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Job Centre Plus is not for pros.
IF you have ever set foot into a Job Centre Plus, and it is the first time, (there’s a first time for everything) then you may find it a little intimidating, humiliating, and even nauseating.
Seeming as there’s more and more professional people being made redundant, and people’s skill set improves year on year, Job Centre Plus has to cope with the unedifying task of trying to accommodate these new wave of jobseekers, who are more used to sipping lunchtime pints in their lunch hour in The Crown, rather than tapping a computer operated doughnut that matches you with a job that is as near to your skill set as Apples are to Blackberries.
At the risk of sounding completely arrogant, Job Centre Plus wasn’t created for professionals. It was created to get as many “lower skilled” workers into jobs as could be humanly possible.
Just like employment agencies work on a commission basis – every human being that is put into work by a recruitment officer, he/she gains extra bunce.
The government work on a commission basis too. Remember, every one human in work is a triumph for the government spin machine, as they can sound their microphones, and claim their job policy is working. And hopefully that minister will keep his plush cabinet car, Jaguar, that costs the taxpayer more than the average wage, and red box.
But going into a Job Centre Plus as I said earlier can be intimidating. You sit down and some sulky woman scans your CV, (probably aghast that you are even in the building) and then she asks, what are you doing here?
You retort despairingly: “I’m here to find a job.”
She then wonders, “why?” If your CV has a mixture of professional skills, qualifications, and experience, she implies in a roundabout way that there is not a lot she can do.
“I can organise a meeting with our independent careers adviser, but that is about it, she blasts.”
“OK”, I say. So you have two meetings with a so called career adviser, who works for an outside body. She takes a look at your CV, and blurts out all the usual CV blurb advice. Do this, do that, make sure this, make sure that…..you know the drill.
And you come out thinking, “I could have been on the PC at home doing all this myself.”
This is part of the reality I’m sure for many professionals who find themselves on the dole queue, and forced to spend their time in the prison of the Job Centre Plus. It’s a harsh reality that you find yourself tearing your hair out every time you go.
The JCP may look posh, with its creamy, sleek interior designs,(the taxpayer’s money is well spent making it look like a place you would feel proud to hang out in), it may have fancy computers touch screen style, it may have “recruitment staff” who have degrees, but it just cannot cope with professionals or know what to do with them. Maybe there needs to be a side arm called Job Centre Pros? Would that be too segregating?