....Just a quick update for those who have followed my 20 year old son, Vincent's struggle to get a new job after he was laid off from his seasonal employment last November.
Vincent badgered his Job Centre Advisor into putting him on a course. The course he wanted to go on is for a a qualification as a LifeGuard, that is essential for anyone applying for that kind of job. Because Vincent had only been unemployed for less than 3 months, these courses are only available for the long term unemployed: something I vehemently disagree with. If young people under 25, who have previously been employed in some capacity, then become unemployed, give them every help they need to get a new job, the minute they walk through the Job Centre door, virtual or otherwise.
Why wait until these young people have been unemployed for over a year before offering help with courses? Just because the long term unemployed look bad on governmental stats, does that mean that the newly unemployed should languish before given assistance?
Vincent's Job Centre Advisor took a different view and asked permission to put him on a LifeGuards course that would give him the qualification he needs for that type of job. He could see my son was keen to get back into work, after knowing he had applied for some 50+ jobs doing anything from cleaning to stacking shelves, to a teaching assistant's post. The advisor gave him a precious chance and my son heard from word of mouth that a local caravan park who own various parks throughout the area were looking for Full Time, Permanent Lifeguards. He went for interview explaining his course finishes at the end of this month, and he has been taken on, the minute his course is finished. The job also pays a Living Wage - a huge bonus. He is borrowing his step-dads mountain bike, and biking to the two sites he will work at.
Vincent has asked me to highlight a few things on his behalf. If he had not pestered the Job Centre Advisor he would not have been put on a course. How many other young people simply do not ask, as they are told these courses are for long term unemployed only? Vincent would also like to thank his Job Centre Advisor. How many advisors would simply have turned down his request for a course at the first time of asking? Discretion was used; "a rule was bent a little" and this has resulted in a Full Time job being landed. Why not change the rules completely?
Vincent is still angry that his search for part time work on the new retail park in the town was fruitless, and that employers seemed to be interested in Under 18 year olds due to the fact they are paid the very lowest minimum wage. He feels all workers aged 16-21 should be on a flat rate minimum wage at £6.19, if not a Living Wage, as every worker is expected to do the job to a high standard, regardless of age.
Lastly he has been chuffed with the many comments of congratulations I have received on twitter which I have passed on to him and he thanks everyone that has commented.
For me, I have a son with a smile back on his face; he is looking forward to the challenges of the new job and getting back into the world of work. I overheard him on the phone to one of his mates last night "No one LIKES being on the dole, its a stigma, everyone looks at you and thinks you're a scrounger, but its not like that, I met loads of people in the Job Centre who just want a job - any job."
And that's the bottom line in Austerity UK.. the vast majority want to work.The Government need to see what is actually going on in the real world, and not keep rolling out their right-wing rhetoric.