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  1. #1
    The cold, wet one
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    Working for unemployment benefits in the UK

    As I've mentioned on other threads, I work for a charity selling items on eBay to raise money. The items are all sent in from their terrestrial shops, and I have to sort the trash from the treasure, photograph, list, answer questions - all the normal eBay stuff. The normal shops have work placement "volunteers" ie people that work as a volunteer in order to learn new skills and (real reason) to allow them to keep their benefits. If they didn't do the work, they'd lose their dole.

    Anyway, we're wanting to expand the amount we sell, so I contacted the work placement people, described the sort of person I was looking for & they sent a guy in today. He was in his 50s and, according to him, supremely over qualified. He was extremely disgruntled that he was being forced to work, particularly at such lowly status in order to keep his benefits and felt his time would be better spent applying for work. He was very quick to tell me that not only could he do my job better than me, he could probably do my bosses' jobs better than them, too.

    Anyway, I doubt he will work with us, because he also had bad knees and my little office is up loads of stairs.

    The experience of meeting him got me thinking, though. The work placement people I've met so far have been really nice, but perhaps not the most intelligent people on the planet, so I could really see the benefits to them gaining more skills, building up their CVs and helping a charity. I have no idea if this guy was telling me the truth about his experience and qualifications, but if he was, he might have a reason to be so arrogant and negative about being put in placements like this.

    Any thoughts on whether these placements are a good idea and whether they benefit all, some, or none?

  2. #2
    The Pikey Hunter
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    ^ I'm all in favour of making a certain pikey work for his benefits.

  3. #3
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    NR, they do the same sort of thing here. I was sent to spend X amount of hours in a charity shop and was not paid for it. I enjoyed it, got me out of the house and i met some really nice people.

    Your man may just be putting up a wall because he feels he is above the work and may not have realised yet that he has to do it otherwise he will miss out on his money. I was probably also better educated than most but in that situation you are all equal.

    Otherwise suggest that he finds somewhere else.

    When are you off on your hols?

  4. #4
    The cold, wet one
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    Quote Originally Posted by patsycat
    I was probably also better educated than most but in that situation you are all equal.
    That's what I felt
    Quote Originally Posted by patsycat
    Otherwise suggest that he finds somewhere else.
    I think I will. Don't think I could work closely with someone so negative
    Quote Originally Posted by patsycat
    When are you off on your hols?
    31st Oct down to London. Flying 1st Nov
    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbil
    I'm all in favour of making a certain pikey work for his benefits.
    Mean...

  5. #5
    Molecular Mixup
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    viz magazine

  6. #6
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    The idea of having terminally unemployed pikeys working for their dole money, while attractive, in principle, does not particularly provide much benefit from their 'free' labour to workplaces such as yours in much the same way that prison gangs or community service for crims will not.

    Such 'free' labour often proves more trouble that it's worth, negative attitudes, careless or sloppy work, all of it needs to be supervised more carefully and many times may need to be done over again to ensure a correct job done.

    Send him packing or make him polish the stairs.

  7. #7
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    I volunteer, for a few hours a week, at a local charity shop. Mostly in the repair shop out the back, but sometimes at the till. We have an assortment of volunteers, of various ages, that seem to fall into two camps.

    1. The ones who are keep to learn, have a good attitude and are fun to work with.
    2. The ones who don't want to be there, can't do simple arithmetic and moan loudly and constantly, that they could be doing something better.

    Trouble is, you never know what type of person you are going to get, or for how long they will stay. We have no paid staff, so we couldn't function without the help that the job centre provides. It would be better, in my opinion, if it were possible to vet these people before they arrive and sort out the ones that were any good or wanted to learn.

    For my part, it's fun, gets me out of the house (so I don't have to heat it all day) and gets me away from the music room, so that I can return with a fresh outlook.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loombucket
    and gets me away from the music room, so that I can return with a fresh outlook.
    Ah hummm... so the UK tax payer is funding your musical ambitions?

    Big difference between those that actually want to work and those that do not.

    The "vastly over qualified" (in his opinion) guy clearly is hanging out for a job that he thinks he can do not realizing that the market is telling him he can not do it. Set his sights lower then he might be in with a chance.

