Wednesday, 9 May 2012

That informal survey - results. And another survey

Thank you for the responses to my informal survey.  Here's my interpretation of what you said.
1.  I asked about pressure to avoid part-time or temporary work.  The charge was that providers were steering clients away from anything other than full-time, permanent jobs because they wouldn't get outcome payments for anything less.  Only two people said that they had experienced this, although several others pointed out that they agreed with the adviser that they couldn't take part-time work because of the benefits system.
2.  The second question was about inappropriate demands.  One person said that an adviser had demanded his bank statement, and another said that he had been asked about his faith, but no one else reported any such demands.
3.  It was the third question, about "tailored support", which attracted the most agreement.  If respondents are typical, the concept of tailored support is something of a joke.  Several of you talked about sub-contractors saying that they couldn't afford to provide any such support.  No one reported receiving any actual training.  Some people realised that they had much better educational and professional qualifications than the people supposedly advising them.  One respondent had experience of clients with special needs, now on ESA, who are not receiving the appropriate support or understanding from the w2w companies.
So from this entirely unscientific survey it appears that some of the accusations against A4e and other providers arise from isolated incidents rather than a general culture, but that the notion of tailored support is largely a fiction.
I want to try a more focussed experiment.  Chris Grayling said recently that " Jobcentre Plus takes 10,000 vacancies every working day".  But all of us who have ever had to look for work know that some of the advertised vacancies turn out to be cons.  They may to be for home-working scams; or working on commission without this being made clear at the outset; or non-existent vacancies advertised by agencies to get people to register with them.  Let's see if we can collect these and get a true picture of the situation.  If you find an advert that's obviously not for a real job, send me the link (as a comment to this post - I won't publish it).  If you only discover the con later, send me the details.  I'll leave this open for a month or two, so please help to get some useful information from this.


  1. "100,000 jobs a day"

    I look on their jobsearch site every day. It's actually something I find quite difficult: my eyes don't focus very well reading off screens and I have cognitive behaviour issues that make it a real chore. These are not helped by the site's appalling design and complete lack of organisation.
    That said you tend to see patterns: the same jobs over and over, or adverts that seem to be almost identical. I would love to see a real investiagation into this because I simply don't believe the government line. I don't buy that each day there are thousands of new jobs. Perhaps they are all blossoming outside of my area (I only search locally, for obvious reasons).
    You will see an employer advertise one job and then the same not a couple of months or even weeks later. Most of it is dominated by websites/agencies. There is also an odd mix of jobs: amongst the part time cleaning jobs, i saw yesterday a number of positions from a single agency for high end legal jobs including 'contentious IP lawyer' and a couple of tax lawyer jobs. I regularly see research assistant jobs from the nearby universities. I think many of these jobs, if not most of what's on there, is taken by the people that operate the site and cut and paste (ie without the actual people involved's knowledge) the text, often including formatting errors, onto their database.
    In short: I don't think the JC's database is truly representative at all.

  2. 10,000 vacancies, that's interesting. On the 9th May in my area there were 17 new vacancies on the Job Centre website, 2 of which I were qualified or able to apply for.

  3. Talk about timing,I have only just walked in from my Bi-weekly appointment with my once again new Adviser (4th in 5 months)although this fella seem's to have his sh!t in one sock and I look forward to working with him. I showed him my job search,I am required to apply for 12 Bi-Weekly there were 18, all with job numbers from JCP Website,so far so good...but as I pointed out 8 separate jobs were offered by the same company. He pointed out that this should only count as 1 job search,true but if the JCP counts them as 8 should I also not be allowed to ? I also pointed out that of the 487 jobs available in my area 83 had been listed for over 1 year,189 were duplicate jobs,67 were commission only and 14 were apprenticeships...fair play he agreed. We then discussed agency jobs and agreed a majority of them simply pass on your details to marketing companies(I like this guy)When I pushed on training 1 phone call later and I am scheduled for a CSCS card,brilliant..I thanked him,he very candidly admitted that my persistence (pain in the ass)had something to do with it.

  4. I'd agree with Ghost Whistler. They copy and paste the ads, and frequently get the email addresses and contact details wrong. I don't use them for this reason, they're unreliable and it doesn't give any employer a good impression if your application is addressed to the wrong person.

