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Threatened For Complaining The ‘Work Skills’ Course Was Useless

November 17, 2014

More stories from the Jobcentre from the brilliant Kate Belgrave, who has the full article here.

One I’ve been thinking about for a while:

Another phenomenon worth touching on when we’re talking about pointless jobsearch activity is the so-called “work skills” courses that JSA claimants are sent on by jobcentres. These are the courses that are provided, if that’s the word, by the likes of Reed, A4e and other of the usual suspects. People must attend these courses if the jobcentre says so. It’ll be news to nobody that people are told they’ll be sanctioned if they say No, and are indeed sanctioned if they say No. You can see that in the transcripts below. (I’m wondering if these courses ARE actually mandatory – or if people can say No and are just told they can’t, as they are told with everything else).

These courses have intrigued me for a while, because from the start, people have told me that so many of the courses are utterly meaningless. One man at the Kilburn jobcentre told me earlier this year that while he was sorting out a support worker job and waiting for CRB checks to come through, he was sent on a course where he was taught to tear up paper for teamwork purposes. “They sent me on this stupid course at Wembley. It was just a two week thing – a waste of time. They teach you how to stick a piece of paper back together as a teamwork thing. They said I’d get certificates for it. I said “there’s no way I’m putting that on my CV. You’re having a laugh.”

I started thinking about this again recently, because I’ve noticed that the JSA claimants I’m speaking with each week at jobcentres are getting angrier and angrier at the absurdity of these courses. It occurs to me that the anger is escalating. People are already furious at being forced to work 30 hours a week for free on community work placements and about the torturous daily sign on process. One guy at the North Kensington jobcentre (you can read more about this below) reported that his course provider took real exception when people on the course got together and said that the whole exercise was pointless. He said that the course provider pretty much got to the “Let’s Take This Outside,” point when people complained. “We got threats from the providers…I had no choice. I had to go on the course, or get no money.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeffery Davies permalink
    November 17, 2014 10:28 am

    Welcome to corporate britain were its all about that pot of tax payers monies who these greedie companies want nothing to do with finding that job is it jeff3

  2. l8in permalink
    November 17, 2014 12:58 pm

    Reblogged this on L8in.

  3. November 17, 2014 2:54 pm

    A couple of points,I complained about my Work program Provider refusing to help me with interview travel costs for any Interview I either arranged myself or happened to be outside the city, the solution? send me on an interview skills training day!!!! to train me for interviews they won’t help me get to
    2nd I have just been to JCP where I saw an “adviser” help someone set up an email account because they never had one-very kind of them you may say, the adviser set up the email and username,when it came to a password you’d think it was private and the adviser would let the claimant set it up wouldn’t you? NO! the adviser asked the claimant to give a password, typed it in themselves AND wrote it down,and I never heard the adviser say not to use it for private mail, so the JCP not only has this persons email but password too
    Also never told them that they needn’t use UJM at home AND the claimant doesn’t have to provide a private email

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