    The ones with a positive attitude can be a great benefit. The ones with lots of experience and a positive attitude can often make the charities better by suggesting improvements that a load of old dorrises might not think about. But if they are determined not to work, then they won't. Simple as that. I dare say that the recipients of this free labour can report back to the job centers about them if the experience is negative.
    Originally Posted by bsnub "No wonder I drive a tesla"

  9. #9
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    You'd probably be better off getting petty criminals to do your charity work on their community service, rather than using workshy bludgers

  10. #10
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    I am asssuming most of these people going on work experience schemes are long term unemployed?
    I would be interested to know what percentage are genuine candidates who turn up and make a positive contribution and those who are clearly bludgers, just whiling away the hours to keep their benefits.
    The government has a duty to get people off welfare and into work otherwise they are just wasting taxpayers money. The scheme must have some requirement for feedback from employers in order to value the scheme and if necessary change, or improve it.
    In April it was estimated that 200,000 people of working age would be affected by the new workfare rules. These are people who have been unemployed for 3 years or more. They will move from fortnightly reporting to daily reporting at job Centres, and also be offered the option of re-training.
    Most providers will come from the voluntary sector so there seems to be limits on the type of experience they can gain, other than establishing a normal office hours routine.
    As far as Mr 50+ stroppy is concerned I have some sympathy. Getting any kind of job is not going to be easy. Despite ageism being illegal, many will be turned down on grounds of being inexperienced, too senior, or overqualified for the offered post.
    I can see this guy confronted by some spotty herbert job centre official, being told he has to volunteer or loose 6 months benefits.
    Having said all that it is accepted wisdom that it is easier to find a job if you are already working. Networking and an ear to the ground can ceratinly improve your chances. He also needs to be realistic about getting back on the job ladder especially if he has previously been self employed.
    The government has, as usual tried to address an issue by doing it on the cheap. With so little funding and such a wide ranging problem, they cannot expect to achieve anything more than persuading people to go back to work because the alternative is unpalatable.
    If potential employers like NR can be selective, it may just work out for a few on both sides.
    What would a 50+ unemployed guy do if he was offered work experience as a job centre advisor? After all going from fortnightly to daily reporting will be a significant increase in the workload.
    Heart of Gold and a Knob of butter.

  11. #11
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    NR My job involves employing and training in the UK, I come across the situation you had most times we interview, the system is played by these people they either come in extremely rude or just give you the I don't give a shit attitude.

    They have it to good on the Dole, and no doubt work on the side.


    Quote Originally Posted by November Rain View Post
    As I've mentioned on other threads, I work for a charity selling items on eBay to raise money. The items are all sent in from their terrestrial shops, and I have to sort the trash from the treasure, photograph, list, answer questions - all the normal eBay stuff. The normal shops have work placement "volunteers" ie people that work as a volunteer in order to learn new skills and (real reason) to allow them to keep their benefits. If they didn't do the work, they'd lose their dole.

    Anyway, we're wanting to expand the amount we sell, so I contacted the work placement people, described the sort of person I was looking for & they sent a guy in today. He was in his 50s and, according to him, supremely over qualified. He was extremely disgruntled that he was being forced to work, particularly at such lowly status in order to keep his benefits and felt his time would be better spent applying for work. He was very quick to tell me that not only could he do my job better than me, he could probably do my bosses' jobs better than them, too.

    Anyway, I doubt he will work with us, because he also had bad knees and my little office is up loads of stairs.

    The experience of meeting him got me thinking, though. The work placement people I've met so far have been really nice, but perhaps not the most intelligent people on the planet, so I could really see the benefits to them gaining more skills, building up their CVs and helping a charity. I have no idea if this guy was telling me the truth about his experience and qualifications, but if he was, he might have a reason to be so arrogant and negative about being put in placements like this.

    Any thoughts on whether these placements are a good idea and whether they benefit all, some, or none?

  12. #12
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    As described, it sounds to me as if the system itself works well.

    The older guy is right to feel the hump that his ambitions are thwarted by age (though less well advised to voice it), the Labour Exchange is right to not let people take money just because they are over-qualified for the jobs on offer.

    If I was back in the UK, I wouldn't mind working in a library (though I don't think one can get paid for that).

    Whilst I really like charity shops, their rates free status does impede small businesses - older gents like me and the one mentioned would be ideal to start bookshops if the market wasn't swamped by charity shops getting free stock.
    Last edited by The Ghost Of The Moog; 22-10-2014 at 09:59 AM.

  13. #13
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    Just raise the tax threshold, let workers be seen to benefit from working.

  14. #14
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    Some charity shops now in UK sell there goods at stupid prices, considering they were originally for the less fortunate nowadays many seem to forget this.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Ghost Of The Moog View Post
    As described, it sounds to me as if the system itself works well.

    The older guy is right to feel the hump that his ambitions are thwarted by age (though less well advised to voice it), the Labour Exchange is right to not let people take money just because they are over-qualified for the jobs on offer.

    If I was back in the UK, I wouldn't mind working in a library (though I don't think one can get paid for that).

    Whilst I really like charity shops, their rates free status does impede small businesses - older gents like me and the one mentioned would be ideal to start bookshops if the market wasn't swamped by charity shops getting free stock.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yasojack View Post
    NR My job involves employing and training in the UK, I come across the situation you had most times we interview, the system is played by these people they either come in extremely rude or just give you the I don't give a shit attitude.

    They have it to good on the Dole, and no doubt work on the side.


