Post Work Program / Voluntary work / wasted skills

Mark Hoban MP. That spot on his face has more honesty than he does.
Mark Hoban MP. That spot on his face has more honesty than he does.

UK – The text of an email that I sent to Mark Hoban MP the Minister of State for Employment

Hi Mark,

I am a hard working unemployed person, who has for the last 2 1/2 years has been volunteering at a registered charity. I love my voluntary work, it gives me a sense of belonging to the community and that I am giving something back to community in return for the social security payments that I have received.

I am long term unemployed with well developed IT skills. I had to give up work because I became a single parent. My son is currently completing a masters degree at University.

Feedback from interviews tells me that the barrier to getting back into appropriate employment is the length of time that I have been unemployed.

I see my volunteering at the Museum as something with which I can say that I am hard working on my CV, and show that I do not need a gun holding to my head t get me to do something.

Mandatory workfare (holding a gun to someone’s head) nullifies any competitive advantage that my genuinely voluntary work might give me.

This I believe is an unfair and unintended consequence of Mandatory workfare.

Now I have come to the end of the work program, and I am now on the post work program, program. I have been asked to stop doing my voluntary work. Once again this is negating the value of my voluntary work.

Instead I have been having to attend courses that I have truth to tell done 5 times over the years. Once at the CCAT Cambridge, once at Oakland’s College, twice at Kennedy Scott on new deal and once at Seetec on the work program. Admittedly the course was better taught than either New deal or the work program. I feel that the CV and Interview skills course would be better targeted at the newly unemployed.

My CV on Monster is pulling in 2 or three calls a week from agencies looking for high Tech staff. That tells me that my CV is good and that I am employable.

If I recall correctly, there was talk of making companies who want to bring in staff from abroad, take people with the appropriate skills, from the ranks of the unemployed. This is a brilliant idea, one that could seriously reduce unemployment in the skilled sector. More importantly it would alleviate the problems that one size does not fit all, and never will do.

It would be easy enough to do contract out to a technical agency, the employers have to try the agency first before importing new staff. If they take a person on full time for two years pay then £7000 towards the costs. Cheap at the price.

It is a hideous and criminal waste of skills to put highly skilled workers in a factory assembling ready meals.

Best regards

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Author: Dr Suusi Watson

Editor of the Bastard

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