Extract from Alison’s article about job centres that she wrote for the Fabian Society:
“Jobcentre Plus is the main point of contact with the state for job seekers and it needs to adapt. In an ideal world, visiting the jobcentre should be like visiting your GP. The role of the person helping you should be to diagnose the specifics of the barriers to employment, and help you access specialist help.
The graduate whose industry is in a down-turn needs different, specialist advice to the person with a chronic, long-term illness. Each of their barriers to work could be addressed given the right help, but a generalist approach is unlikely to work. We need to direct people quickly to expert sources of help to conquer the disease of unemployment.
The service provided at jobcentres is too often impersonal, and people are made to feel like they are the problem, out to cheat. While there will always be people who play the system -; and we need to make sure that job seeking benefits are paid to those who are genuinely seeking work -; the majority of people do want to find work.
With long-term unemployment increasing, it is clear that the government’s work programme is also not working. It is supposed to deliver tailored support for the long-term unemployed who need more help to undertake active and effective job seeking, supporting them to overcome barriers that prevent them from finding and staying in work…”
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