Since There’s No Help

I don’t want to play the part/Of a statistic on a government chart

For every job, so many men/So many men no-one needs

One of the annoying things about signing on the dole is the interviews with the personal adviser. The propaganda says that this is to make sure they are doing enough to help you find work. Pause for hollow laughter. I’ve had one such interview so far and am soon to have another. It was all very friendly, but completely useless. At least for the stated purpose: the advisor as good as admitted there was nothing they could do to help me. Great, I thought, not really surprised. Thanks to the internet, there may be more resources these days, but if there are no jobs, what is the point of them? The DWP’s own job search system, known as Universal Job Match, has its uses, but is too limited: while you can store your CV on it, there is no scope for holding covering letters. Its main purpose is to let officials see what you’re up to.

It’s obvious they aren’t there to help at all. The way the system is set up militates against this. Its about getting people off benefits by any means necessary. Sticking to your Job Seekers Agreement and getting nowhere? Tough. If you’re young, they may take more time over you, but if you’re my age, forget it. Welcome to the scrapheap.

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