By LAFFINGKNOME
2 years ago

Blackpool Job Centre

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I am currently unemployed and trying to make a living as a freelance writer so I attend the local jobcentre in Blackpool. I have to be there every fortnight for a certain time and sign electronically so I get my JSA or Job Seekers Allowance.

Before that, I have to speak to my so-called job advisor about what I have been doing in trying to acquire work. My job advisors name is Emma and to be fair she is ok and will chat to you and treat you like a human being. Other so-called advisors, I have dealt with in the past have been thoroughly unprofessional. In fact, at times I have had to make complaints to the DWP online complaints service and have usually had my complaint dealt with satisfactorily.

Jobcentres can at times be depressing places with G4S security guards stood there on patrol like they are guarding Area 51 or something. Most of the people who come to sign obviously do not want to be there and people signing come from all walks of life. One job advisor called Phil has an expression like he is chewing a wasp and would rather be somewhere else. He calls out to clients in a voice that seems resigned to whatever is going to transpire that day and seems more interested in taking breaks than working.

It understandable why there are security guards there as staff never know what they are going to be dealing with. Many of their clients can be drug addicts or alcoholics and personally I would not like to do their job.

Many of the clients too can be genuine people looking for work and how well the jobcentre advisor helps them find work is open to question. It seems sometimes if you are in your 50's jobs can be hard come to by and usually the only jobs available for people of that age bracket are jobs no one else wants to do but that is my experience.

It is easy to stereotype people on benefits as many of the programmes do but that is not the whole picture. Many alcoholics or people with mental problems or drug addicts are that way because of personal circumstance and the cap on benefits which the Cameron government introduced does not help their plight. Many of the services to help people like I have mentioned are facing cutbacks so do not always have the finance or expertise to always help.

When you first sign on you have to go every week one to sign and the other week well I have no answer as to why you have to go then. JSA fortnightly is £229.20 a fortnight and out of that, they expect you to find your bus fare or fuel to get there for your appointment and pay bills, shopping, debt etc out of that. Admittedly you can claim your travel expenses back but when you speak to people who have never had to live on benefits or have not done so for a long time they have no idea how tough life can be on benefits.

Finally, I feel when many people have access to the internet now why cannot people sign on from home and talk to your job advisor online for example? If jobcentres were closed down and replaced by a more electronic way of doing things surely that would save the government money in maintaining jobcentres and save the client the wasting of money on bus fares or fuel.
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