21 Nov 2009
Every week my colleagues and I visit Jobcentre Plus offices and spend time with many advisors. It is clear that most advisors are rushed off their feet and this means that there is a production line feel to the process. As a job seeker this can be both demoralising and frustrating. At a time when individuals face much uncertainty this can be a further demonstration of how control is being taken from them.
The vast majority of Jobcentre Plus advisors do the job because they care about the impact they have and the good that they can do. They are just snowed under and as a consequence unable to proactively assist their clients. Their role has become one of getting through the day and just ensuring that people are registered, basic facts checked and the necessary administrative processes completed.
My advice to the job-seeker is to do your own home-work prior to meeting your advisor at Jobcentre Plus. Spend some time on the Jobcentre Plus website (www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk/) and read about the various programmes that are available to assist you. We regularly hear that those who ask their advisors what programmes they are eligible for and can be put on are offered more than those who do not ask. For example the services of my company, MyWorkSearch (www.myworksearch.co.uk), can be obtained free of charge from your Jobcentre Plus advisor. You just need to ask.
It is a very tough environment for job-seekers right now. But there are opportunities. Whether it be getting State assistance or securing a job, the key is to go for it yourself. Don’t rely on others to do the legwork or make it happen for you. Make it your responsibility to find out what is out there and available and then pursue it. Do this and you are far more likely to be successful.