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Universal credit....give me your worst negativity!!!!

Clockworkmark31Clockworkmark31 Posts: 1,053
edited March 2017 in The Crudcatcher
Evening mongs,

It has been over a year since I have posted properly on these threads.

Now I want to vent, feel free to comment if you think I am wrong.

This time last year I was happily working as a lab tech (in electronic engineering), got made redundant and refused to sign on or try to claim anything. Instead I would try to take 1 or 2 days work from an agency whilst applying for work within my field and what I have been used to. This kept me ticking over.

Out of desperation I have been forced to seek universal credit.

What an eye opener. I had a meeting with a "work coach" today who did not understand my line of work and told me that I should abandon that line of work and actively seek a job in picking and packing as that was my most recent agency job.

I am not work shy, as I have done various agency jobs for a year until I get accepted for a job or something comes up.

The appointed work coach informed me that if I don't look for jobs in the picking industry and if I don't make that my priority then I can kiss good bye to any help.

How is that even legal or fair? Yes I understand that a paid job is better than no job. But telling me to forget what I have trained for and have worked in for my working career.

Has anyone else been down this route? I felt like I was talking against a brick wall. They seen that I was a graduate and have always worked in this field. But they told me to give it up and concentrate on low level paid jobs.

And that should be my priority. Told them that I can have three different versions of my CV but that does not guarantee me a job. There response was yes it does. How out of touch are these people.

ARRRRRRGHHHHH

Rant over, and as this is crud give your negativity. I find it amazing that if you are doing everything you can do to find work in your area and do temp work. Then the Gov people say forget what you learned and do the lowest paid job, even if they do not understand it.

But at the same time they will offer help and courses for people who abuse the system. I told my advisor this and she just skipped past this.

How is it fair if you have been earning £30+k a year for 10 years and get no help. But if you abuse the system and have never worked you get everything.

Rant over, post what you feel. I just feel it is unfair.

Posts

  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Crappy situation for you but i kind of see their point too. They want you in work. Looks good for their figures. Saves the government.

    Would the picking job pay more than your 1 or 2 days temp work?

    Could you not do that whilst still applying for jobs in your industry?

    Your coach sounds a Knob too. I wonder if you can get a different one.

    Good luck.
  • cougie wrote:
    Crappy situation for you but i kind of see their point too. They want you in work. Looks good for their figures. Saves the government.

    Would the picking job pay more than your 1 or 2 days temp work?

    Could you not do that whilst still applying for jobs in your industry?

    Your coach sounds a Knob too. I wonder if you can get a different one.

    Good luck.

    I agree with you 100% as I told my "work coach", but they will only take on people with experience in that role. I am happy to do any work now. But being told to forget what you have learnt seems unfair.

    To put it simply my work coach is asking me to do picking and packing jobs ( I have no problem with this), but to do the picking and packing jobs you mainly need experience! I just find it crazy, but people play the system everyday.
  • I'm not looking for sympathy or anything like that. I agree that a job is a job, but for the people who are meant to help you, and for them to disregard anything you have done before. I find that a complete joke. I told my work coach I was a lab tech before, her response was I should look for jobs in picking and packing. But some people play the system and get more. I find it a joke.
  • Rant over, I don't want to start an argument over this. But I have gone to Aldershot and most recently Lympstone and passed the required joining tests. I was asked to describe the jobs I was looking for, ie, lab tech, bench tech, field tech etc as they are all transferable skills in my mind. But for a person working in the Job Center to say forget it. I am shocked and sorry if I have repeated myself.

    I would be happy to do picking and packing as it pays the bills. But when a government advisor says that is all you should look for that is wrong IMO.

    Wish that I could put them in the same situation and then maybe they would see how hard it is.

    But they just sit on their pretty little job and think they are better than people. They piss me off.
  • thekickingmulethekickingmule Posts: 7,957
    When they said "forget it" I don't think they meant "completely wipe it from your memory", they just mean "Look, there's no jobs in the fields you're interested in, and if there were, they probably wouldn't advertise in the Job Centre. For now, start earning some money more than 2 days a week, and take it from there".

    It's a rubbish way of doing it, but it's the truth. You've been out of work for 12 months now, and not found a job. That means it's quite a niche market you're in. I know this as I'm in the same boat with audio technician. The truth is, if you don't move from one job to the next, you'll leave the field and always struggle to get back in.

