for their own safety and dignity due to high media propaganda that paints these people, who are some of the most vulnerable people in our society, as benefits scroungers, someone on the train the other morning actually said “If you can move your arms, you should be able to work”. That is ultimately the way we are headed and it won’t be the romanticized, abridged, HD ready Dickensian poverty we see on TV.

Finally, I ask, what is the government doing to actually create jobs in the UK? All I have seen for the past six month’s is an attack on people claiming benefits and the NHS, I haven’t once seen anything to actually create a job in local or national press. At the same time, I wonder that if companies like Tesco, Argos, Matalan and Burger King can find space for Workfare “Customers”, then why not offer these people a job instead of throwing them back into the system at the end of their placement? Or are you reaping the benefits of a conveyor belt of unpaid staff?

I dunno. Confusing.

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Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Unemployed Life, Welfare Reform, Work Programme

 

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The Benefits of Volunteering

“Volunteering? Uhm…Alex, you’re against the MWA and Workfare aren’t you? Why are you promoting Volunteering?”
Indeed, i am against the Mandatory Work Activity, Work Fare and the Work Programme to a point. However, i am not against good honest, community spirit inducing volunteering. And i’m also worried that, with people being placed on these activities through their providers and job centres, Volunteering will come to be seen as being associated with the Unemployed and, to use a buzz word, “Scroungers” paying back to the community what they take away in Taxes (we still pay VAT, so even the Unemployed aren’t exempt from some form of Taxation).

The way the MWA, WF and WP works, you get little say in the type of thing you’ll be doing, however, when you make your own conscious choice to volunteer in a place that interests you and makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something, then, my friends, i have nothing but praise and a sense that there is hope for humanity. Volunteering shouldn’t be seen as work, in my opinion. Volunteering should be seen as helping your local community, you’re providing a service, for free, using your own time and energy to ultimately make someone or a group of people’s lives better.

I’m scared Voluntary work will suffer greatly when the introduction of all the activities mentioned above takes place. Vital local and mostly charitable services, such as support for the disabled, local youth football teams or even just a friendly ear and a hot cup of coffee may have to face the stigma of having “perverse” single parents volunteering with them, or “feckless” benefit bums working with them, all because of the stigma attached to the WP. Services may have to be reduced and costs cut back even more as people may start thinking “Well, they’ll get the people on the dole to do it, i don’t need to”.

I know i may sound rather blaze and a bit hysterical, but i don’t want these services of good will and support to diminish and eventually disappear. If you’re interested in Volunteering, or if you’ve considered it but never really done anything about it, here’s a couple of websites with some more information.

VolunteerEngland

Third Sector

Groundwork

Do-It.Org – Voluntary vacancies around the UK

It’s pretty much widely known now that Volunteering does improve your CV and Employment prospects, however, would you rather doing something beneficial to you and your community at large, or would you rather work for your benefits?

There are benefits in Volunteering and they’re better than the ones you are given. Volunteer for your own gratification, not for your money.

A

 
 

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