    Quote Originally Posted by November Rain View Post
    As I've mentioned on other threads, I work for a charity selling items on eBay to raise money. The items are all sent in from their terrestrial shops, and I have to sort the trash from the treasure, photograph, list, answer questions - all the normal eBay stuff. The normal shops have work placement "volunteers" ie people that work as a volunteer in order to learn new skills and (real reason) to allow them to keep their benefits. If they didn't do the work, they'd lose their dole.

    Anyway, we're wanting to expand the amount we sell, so I contacted the work placement people, described the sort of person I was looking for & they sent a guy in today. He was in his 50s and, according to him, supremely over qualified. He was extremely disgruntled that he was being forced to work, particularly at such lowly status in order to keep his benefits and felt his time would be better spent applying for work. He was very quick to tell me that not only could he do my job better than me, he could probably do my bosses' jobs better than them, too.

    Anyway, I doubt he will work with us, because he also had bad knees and my little office is up loads of stairs.

    The experience of meeting him got me thinking, though. The work placement people I've met so far have been really nice, but perhaps not the most intelligent people on the planet, so I could really see the benefits to them gaining more skills, building up their CVs and helping a charity. I have no idea if this guy was telling me the truth about his experience and qualifications, but if he was, he might have a reason to be so arrogant and negative about being put in placements like this.

    Any thoughts on whether these placements are a good idea and whether they benefit all, some, or none?

    They should be immediately be sent back to the dole office, if they get refused by work placement three times their dole should be cut off.

  16. #16
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    Cheap labor market for employers...why would the unemployed person be happy to work for minimum wage? More like forced labor...yea they're on the dole you say, parasites to the community, force the buggers to work you say...They ain't going to work if they've become dependents of the state. You know that don't you?

    You want willing workers? Post an advert...see what you get.

  17. #17
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    Or possibly they need to get rid of the Zero hour contracts and give people a decent working wage, then they can make people work, said this before No work No dole. no housing benefit.

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    Sounds like a miserable git or an act to get you to reject him so he can go back to doing nothing.
    If he was intelligent and an industrious person even if on hard times he would have already worked out the pros and cons of working with you.

  19. #19
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    Maybe he wasn't happy that the CEO of the charity was earning around 200,000 quid a year.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yasojack View Post
    Or possibly they need to get rid of the Zero hour contracts and give people a decent working wage, then they can make people work, said this before No work No dole. no housing benefit.
    INdeed or heavens above, sort out corporate tax as well making the fuckers pay their dues or at the very least making tax breaks linked to numbers employed on full contracts.

    Wonder how many huge companies are not paying tax, not paying employees properly, only giving zero hour contracts and at the same time filling their shit jobs with people on the dole where the government (other peoples tax money) is actually paying the salaries for people to work the jobs.

  21. #21
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    heres something from a blog, the daily mail rekons only 1 in 4 uk companies pay CT and this blog reckons companies in UK only 33% pay tax.

    Tax Research UK » Only 33% of companies in the UK pay tax

  22. #22
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    Red face

    Everyone's aware that morning tv programmes are rubbish . But they are an addictive rubbish for an awful lot of people . And people with no purpose in their lives can easily slide into watching that stuff through to midday . Even easier - staying in bed and watching it on a Tablet ( nephew of mine ) .

    So anything that breaks that behaviour .... and gives people a reason to get up , shower , get to a place at a regulated time .... almost like work in fact ... surely has to be a good thing .


    BUT --- Yasojack makes a very good point when he contrasts people working for nothing against Charity executives who pay themselves £200 000 !

    But that's another Thread.

  23. #23
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    The main problem is benefits are too high and people can live comfortably on them and there is no longer a stigma attached to having a welfare lifestyle, so until benefits are slashed so that it becomes a nightmare to live on them as opposed to a lifestyle choice people will be blasé about low paid work as opposed to having the attitude of taking anything going till something better comes along.

  24. #24
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    Actually, you know what, the main problem is the people who are not born and raised in the UK are entitled to them. We also blow far too much money on spurious wars, and do not tax corporations and the uber rich properly.

  25. #25
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    buriramboy: The main problem is benefits are too high and people can live comfortably on them and there is no longer a stigma attached to having a welfare lifestyle, so until benefits are slashed so that it becomes a nightmare to live on them as opposed to a lifestyle choice people will be blasé about low paid work as opposed to having the attitude of taking anything going till something better comes along.



    I think you're right bb.

    Another aspect is free housing . Why does that have to be at the same standard as the housing that working people have ? I can understand not wanting people to be homeless ..... but I did some work in a house a week ago ... a house where none of the 4 adults has ever worked and has never even tried to work .... and the house was probably worth £400 000 . I can't afford a house like that !
    And they complain about the house !
    " Hasn't been repainted for over 3 years " they moaned .
    Of course there's no possibility of them spending £30 on 5 litres of paint and a brush and doing it themselves .

    I'd put them in bloody caravans so they can be dry and warm and off the streets but with an incentive to get out there and DO SOME WORK .

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