    For now though, I say get a job. Any job. You don't have to love it, care for it, stick with it, just get a job and stop spending my damn tax money!
    It takes as much courage to have tried and failed as it does to have tried and succeeded.
    Join us on UK-MTB we won't bite, but bring cake!
    Blender Cube AMS Pro
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,788 Lives Here
    There are two possibilities that I can see.
    1. Your work coach gas barely scraped through a couple of GCSEs and thinks higher education is a waste of time.
    2. Your work coach is actually has a phd in quantum mechanics but having failed to get a job in his chosen field is now hopelessly bitter and twisted so spends his day destroying other peoples hopes and dreams.
    But in reality yes he may well be a censored but all he cares about is getting you off his books as quickly as possible. Play the game and take whatever job you can but keep looking for what you are qualified for.
    We need pickers and packers. Can you tell the difference between a set of brake pads and a starter motor? If so you're over qualified for us.
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    veronese68 wrote:
    There are two possibilities that I can see.
    1. Your work coach gas barely scraped through a couple of GCSEs and thinks higher education is a waste of time.
    2. Your work coach is actually has a phd in quantum mechanics but having failed to get a job in his chosen field is now hopelessly bitter and twisted so spends his day destroying other peoples hopes and dreams.
    But in reality yes he may well be a censored but all he cares about is getting you off his books as quickly as possible. Play the game and take whatever job you can but keep looking for what you are qualified for.
    We need pickers and packers. Can you tell the difference between a set of brake pads and a starter motor? If so you're over qualified for us.

    Or they could just be doing their job properly? You're quick to moan about people abusing the system but are not happy to play by the same rules, very hypocritical. They are doing their job correctly, the priority is to get you back to work, if there are limited opportunities in your field then it's reasonable that the advice they give is to look at other jobs, you can still carry on looking for work in your preferred field. What if everyone stayed on the dole because they couldn't find a job they liked, in my opinion that is abusing the system. Benefits are a safety net to help people when they need it and as you say you are desparate so can't really see why you are so critical?
  • My argument is that they are looking to get you in to short term work that will not be sustainable. They want to "sign you off as quick as possible"! It looks good on there records.

    But IMO that is not the best approach.

    What is better, give someone a temp job that they will hate or try to retrain them in to something they will love. Or something that the market needs.
  • Also as I noticed a downtrend in what I trained for, I asked for a possibility in retraining or learning a new skill. This was dismissed straight away by my work coach. After I did some research today I found out that the information provided was false. And that help and retraining is available.

    Criticize me all you want. I thought I was going in to a good trade. But through experience I have found that it is declining. I can't predict the future.

    But when one work coach is willing to help you and another one doesn't care what you do. I will ask again how is that fair.

    IMO JSA should help you in to sustainable work. Not force you to take a job that will only last for 1 week.
  • thekickingmulethekickingmule Posts: 7,957
    What is better, give someone a temp job that they will hate or try to retrain them in to something they will love. Or something that the market needs.
    Giving someone a temp job.

    Stop looking at it from your perspective and start looking at it from the governments / the bigger picture. Do we get you into a job you hate and will leave in a few weeks/months/years, yet you pay money back into the system, or do we spend hundreds, if not thousands of pounds on training you up to do something you'd want?

    Also, if you've trained in an area that is in decline and no jobs in, I'm afraid that's your problem, not the states. The area I'm skilled at is a tiny market. If I want out, I have to pay for my own training and then start at the bottom of whatever field I choose and go from there.

    You sound like you want everybody to do everything for you and take no blame!
    It takes as much courage to have tried and failed as it does to have tried and succeeded.
    Join us on UK-MTB we won't bite, but bring cake!
    Blender Cube AMS Pro
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    It's individual's responsibility to look after themselves, the system is there to help people when they really need it to get back on their feet. Unfortunately it's now seen as a right and relied on by too many people. I appreciate that your experience wasn't great, but ultimately it's up to you to take responsibility and not become one of the many who rely on benefits and believe it's their right. If you are desparate a job is a job, it pays the bills and gets you back to work....how you progress after that is up to you.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    That's exactly what happened to my brother-in-law. Site manager for a local building company, made redundant when the govt pulled the plug on the schools building / refurb program, and when the construction industry was in recession. His benefits mean he's only eating sporadically, and often unable to afford heating. He can't afford to run a car yet he's been compelled to attend countless, pointless interviews miles away for jobs he stood no chance of getting, weeks of basic IT training when he was already fairly competent, and scores of meetings with agents or coaches who are clearly paid by the government to minimise the benefits bill and massage the unemployment figures. The only sensible jobs he's ever applied for have been those we've found for him, but the whole experience has left him in such a state that he's never going to look good in an interview.

