Thursday, June 04, 2009


As you know, I am currently unemployed. In fact, I think I'm probably unemployable unless I want to clean toilets. I'm of a certain age but due to "things" outside my sphere of control have been out of the employment loop for a while. It doesn't look good on a CV, however well I dress it up and potential employers aren't stupid. O levels instead of GCSEs (even if a C grade O was for 50% plus rather than 18% as it has been recently) and a leaving school date of 1979 really don't help. If an employer can't work out that I'm just nudging 50 then he or she is phenomenally stupid and yes, ageism does exist despite what they tell you down the jobcentre.

A while back I had an idea for a bit of business enterprise. The trouble is, because I'm broke I lack most of the resources needed to carry it out and as it won't yield a return for a while I'll need other means of support until it does. But it's a runner and with time and effort, should eventually provide a reasonable living. I've been trying to find out how I stand vis-vis benefits and government assistance should I decide to devote time to this enterprise, after all, it's the stated aim of our proud and supposedly competent prime minister that his government will pull out all the stops to get people back into work.

Our prime minister is unfortunately, as are most other politicians, arse-numbingly stupid. There are over two million people unemployed and only ever 4 jobs. There is no point in making my CV more attractive to an employer (part of the help available to me after 6 months of being unemployed), there are people out there infinitely more qualified than I who will walk into these jobs. Getting me to revise my CV satisfies the Jobcentre's targets. They're not even going to grant me a proper face-to-face interview on my 6-month anniversary of being unemployed in a fortnight, they are going to phone me. Wow, that really makes me feel fucking special (I'm really very sorry about the deterioration in my language. Swearing isn't big or clever. Not all the time, anyway). Let's be realistic, eh? Getting people into work means giving them the means to create jobs and supporting enterprise, however small-time. There is a scheme I could join - this is the government's support for enterprise, as explained to me by Simone at Crewe Jobcentre plus this morning: at the moment I get £60 a week JSA and can barely survive. After 6 months (and only after six months of being out of work) I can jack that and get - wait for it - £50 a week for 16 weeks while I try and start a business up. For her part, Simone understood my plight and tried to offer a grain of comfort. Well, she said, you only need to satisfy us that you've done three things each week to look for work. Look in the paper, speak to someone about a job, go on the internet, that'll do. What you do the rest of the time is up to you. Of course, if I get caught "doing my own thing" while claiming income support or whatever, I'll be on a hiding to nothing. Ho hum. This government really doesn't have the first idea.

On the other hand, please don't waste your vote today. Bear in mind it's proportional representation so if you're protesting, I'd rather have clueless than Nazi.

3 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger KAZ said...

Don't apologise for the swearing.
Stephen Fry is big and clever and he (reportedly) holds the record for saying fuck the most times on live UK TV.

8:10 am  
Blogger Richard said...

I have been to the jobcentre again. This time I got a certain amount of clarification but it's still not clear what's available although the £50 thing is new and nobody seems to know much about it. Can't find anything about it on their website either

4:46 pm  
Blogger migratingfishswim said...

Richard, hope I'm not teaching my g/mother to suck eggs, these are just my thoughts :-)

have you tried the adult careers service? They may give better advice then the jobcentreplus.

Also talking direct to BusinessLink about where they link-up with jobcentreplus might be a good way to approach it, ie to find out what biz start-up schemes (inc advice and sources of funding) there are for people who are unemployed to start their own businesses. i was on a scheme several years back whereby you kept your regular dole money, but could also earn from the business, for a certain amount of time 'til things took off.

Have you done any adult education? You maybe be able to get advice from that college/uni.

NVQs - I'm going for one in management, it doesn't involve any attending classes, someone works with me to put together a portfolio of evidence (can be from work or volunteering) to gain the qualification by what's known as Accreditation of Prior Learning. I also have O'levels, I don't put them on my CV as they're more than 20 years old, an NVQ could refresh your CV

11:26 am  

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