I have had to use the job centre only once which probably makes me one of the lucky ones. I have mixed feeling about this place and the people who work there some care and some just dont know what the hell they are doing I dont think.
When I returned to work 4 years ago after taking a year out with having my first child they were honestly great in 3 weeks of looking for a job I had an interveiw they gave me £100 towards clothes to go for interviews and to be able to start work £40 per week on the new deal for lone parent scheme for the first year paid for my travel to the interview and for my first months bus pass of £30 to be able to get to work and back and also paid my first weeks nursery fees of £135 because of having to wait for the child tax credit to make the amendents. I couldnt have asked for any better help but of course the job centre did not tell me I was entitled to any of these benifits they were offering it was just lucky that a freind of the family had been through this and had lost out on most of what I have just listed because she wasnt told either and it is not something that they would backdate either so I was pre warned to ask for the lot.
The other good thing about when I returned to work was that they sorted out all my housing benifit award and told me how much I would have to pay for my rent each month and my council tax because that benifit agency would take forever to sort out what you should pay so I had a basic that I could pay until they did sort it out. They also contacted the child tax credit office and filled out the forms with me so that I could get the entitlement and the childcare for my son sorted because this office can also take from 4 weeks onwards to make any changes and set up any new files.
I have got to admit when I have been out of work I have used the jobcentre to search for a job but I have never had to claim so I have found them very useful. On the other hand my partner has just been made redundant and he is suffering the opposite with them. In just two weeks they decided they were going to pay him and then they werent they put his money on hold until they received my pay slips to prove that I only worked part time and earned pennies. Then after 4 weeks they decided to pay him again while this was going on still no money had been put into his account because they had taken down the wrong bank details, we changed his bank and changed the details with them but they had to send a giro cheque out for the backdated money because the system would not generate a payment for him so after 6 – 8 weeks he finally got paid something he had been working for 10 years solid so he should have been entitled to something he had been paying in for so long.
Every 2 weeks he has to go back to sign on and when he went a few weeks ago they lost his book to be able to sign on convieniantly 2 weeks later when he went it was found funny how things like that happen. Then tonight he has had to go to a how to find work meeting.
Now how would you look for a job?
They love to keep other people in a job dont they I think by now we all know how to look for a job what is the internet for and the telephone. Ok I will admit I know there are people out there that dont want to work and will claim off us hard working citizens and no I agree it isnt fair but I also know that at the minute there are alot of people who want to work trying so hard to get back into work and are being branded and treated and low life scum that dont deserve to get any money they really need to take a look at the claimants history of work and hassle the people who are really taking our cash.
He also experianced a problem of not being able to re-train because the government havent given them a grant aparently to be able to send people on these courses anymore the best is they sent people before who didnt want to go on one and now someone does they cant ha, but tonight he was told that he shouldnt have been told that he couldnt go on a course and that he can if he wants so here goes the next step proving he has been told that and trying to get him out doing something.
In some aspects the jobcentre is great especally with single parents I couldnt complain but in my partners life they have been nothing but a problem that luckily I can help him sort out due to experiance with government agencies. I would recommend that if you are out of work still go and claim what you are entitled to and do some research first because if they can get away with giving you it all they will.