UNEMPLOYMENT: Job centre is failing in its purpose

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I would like to voice my disbelief over what should have been a minor and temporary inconvenience for a few people, for at most a few days, but has, for who knows what reason, now become a farce.

I refer to the telephones inside the job centre, which are there for Spalding’s job seekers to use in order to; apply for any of the jobs advertised within, to get advice from the government on a variety of matters, to get help when they really need it, to inquire about payments which haven’t been received and numerous other things .

So, you may think, if you were to approach a member of staff, and enlighten them as to your problem, they would no doubt be only too happy to help you. Or, in the absence of the public phone, allow you to use one of the phones at one of the numerous empty desks.

Or at least make a call on your behalf. You would, I’m afraid to say, be wrong! What you will in fact receive, is the universal list of phone numbers. You will then be told: “e cant do anything from here I’m afraid, you have to phone.’”

You can then explain that you cannot call their 0845 numbers as their phones are, for the sixth week, not working and no you cannot use your mobile because the bill has not been paid because you have not been paid.

They will inform you that you have been sanctioned, but to find out why, you have to call, which obviously you are not going to be permitted to do.

If somehow you do manage to raise a little money you will have to spend it all in a phone box, finding out that the powers that be have decided to take all of your benefits from you because, in their opinion, you have in some way not made enough effort to find work.

You may be eligible for some assistance and you may have the right to appeal but as this is likely to involve multiple phone calls you have little chance.

You are, however, expected to continue applying for the jobs advertised in the job centre, without access to a phone or any meaningful support from staff.

The job centre is failing in its primary purpose, to help people find work.

It is disgraceful that for six weeks or more job seekers in this town have been fobbed of and hindered in their efforts to find work, and ruthlessly punished when they try to explain their shortcomings.

The system employed by the government to ‘help’ people having difficulties in their lives is making peoples lives worse, making it difficult to fulfill their jobseekers terms and depriving them as a result. What do they think people are going to do to survive when left with no alternative?

Joseph Samuels

Spalding