    It's over 5 years since he lost his job, and the system has ground him down to the extent his physical and mental health is deteriorating and he's been signed off as long term sick.

    So you have my sympathy.
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,462
    Also as I noticed a downtrend in what I trained for, I asked for a possibility in retraining or learning a new skill. This was dismissed straight away by my work coach. After I did some research today I found out that the information provided was false. And that help and retraining is available.

    Criticize me all you want. I thought I was going in to a good trade. But through experience I have found that it is declining. I can't predict the future.

    But when one work coach is willing to help you and another one doesn't care what you do. I will ask again how is that fair.

    IMO JSA should help you in to sustainable work. Not force you to take a job that will only last for 1 week.

    I was in this position about 5 years ago. The advisors push you to account for each hour you spend looking for work, and push you to apply for x jobs on the JS+ website to get your benefits, but the website only has low level jobs. I went thorugh the hoops they set before me, but also applied for what I wanted and attended relevant job fairs/trade days to get the job I have now. This meant I could demonstrate I was doing more than they asked in terms of job hunting.

    The issue with taking a temp post that lasts a week is that if you get signed off, the re-application process is long winded. It fulfills their need to get you off their books, but it just frustates you as an applicant. They could have sent the same person to 10 temp contracts over the course of the year, and it becomes ten sucess stories on their score card rather than one fat failure.

    People who count as long term unemployed get put on training courses as they have hit a trigger point. That's why they are getting more support than you.
  • mrfpb wrote:
    Also as I noticed a downtrend in what I trained for, I asked for a possibility in retraining or learning a new skill. This was dismissed straight away by my work coach. After I did some research today I found out that the information provided was false. And that help and retraining is available.

    Criticize me all you want. I thought I was going in to a good trade. But through experience I have found that it is declining. I can't predict the future.

    But when one work coach is willing to help you and another one doesn't care what you do. I will ask again how is that fair.

    IMO JSA should help you in to sustainable work. Not force you to take a job that will only last for 1 week.

    I was in this position about 5 years ago. The advisors push you to account for each hour you spend looking for work, and push you to apply for x jobs on the JS+ website to get your benefits, but the website only has low level jobs. I went thorugh the hoops they set before me, but also applied for what I wanted and attended relevant job fairs/trade days to get the job I have now. This meant I could demonstrate I was doing more than they asked in terms of job hunting.

    The issue with taking a temp post that lasts a week is that if you get signed off, the re-application process is long winded. It fulfills their need to get you off their books, but it just frustates you as an applicant. They could have sent the same person to 10 temp contracts over the course of the year, and it becomes ten sucess stories on their score card rather than one fat failure.

    People who count as long term unemployed get put on training courses as they have hit a trigger point. That's why they are getting more support than you.

    This is exactly what I am referring to. The JC want you to apply for any job even if it does not come in to your remit.

    I am not asking for a handout, but surely it would be better to retrain an individual so that they can achieve long term employment.

    Not asking the GOV to put me through a degree, but I do think they should offer a loan for people when their chosen work is in decline (like a student loan).

    ATM I am applying for some advanced apprenticeships. I was not to know that my chosen career was in decline. And how can I be blamed for that? I didn't chose a career that would leave me jobless.

    I think the people that have been through this or similar will understand.

    The people who have not been through this will be quick to judge.

    But I ask the people who are judging, put yourself in the same situation. And what would you do?

    I want to retrain in something that will offer me better work skills. And make me more employable. I have always worked full time in my trade. But now the jobs are few and far.

    What would be better, taking jobs that only last for weeks and constantly reapplying for JSA. Or train that person (and ask for repayment) so they can achieve a full time job and working career.
  • thekickingmulethekickingmule Posts: 7,957
    I've not been in that position, but if I was, I would seek to get myself employment asap. I don't care what in, I'm not proud in that way. I'd happily work at Tesco, ASDA et al.

