What would a good employment/benefits service look like?

Discussion in 'benefits and housing' started by Cloo, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    Was reflecting this week on how the whole benefits and ‘jobseeking’ system is focused on complying with conditions of receiving benefits rather than, say, getting people jobs. There seems to me so many ways it could actually help people get jobs, so what would a realistic actually helpful system look like?

    I think, for a start, it would not be beyond the skill of mankind for job centre staff to be aware of what the local employment needs are and therefore to perhaps match up jobseekers with employers who need skills, offering support for people to train up for those shortage roles via allowing them to keep their benefits while they become qualified, and offering loans/grants for necessary upfront costs. And if they really must be that suspicious of people’s motives, make that subject to reasonable attendance (allowing for illness and and time to take a few weeks’ leave too).

    Also, empowering and training staff to say ‘yes’ rather ‘no’. So when someone comes to the job centre with an idea about something they’d like to do that is liable to lead to employment or self-employed income, rather than saying ‘Nope, can’t help. You can do it but you’ll not get any benefits. No, don’t know about any grants, don’t know about any loans’, they would be empowered to say ‘That’s a really good idea, I am going to recommend your benefits remain paid in full while you study/for the first X months of your enterprise’ and what they recommend gets done because it’s likely to help someone get into work.

    Hey, a girl can dream… :I
    Orang Utan likes this.
  2. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    it would look like helping hands out of carry on regardless: although brought up to date and with someone who knew about grant awarding bodies.

    Badgers, jakejb79 and Cloo like this.
  3. Brainaddict

    Brainaddict chief propagandist (provisional)

    A lot of this stuff was done in the past. My first job after university I was actually placed in by the jobcentre - it was them rather than the employer that interviewed me as well. The noticeboard of local jobs used to be pretty useful, and employers would actually be able to walk into the jobcentre and say 'I need 10 people to do this' and the jobcentre would send people their way.

    What happened was at some point they (Blair govt I think) got in a load of management consultants - KPMG or some similar bunch of arseholes - to make it all 'more efficient' and they deliberately de-skilled every job. So now most of it is in callcentres by people who know nothing, and the person in front of you at the jobcentre also knows nothing. Of course the campaign to demonise people on welfare has been a big part of making it such a miserable experience, but this de-skilling was the other massive part of it. They are linked of course, because the person at the jobcentre did used to have more leeway to cut you slack, though not perhaps to support you through courses and so on.
  4. doodlelogic

    doodlelogic arbitrary message here

    Separate the job centre from the DSS. Hard to be both knowledgeable about job market and benefit rules. Gets people in a different mind too.
  5. Slo-mo

    Slo-mo Banned Banned

    That would make a lot of sense. The next logical step would be a universal basic income and make the job centre solely about getting people jobs.
    BemusedbyLife and Fez909 like this.
  6. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    I sometimes wonder if, in urban areas at least, giving unemployed people free travel cards rather than forcing 35-hour a week jobhunts would help a lot more. Ie, people can get to training, meetings and interviews, can go somewhere and drop off a CV, can visit friends and family and generally feel better because of that. I wonder if anyone has ever piloted such an approach?
  7. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank We kill the flame

    Some kind of support for those willing and able to work but for whom the standard application/interview process represents a barrier.
    Orang Utan likes this.
  8. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank We kill the flame

    The people I work for have a scheme which does exactly this. If you get a job for which you'll need to commute, we'll even sort you out with a second hand bike and give you some one-on-one training to make sure you're comfortable cycling on the road.

    I think the funding for all this ends at the end of the current tax year though :(
  9. catinthehat

    catinthehat Failed VK = Replicant

    I worked for them when they were the DHSS and full of well meaning people who for the most part wanted to help claimants to get what they were entitled to and provide help and support. Then 'Next Steps' which saw chunks hived off as separate agencies, centralization of services in big processing centers and the casualisation of staff. I left early 90s and the writing was on the wall then. To a large extent lost local staff who knew the area, job and training opportunities and gave extra support to confused/elderly/chaotic claimants. No where near an ideal system but far better than what appears to be the norm now.
    Slo-mo likes this.
  10. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    And it's sad because we have this thing called 'The Internet' which can make it really easy to interact with local employers and find out what they need. But that's obviously too new-fangled.
  11. iamwithnail

    iamwithnail Well-Known Member

    No no no, you've got it all wrong.

    They got in *all* the bunches of arseholes. Deloitte, KPMG, E&Y, Cap Gemini, Booz Allen Hamilton, they all had a crack at the 'Welfare Reform' cherry, to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds.
    Brainaddict likes this.

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