Sunday, 27 February 2011

Blow for voluntary possibility

Got an e-mail from the secretary of the charity where I hoped to start some voluntary work this week, was expecting I'd be starting tomorrow but she was rushed into hospital on Wednesday and needs at least two weeks rest now. My best wishes for her recovery soon.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Friday, 18 February 2011

Review meeting

This morning was the extended sign-on appointment at the three month point to review things from the "Back to Work Session". I was a bit apprehensive that it turned out not to be the same advisor who originally did that session, but went fine as the new advisor seemed equally appreciative of the skills I do have and the issues presented by my disability. I did show the speculative applications as discussed and he was impressed with that. He recognised my general point about how "getting" a job can be more difficult for me than "doing" one because of the nature of interviews and the pool of competition employers can "cherry" pick from. Next extended session with (hopefully) the same advisor in a months time.

£50 fine for errors on benefits forms - Telegraph

The Telegraph has this story "£50 fine for errors on forms" citing a "civil penalty" imposed on people who are not attempting to defraud the State but who are "negligent" in providing details of their claims.

Comment 02/17/2011 09:46 PM - concerns implications "those for whom English is not a first language, dyslexic people, those with mental health issues who get confused", makes you wonder just how much more they seem to be trying to make disabled people targets.

Comment 02/17/2011 05:16 PM - says it all: "will Government Departments have to pay claimants/taxpayers compensation of £50 when they get their calculations wrong. No, thought not."

Anyway off to my early appointment!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

"Companies should provide alternative interview methods" on Debatewise

Found this site and this discussion of how alternative methods of interview, such as practical tests or work trials, may be an answer that should be considered for the "many extremely employable people with disabilities that affect their interview performance are being left out because of the inflexibility of the recruitment process".

The third point in favour of this specifically highlights Aspergers in that "traditional interviews are not designed for people with it as they involve high levels of stress". The paragraph highlights the often quoted stats of only 12% of people with Asperger currently in full time employment yet so many more being potentially employable overall.

A point in favour of traditional interviews was "A significant number of studies reveal that the first impression is in fact the last impression" with the paragraph stating "Confident people have a certain ambience, if a person wants a job you can see it from the way s/he strides into the room". Point being those of us with Asperger don't show this confident ambience and the counter-argument beside this paragraph is "It is fairly easy to be confident if you are good at blagging, yet be incompetent at the job. At the same time, you can be perfectly suited to do a job but be unable to express this confidently in an interview."

Monday, 14 February 2011

Volunteering opportunity likely to start soon

Well pleased at the moment, had an e-mail from one of the volunteering possibilities that I might be able to start with them on Monday 28th, helping out with putting their mailing list on a computer database. The secretary of the charity humourously admits that "Being of advanced years my computer skills are not brilliant".

Sunday, 13 February 2011

'Target' culture at Jobcentre

A member of Jobcentre staff had posted on the "Mistreated at job centre" thread on MoneySavingExpert, though the post already seems to have been deleted. It was about 'Target' culture, which has been a big buzzword in recent years and particularly in politics, telling advisors at the Jobcentre they "MUST be making 1 fraud referral per day". This is ludicrous, the poster was saying what if everyone they see that day is genuine, and seems to be one of the genuine advisors refusing to do that unless they have suspicions of a person and is also sensible in not submitting applicants for jobs where they are clearly unqualified and otherwise unsuitable.

Another advisor posted on this other thread about feeling their job is more about punishing than helping people, look at the next post by a jobseeker as well. I've been impressed with how ethical the people I've dealt with have been when I see these posts but I'm always a little wary. Further down the page there's someone saying "Don't work for the DWP, the wage is one thing but your conscience is another."

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Donal MacIntyre's radio investigation of New Deal provider

Someone's posted the whole of Donal MacIntyre's radio investigation of the largest New Deal provider on YouTube, which I found from links on this poll on MoneySavingExpert. I've just had a good listen all the way through.

Part 1, Part 2

Feeling on a particular downer tonight, signed on Friday, its now the end of Tuesday and its been a bad couple of days of job advertising.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Alcoholics' "disability benefits"

Monday morning, hoping the start of another week may be the week I get some good news.

Need a rant at the moment, was talking to my parents on phone last night they told me how they were on the bus at the weekend and these men who looked about mid 50s who seemed a bit drunk. They overheard the men talking about their "disability benefits" that they get for being alcoholics and this p***es me off so much, that they're getting full "disabilty" benefits for something which is self inflicted. I've got something I didn't ask to have, that isn't severe enough to put me on "disability" benefit as incapable of work, yet still means I'm not interviewers' first choices of person.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Sign on, news article spec application appreciated, plus meeting at volunteering office

Jobcentre appointment this morning. First thing in the portfolio was the speculative application from the news article and the advisor really liked how I'd done that. No reply from the company yet but he was impressed that I'd written off based on the article anyway. Next sign on will, as I thought, be one of the extended ones at the three month point and that's where they'll be reviewing things from the "Back to Work Session" so it'll be nice to present that application at that time too.

Straight after the Jobcentre I'd arranged a meeting at the local volunteering office just up the road. Its not just the money when out of work but the boredom and gap on one's CV that can accumulate. Doing voluntary work would help demonstrate my capability, commitment and work ethic, and the woman at the office could see I have a lot to offer and already has some potential matches.