    Once there, I'd look for a job in my field, or, as you're saying, retrain myself. I don't see why the government should loan you money because at the end of the day, that's my money. If you want to change your career (as I'm looking at doing right now!) then it's up to you to look at what you want to do and apply yourself to it.
    What would be better, taking jobs that only last for weeks and constantly reapplying for JSA. Or train that person (and ask for repayment) so they can achieve a full time job and working career.
    Taking the jobs! You're missing the point. If you're in a job, you're contributing to the system through taxes. If you're out of a job, the system is paying you to live. You really have to look at the bigger picture. I know you're going through a hard time, but look at it from a different perspective. Get any job you can (there's thousands out there, you just need to look!) and take it from there.
    It takes as much courage to have tried and failed as it does to have tried and succeeded.
    Join us on UK-MTB we won't bite, but bring cake!
    Blender Cube AMS Pro
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,238
    Rant over, I don't want to start an argument over this. But I have gone to Aldershot and most recently Lympstone and passed the required joining tests..

    No idea what goes on in Aldershot these days and I passed the test in Lympstone too. I can assure you that as a whinging graduate you would not last a minute in the ranks and it seems like you are emotionally unqualified for commissioned service.

    Good luck with the job hunt.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 41,745
    Has he got a job yet instead of sponging off us lot?
    Whippet
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    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,086
    cougie wrote:
    Crappy situation for you but i kind of see their point too. They want you in work. Looks good for their figures. Saves the government.

    Would the picking job pay more than your 1 or 2 days temp work?

    Could you not do that whilst still applying for jobs in your industry?

    Your coach sounds a Knob too. I wonder if you can get a different one.

    Good luck.

    I agree with you 100% as I told my "work coach", but they will only take on people with experience in that role. I am happy to do any work now. But being told to forget what you have learnt seems unfair.

    To put it simply my work coach is asking me to do picking and packing jobs ( I have no problem with this), but to do the picking and packing jobs you mainly need experience! I just find it crazy, but people play the system everyday.

    it was ever thus, i was last unemployed in 1992, my job centre adviser told me to forget telecoms and just get a job, i thought FU but i just went along with what he said, agreed 100% applied for all he sent my way and did my own thing, got a job in London a week or 2 later doing what i wanted, unless you ve kids/sick parents, u really need to be prepared to move about.
  • Plodder82Plodder82 Posts: 31
    Doesn't matter if your a brain surgeon,NASA technician,English teacher or a pro footballer who used to earn £80k a week,the government (and the rest of society) will tell you to "get a job" and stop scrounging.
    So I guess your "rant" is justified if you think everyone who has been made redundant is kept at the same level of pay whilst looking for a job.
    BTW,your job is highly skilled,but I don't doubt for a second it can't be done cheaper elsewhere (ironically, we are a nation of shop keepers).You could be claiming benefit for quite a while!
  • neiltbneiltb Posts: 332
    The "just get a job" argument is a little over used and short sighted.

    Don't know how long the OP had the job but he had it, paid tax/NI, now out of a job and wants some help to find another.

    Gov wants him to take any job, get him off one book and paying into another, with the # of zero hr contracts floating around, how do you apply for jobs in your field and attend interviews if you can get a few hrs notice that you've to go to work?

    You take a lower paid job, earn less, pay less tax, how does this help the country long term?

    Any job could be done cheaper elsewhere and not by you, current economics is just a race to the bottom.

    One mans KPI is anothers descent into misery.
    FCN 12
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    JGTR wrote:
    , the system is there to help people when they really need it to get back on their feet. .

    I don't believe this is true. I had my own business which my GF ran and I also worked full time. the business didn't succeed for a number of reasons and I lost quite a lot of cash (which i'm still repaying)

    my GF obviously lost her job and because I earned over a certain amount she wasn't entitled to claim anything. she/we received no help and were basically told "you can come in and sign on every week if you like, but you won't get anything from it"

    we'd gone from 2 wages to 1 wage and also a fuckton of debt and were basically told "tough censored "
  • tomb57tomb57 Posts: 1,692
    Agree with Welshkev in my experience they treat you as individuals whilst you pay tax and N I but soon as you
    Lose your job they want to treat you as a couple so you can't get above the lowest amount both times I've
    Been out of work I eventually got so frustrated I told them to stick it and sorted myself out normally i am
    Very patient. On saying that having witnessed how the people on the other side of desk were treated by some
    Not really surprised how they react .
    Whoops who did that!
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 3,996
    When I got made redundant i signed on. They said i had a certain number of months to try and get a job in my field before i had to go for anything. That was straight out of the job.

