Thursday, 27 May 2010

"Offer" or "available"

There has been an interesting discussion on the Daily Politics programme about the proposed welfare reforms. It began with a brief clip of Iain Duncan Smith saying that the unemployed should take what work is available or face sanctions. Those of us with an interest in these matters recognise that this is a significant change. It could force people to, for instance, sign up with agencies for casual work simply because the agencies are prepared to take them on. Andrew Neil, whose knowledge is inferior to his pretensions, confused this with refusing a job "offer". The main participants in the discussion were Maria Miller MP, the new minister, and Yvette Cooper MP who, since Jim Knight lost his seat, is having to speak for Labour. Neil, typically belligerent, asked why Labour had left 6 million people of working age on benefits. Cooper pointed out that they were on benefit for different reasons. Miller was asked what was different about the coalition's proposals, and then Neil wilfully misunderstood her point about simplifying the benefit system. He then pushed the fact that IDS in opposition had said that the reforms would cost £3b. Two viewers' emails were read out; one asked where the jobs were going to come from; the other said that the minimum wage was not enough to live on.
IDS is being interviewed on World at One, so we'll see if he adds an clarification.

1 comment:

  1. I'd also add that MP's and ministers should be looking not only at the REAL number of vacancies, but also the TYPES of vacancies on offer.

    Recently there was a kerfuffle over a JCP vacancy asking for home based sex workers to perform and show their 'assets' online via a web cam, for £100 a day. Seedy perhaps. However, still legal. Of course, the killer question to be put to MP's and govt ministers is would THEY let thier daughters or sons do this? If not, then why should anyone else be expected to apply?

    Added to this, I have seen a number of what I call 'Mickey Mouse' vacancies. Vacancies that are clearly dodgy or even non-existent.

    For example, one company (won't mention them by name) is offering SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) training. However, they're asking for £2,500 to cover this training! An expansive course indeed! Apart from the fact that many books and online tutorials exist on this topic that can be much cheaper and even free of charge, how many unemployed people will be able to stump up £2,500 straight away? I actually phoned the company in question. Apparantly, it was a franchise business opportunity yet the vacancy did not mention anything about it being a franchise. I guess the word training looks good on a job centre vacancy.

    There are also the non existent vacancies from employment agencies. You se a vacancy advertised on a JCP jobpoint. 5 mins later, you phone to enquire about said vacancy only to be told it has been filled. You are however invited to register with the agency if you so wish. 2 weeks later the SAME vacancy is listed. Upon phoning again, you're told it was a mistake and will be removed from the system ASAP!

    The govt as with the previous administration should not be taken seriously if they keep spouting the same old 500,000-600,000 jobs available without looking preciesly at the kinds of jobs on offer. If many of the vacancies are cons or even phantom offers, then that 500,000 or so figure is meaningless in my view.


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