Yesterday I went along to my "CareerFinder" induction. This is the current name for what used to be called jobclubs - and I expect they are equally as useless at finding 21st century people "careers" as they were at finding 20th century ones jobs! However, when the nice man at the jobcentre asked if I wanted to attend I agreed as free newspapers and stamps sounds good to me. He pointed out that because I am attending voluntarily I can use it for up to three months, and leave whenever I want for any reason. OK, I can manage that say I:-) Oh, but I do have to attend the induction on Monday morning - fill in this form. I fill in the form. I tick the box that asks do I require childcare. Oh, umm, nice man looks a bit embarressed, childcare is not available for careerfinder time. Oh, well, I can arrange for Nanny A to do one morning, that'll be alright. I fill in the form and forget all about it.
Nanny A turns up at 9.10am, and I suddenly remember I'm supposed to be going:-) Rush around printing off my CV etc quickly, then off I go. There were 10 of us there. At least 6 were compulsory attendances (if you are out of work for more than a year, apparently), and two of those REALLY didn't want to be there! One had attended "a number" of times previously (obviously did a lot of good then! Although I wouldn't employ him in anything that required communication skills, literacy, punctuality, hard work or skill - which is pretty much everything really!) One was absolutely determined to be as awkward as possible & argue with everything the poor tutor said - which was quite funny for me at times, but probably very annoying for the tutor, and anyone who actually was trying to learn something!
Anyway, we do all the health & safety stuff etc, and then get given this contract to sign. It says I agree to attend 10 hours per week. I point out that I was not informed of any specific attendance requirements. Tutor says this is laid down by their contract (with the DWP) as the government states that as we are all unemployed we obviously have nothing to do all day! He does say that they are quite flexible and really only ask that we attend for at least three days, staying for a minimum of two hours if we want to claim our travel expences back. I point out that I do not need to claim any travel expences as it doesn't cost much to walk 1/2 a mile, but three two hour sessions will cost me £90 in childcare fees and can I claim that back? He says no! Good old Government policy strikes again.
I refuse to sign the contract saying that I can not attend and have no wish or need to attend 10 hours a week! I only want free stamps:-) Tutor sees a possibility of claiming a sucess story and says I can attend as and when convenient to me as long as I don't claim any travel expences. Hurrah, I get my free stamps:-)