    In the OP's case there has been a year away from tree OP's area of employment. IMHO that will count as having met the x months of searching in your field under state funding even though you weren't claiming.

    They're not there to help you only to provide a basic safety net and to get you away from significant claims on state finances. However that is the case if it's easy to do. The workers there don't like to do difficult. That is how you can play the system.

    BTW a mate used to work at the sharp end. The desperate people end. He decided to leave after several years but until then he gave as good as he got. Including coming out of his secure booth to go outside with a customer calling him out. The customer backed down. Tried to complain but no witnesses backed him up not unsurprisingly.

    I gave that story because the staff at these centres face real censored day in and day out. Not the OP obviously but they often deal with desperate people. They are bound to become d1cks.

    BTW positive discrimination really happens. I had an adviser signing me on who could only read the computer screen if he had his thick spectacled head an inch or so away from the screen. Took me an hour to get the first couple of screens filled in. He was also as thick as pig... He thought an engineer was in the same category as a secondary school teacher.

    After an hour he handed me over to another adviser. That one had no idea of the system. I got very frustrated so took over. Seriously I had worked the system out in 15 minutes but he was almost 2 weeks into his job. I then got handed over to a senior advisor to get careers advice. Well the forms to get it, only a few hours total consult with a careers advise centre spread over a couple of visits.

    I got a job after the one month. Then 2 weeks into that job i got told they'd only be paying me at a lower rate for 2 out of the 5 weeks i was signed on for. Administrative error or complication took 3 weeks off. wasn't bothered I had a job in my field and fingers crossed don't be going back again.

    So to the OP I wish you all the best in your job search. Remember it's going to be much better in any job than having to deal with those job advisors, or whatever they're called now.
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    welshkev wrote:
    JGTR wrote:
    , the system is there to help people when they really need it to get back on their feet. .

    I don't believe this is true. I had my own business which my GF ran and I also worked full time. the business didn't succeed for a number of reasons and I lost quite a lot of cash (which i'm still repaying)

    my GF obviously lost her job and because I earned over a certain amount she wasn't entitled to claim anything. she/we received no help and were basically told "you can come in and sign on every week if you like, but you won't get anything from it"

    we'd gone from 2 wages to 1 wage and also a fuckton of debt and were basically told "tough shoot"

    But you were earning enough to support her whilst she looked for another job. At least you still had 1 wage. If you both lost your jobs or got ill and couldn't work for a period then you would get support.
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    "JGTR wrote:
    But you were earning enough to support her whilst she looked for another job. At least you still had 1 wage. If you both lost your jobs or got ill and couldn't work for a period then you would get support.

    but I really wasn't. we had financial commitments that relied on 2 wages - we weren't living beyond our means before anyone says that. our mortgage was way less than we were offered.

    not only had we lost her wage, I was now nearly £40k in debt from the business. I got in more debt afterwards too trying to stay afloat with overdrafts and credit card.

    we had to rent our house out and move in with her parents ffs!

    we've both paid/pay into the system our entire lives and we received zero help when we needed it most.
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    I'm not doubting that you haven't been through a tough time but:

    1. Your business failed and left you in debt, it's not the responsibility of the state to bail you out (unless you are a bank, but that's another argument).
    2. You had a wage coming in which was enough to support you both, why should the state top that up?
    3. You own your own house! Why should the state pay your mortgage so that you can keep possession of your house? That's my tax paying your mortgage????

    There is this assumption that because you pay into the system that you have this right to get paid out...it does not work like that, it never has, you pay in the hope that you will never need it and that it helps those who really need it (not those who own their own house, have a full time job and have the support of their parents).
  • Join LinkedIn and start networking with the people you interacted with over the 10 years you were working in your desired sector. Add anyone and everyone you have ever worked with in any capacity who can put in a good word for you. Grow your network and grow your chances.

    LinkedIn has quite a sophisticated job search section which pulls out suggestions for you based on your profile.

    Recruiters may well come to you with job offers based on how well you write your profile; so use verbs in your profile that describe skills rather than describing what tasks you did. Other factors will be the endorsements you get from other people and who your network know.
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