    I don't think that any job site has 10,000 new jobs a day. Reed has more in this area than the JC, and it's quite obvious that they sometimes place an ad daily until it is filled, sometimes they place the same ad 3 times on the same day. A quick scan of Reed shows that today they have the following number of new jobs today, some of which will be duplicates and previously posted vacancies.

    826 within 10 miles of London
    164 within 10 miles of Manchester
    49 within 10 miles of Liverpool
    44 within 10 miles of Glasgow
    96 within 10 miles of Birmingham
    49 within 10 miles of Milton Keynes
    90 within 10 miles of Bristol.

    Now, the JCP have 250 jobs in total for within 15 miles of London (I'm assuming both Reed and JCP use the City as the centre for their 10 and 15 mile radius) of which 15 are new today. So I think we can probably assume that the JCP does not have 10,000 new jobs a day, but that the database may be built to display a max of 10,000 jobs at any one time (every location I looked at seems to have 13 pages, if you set it to 20/page), which would explain why I can find entries from months ago for vacancies which have obviously been filled.

    1. Polly

      For most things, "London" means, "Hyde Park Corner." That is how post codes, phone numbers etc have been worked out.

      I used to live & work in London so I know it reasonably well. I always worked in the City. I lived in Chelsea, Pimlico, Bal Ham (Gateway To The South according to Peter Sellers)and finally I lived in Islington.

      Clearly, whether the "official reference point" was Hyde Park Corner or elsewhere made no particular difference to me but it would make a huge difference to someone who does not live centrally.

      I believe that the reason why Hyde Park Corner became the "official centre of London" was something to do with Dick Turpin, originally. Apparently, in subsequent years it was just easier to keep using HPC than anywhere else.

      For example, a nanosecond clock will show a few Minutes'/Seconds' difference between Greenwich and HPC because HPC is 5 or 6 miles West of the Greenwich Meridian. (Then again, if one's navigation is so useless that a mere smidgeon of difference in the Minutes/Seconds of Longitude is important, one's ship is going to hit the rocks anyway, in which case the ship's lifejackets will be more useful than the ship's )chronometer, I always think!

  5. Chris Grayling said "jobcentreplus takes 10,000 job vacancies every working day"! Get real. What a joke!

    Is Chris counting the stars, and hoping to be 'thestar' !!

    I look at the directgov, jobcentreplus website daily, utterley nonense. What planet is Chris Grayling on?

    Yesterday I searched the jobcentreplus website, there was 19 vacancies in my area - 15 miles radius.

    Some of the jobs advertised are sham, some are agency jobs, that don't exist, i've experienced this, i've applied for various jobs through agencies, and i hear nothing, not even a thank you for my application, they just want to get your details, pass them on to third parties, then you receive stupid emails, that you have not asked for, and telesales calls, anything, but not to do with looking for a job, i ask them, where have you got my details from? from the internet??

    To be honest when the phone rings and shows unavailable, witheld, international i think, oh ....

    Now, i have to to the conclusion, only applied for jobs where you know the name of the company, and you applied for the vacant job position direct to the company's own website.

    I went to ae4 job search session, I was told, to log in on to Indeed website, i searched all the jobs, applied for 2 vacancies that was suitable for me criteria, even though they told me to find 5 vacancies!! There was time left on the session, I asked, can i look at directgov, jobcentreplus website now, well Indeed is best. I thought, what's the crack, are they in toe with that website?

  6. This is a non existent vacancy advertised as a 'job' on Do a search with the sentence "Earn £25 - £50 a week, part-time: Online market research: All Qualify" and 275 job ads - all identical - come up. I have some experience of this online market research. You can indeed sign up for some websites and they will give you credits for each survey completed. After a few months you might have enough for a £10 voucher or a few pounds into a paypal account, nothing more. To advertise it as a job is false.

    1. Good example - does anyone know whether these non-jobs appear on the JCP site?

    2. I have never seen these non-jobs on the JCP site, i search it everyday. It's the agencies site, that does this, advertising sham jobs, all to do with making fees out of folks, who allow and accept these silly jobs. Get rid of the agencies, Only real, proper jobs are posted through the JCP site or through the press, knowing the firm/company who you are applying to, you don't see these non jobs in the press or jcp.

      Finally get rid of a4e they are useless, they relish in using in the indeed site? I know, I am a customer. I know they advertise jobs that they have copied and pasted from the jcp and the rest of non-jobs from other agencies. All to do with making money, hopefully, and the agencies getting folks ID to pass on to gods knows where.


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