"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The Weird World of Modern Britain

The following story from the Daily Mirror made me smile. But there is a serious side - some of these contractor courses provided to the JobCentre cost up to £1,000 per person per week.

Do rest assured that you have not wandered into the Twilight Zone unexpectedly - this is an actual news story:

Jobcentre bosses have been accused of insulting the unemployed by inviting them to an Easter egg hunt - to win work application forms.

More than 150 jobless people will be asked to search for 35 chocolate eggs hidden around an office.

The eggs contain prizes such as an application form to become a security guard, a licence to work on building sites and vouchers to buy interview clothes.

But many of those invited are furious. Graham Barnes, 31, said: "Most people are desperate to find work and are grateful for any help.

"But asking us to take part in an Easter egg hunt is humiliating. Some of us are not proud of signing on and this just rubs our faces in it." Reg O'Donoghue said: "Unemployment is neither a game nor much fun.

"It's hard to imagine an unemployed person, weighed down with responsibilities and with a family to feed, arriving home full of the joys and clutching an Easter egg." The hunt has been organised by Jobcentre Plus contractor Skills Training Centre UK. It will be held on Wednesday at its offices in Southwark, South London.

Manager Catrina Lynch, who has organised the event, said: "It is not meant in a demeaning way. It's going to be fun. My idea has always been to show people that there are jobs out there."

Yes. Another quite good way to show that might be to actually, um, do what you're paid for and help people find work without patronising them and wasting a lot of time and money.

That would be quite a lot to ask though, wouldn't it, in New Britain?

Best to just have a few meetings, come up with something a child of five would have dismissed out of hand, then pretend you've done a good job.

No wonder this country is in the state it's in when the Government defers (allegedly) vital functions to organisations like this.


Nick said...

It would be laughable, if it wasn't so serious and so damned depressing.

Meanwhile ...

Dr.D said...

It seems to show the condescending attitude of those "superior" people who run these places, as they look down on the people they are supposed to help. They are treating them like children. How demeaning!

Jonathan J Short said...

Is this for real your Lordship? You know my background and I am intrigued (furious) to know more.

I do know from our local office that they advertised a major recruitment campaign to customers recently as 50% of applicants will be guaranteed an interview. This was a lie. It was actually only 50% of those sifted out and then referred to the same sort of third party private sector organisation who then passed a test and successfully completed a relevant (usually concucted) training course.

I cannot give you exact numbers but at a guess I would say 300 people applied, about 100 were referred to the third party company, and half of those got an interview.

The same third party company locks down every single contract to help unemployed people. Whether it those barely able to read and write, or those with professional backgrounds.

Years ago the funding was held by Employment Service. Today the funding goes to district level and is then fed to the private companies. Their performance is shocking.