Ok so once again I’ve been placed on a course that will help me get back into the work force. The course sounds very similar to one I completed 7 months ago. Well I’m not so sure it’s a course, they call it Jobcentre Plus support Contract module. It’s delivered by a private company.
The information I received about the course was:
- Free access to resources including internet and stationery
- Support with creating and email account to help with online job searching
- Coaching and advice on job search
- access to employer recruitment days specific to the sector you are interested in
- Training on searching and applying for vacancies online and creating electronic CVs
- Completion of application forms (written and electronic)
- Letter writing
Sounds interesting doesn’t it? Well fingers crossed it is. I have to attend for 2 and a half hours every Friday for the next 6 weeks.
Well I wrote the part above before I started the course so now have completed 2 weeks. Let me tell you a little about it so far. First week I went, there were about 12 of us there, a mixture of ages and split about 50/50 men and women. Firstly the guy taking the course explained a little about what we would be doing, which unfortunately was starting to sound very little like the stuff I listed above. Secondly we were asked if we all at least had basic computer skills. Turned out that about 4 people knew nothing about computers and had been told they would be shown how to use one as part of this course. Well that was wrong and a bit deja-vu on my part, same thing happened on the course I was on last year. Also it turned out that before being placed on this course we should have had a discussion with our Jobcentre advisor to figure out what we needed to help gain employment. This course should have been mentioned to us as a good place to start but guess how many people had discussed it with their advisor. Yes, nobody knew anything about it until they received a letter to say they had to attend.
So on to the exciting part. What do I actually have to do on this course? Will they look over my CV make sure it’s ok? Will they show me how to do anything? Well to answer that in one word – NO! What it actually means is that I go down there for 2 and a half hours each Friday to use their computer to job search which is what I did the second week I went there. Will they help me? YES, but only if I ask for help. To me it’s starting to look like a 6 week version of The Work Programme.
The previous training course I attended last year called Stairway to Work was for 2 weeks. They reviewed our CV, helped us update it, reword it if needed and made sure that everybody left the course with a good CV. Over the 2 weeks I think most of us left feeling as if we had actually got something from the course, even if it was just a decent CV.
Oh one thing I did learn. We were having a discussion about attendance on the course. This came about because the second week of the course the schools here were on holiday and 2 of the women had young children and weren’t sure if they would be able to come in. We discussed whether our benefit would be sanctioned (suspended) if we didn’t attend. Out of this discussion came an interesting fact. The guy taking the course mention that one of the strangest reasons he had heard for benefit being suspended was not having a mobile phone. We were all a bit shocked until one of the guys mentioned that it had happened to him. He was told the reasoning was that potential employers would not be able to get a hold of him (although I’m pretty sure the guy had an address and that we do still have a semi-decent postal system here) so I’m not sure how that one works.
So from this I will see what happens with this course (I shall call it that) for the next 4 weeks. Totally nothing to do with it but I do have an interview for a job next Tuesday for a position with the local council. So something to look forward to there. Now all I need to do is find the cash for a haircut.