Friday, 27 May 2011

First week over and I'm back next week too!

First week over and still feeling its going well, and I'm back in next week too. I had some quality checks on my first few days work from my mentor in which she only highlighted minor errors, yesterday she'd even said she wouldn't routinely quality check any more as I was really getting there.

It was also a victorious feeling on Wednesday lunchtime to call the jobcentre sign off line as that was when I'd worked my 16th hour and could sign off.

Monday, 23 May 2011

The first day

Well I quite enjoyed it, the data entry is quite straightforward. Don't yet know how long it is due to go on for, even if it is only this week or two, I appreciate the chance to take a short job in showing my capability of work, as I didn't have to be interviewed and it was an agency saying "start next week". I do hope I can get an idea of how long it is going on soon so I can get back to the social enterprise about the part time accounts job.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

"New Deal course content"

Latest "New Deal course content" thread on MoneySavingExpert in which, surprise surprise, a poster has spoken of activities such as " playing games, doing quizzes, team crosswords etc, making things out of paper."

Some key comments:
Post 5 - They're designed as an irritation
Post 6 - Providers do care about the outcomes and progressions into employment. Providing a second rate training course to save money could have a huge impact on an Ofsted report and so reduce funding and commercial income in the future. The content is agreed and must meet certain criteria to meet the funding requirements.
Post 11 - Thinking behind crosswords, puzzles, games is social interaction, getting your mind working again. I could live with crosswords, it was role play I really couldn't stand.

Counting the days to next Monday!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Week in which everything seems to be happening all at once

I'm actually getting some positive news this week. Just had an e-mail from the social enterprise where I worked last year as they've now got Sage accounts and will have a requirement for a day a fortnight to enter their information, hopefully to grow to 1 day a week and hopefully to full time work as we get busier.

Today is an ironic day for their e-mail to arrive as an agency have been in contact with a local temporary data entry position to start on Monday, hence that I've only picked the e-mail up late in the afternoon, having been to the agency office to complete some paperwork. They did say this job may only be for that one week, and I'm also being "cautiously" optimistic in not counting chickens until I am actually there working as I once turned up to an agency temp job a few years ago, only to find the employer had withdrawn the vacancy.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

"Hostility to Disabled people from strangers" - survey quoted in Guardian

Had just found this in the Guardian about a survey finding disabled people facing increasing hostility from strangers, which has grown worse over last 12 months since controversial benefits reforms were launched.

"Victims blame ministers for portraying all people with disabilities as scroungers" is quoted, and I think much of the media are equally guilty. I believed the redefinition of the tests for disability benefits to assess what people CAN do, is a positive thing in principle, but was made negative by the way the politicians however presented the changes "as a way of getting tough on people who are cheating the system" and it is this punitive talk which exacerbates the kind of prejudice being talked about. As a person "mostly able while having a disability" I want to be seen for what I CAN do, showing how the reforms should have instead been presented with the backdrop of how many disabled people would like to work and be seen for what they can do. The survey quoted incidents such as "being abused in the streets, erroneously reported to the benefits fraud hotline and accosted when trying to use disabled parking spaces".

The best point made in the last paragraph, as picked up by Scope's chief executive, was the irony that "this backdrop of negativity will only make it harder for the million disabled people who will be migrated off benefits to get a job because the decline in tolerance for disabled people would see fewer being offered taking up jobs." I've posted many times about the need for re-education of employers, this touches on re-education of much of the general public being prejudiced by the tough talking politicians and media, as within that public are employers. They have to be the ones willing to offer jobs to people with disabilities that are potentially able to work.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Latest in Guardian - suicide threats guidelines and 'timebombs'

An interesting post in the Guardian about the Jobcentre being given guidelines on how to deal with claimants' suicide threats'. The anonymous Jobcentre employee said "We were a bit shocked. Are we preparing ourselves to be like the Samaritans? The fact that we've dealt with the public for so many years without such guidance has made people feel a bit fearful about what's coming." An appeals officer for Disability Solutions, who represents claimants who try to overturn decisions made following work capability assessment tests that they are fit for work, spoke of clients who were taken to hospital and sectioned after decisions made that they were fit for work. The article also linked back to the one I'd posted last month about the target culture.

There were also links to this from last November about "three ticking timebombs" namely the public sector job losses and changes to income support and incapacity benefit which would put a huge strain on Jobcentre Plus. Interestingly this is written by someone who started work for the Jobcentre expecting to see the media stereotyped "workshy and feckless" and commenting on the reality of how different this turned out, citing the frustrations of those who genuinely need help, and imminent reductions of jobcentre staffing.
This comment sums it up with ironic humour.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

"Talk the talk, but cannot walk the walk" - another example

Another example on Moneysavingexpert, post 11 in a thread about "why and how one candidate gets the job over the other applicants".

Earlier in the thread post 2 picks up on an old favourite - The saying about what you know and who you know can count regardless of the level of the job

Post 4 - writer had tried to do the right thing researching a company on their website - only to be told at the interview that the website was out of date and they had, in actual fact, been taken over by someone else again

Post 7 - writer highlights many random reasons for selection or not, showing it isn't just how enthusiastic or how well you sell yourself anyway sometimes.