I'm 24, a bit of a geek, spend a bit too much time online, and in front of the Xbox. But mostly I look for work, like an ever-increasing proportion of everyone I knew from school, college and university.Well, good for you! And good luck with it, I really mean that. Clearly, you'll need it.
Like most graduates, I'm in vast amounts of debt. I owe £18,000 (and rising) to the Student Loans Company, £3,000 to Halifax and £750 to HSBC. Despite this, I don't regret my degree course for a second (I have a BSc in genetics from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth).So, what does vex you so much you've written a column for the 'Guardian', then?
No, my demons reside at the jobcentre.Ah. I see where we're going now...
The Jobcentre has done nothing but hinder me in my search. When I was asked what qualifications I had, and I told them about my degree, Btecs, A-levels, AS-levels and GCSEs, they responded with "Are you sure? Have you got certificates to prove that?"Well, yes. How strange. Why can't they just take your word for it, right? No-one else would expect to have to...
Oh. Wait. This guy would. And he's a scientist too!
To be patronised and looked down on didn't faze me, but what did was the suggestion by a personal adviser that I take my degree off my CV, saying it might be scaring employers.Which is good advice, and might actually help you. Isn't that what you want?
Things degenerated when another adviser referred me to the "flexible new deal" programme. They made me attend a course at Pertemps People Development Group. This was a few rooms of rented-out office space with a projector, whiteboard and a few computers. My assignment was to complete a large black folder's worth of worksheets, with topics like "verbal and non-verbal communication" which was more or less sit up and smile, and interview techniques with innovative methods such as not swearing and wearing a shirt and tie.That's not a problem with the system itself. There are, indeed, people who need help with that sort of thing, it's just that you've been mistakenly assumed to be one of them.
After this my adviser decided that work experience was all that mattered. This was despite the fact that I already had work experience. As a student I was a "team member" at McDonald's, "customer assistant" at Morrisons and even briefly worked for an online retailer, managing their website. This was all on my CV.Again, not a fault of the system itself, but of the idiocy of the guy handling your case.
Why then did the "adviser" refer me to the mandatory work activity that is designed for young people who require "discipline" as they have "never had a job".I don't know. Did you ask him?
I keep hearing claims that this scheme is voluntary. But I've got a form that uses the phrase "you must" three times, the phrase "you will" once and the word "mandatory" five times. I can't seem to find the word "voluntary".Again, did you ask anyone to clarify? Isn't that what scientists do, they question seemingly contradictory data until they get an answer?
Right now, I think I'D like to check out your credentials too!
I was asked the other day by a friend, "Isn't this fair, though? I have to get up really early and slog away all day, why shouldn't you?" What he meant was, "I am made to suffer hardship. I want to see you suffer too." This is the start of bullying.No. No, it's really not. No more than the Workfare programme is 'slavery'. You don't help your case with such overdramatisation.
The government is bullying the unemployed, and is inciting hate towards us. It's not my fault that there are no jobs. It's not my fault others have to work long hours for very little pay. It's the government's fault.Yes, sweetie, it's the government's fault. Everything's the government's fault.
You should look to it for answers, instead of demanding them from us, the scapegoats. Ask why it signs off on its staff avoiding taxes, or on paying bankers huge salaries (and bonuses) of taxpayers' money.Oh, wow! Wow...
I really hope you aren't using your real name, because if I were running an employment agency or a big HR recruitment company, your name would get noticed, all right. And not for a good reason...
I suspect, for my generation, there is no future. We were supposed to be the next set of great thinkers. What do you think we think about now? How to stay out of poverty. How to avoid being made a slave.You're no slave. But you are a whiny little manchild who thinks the world should bow down before your greatness. Nothing wrong with that, we all feel that way when we're young. Usually, we grow out of it.
There's hope for you. Just.
H/T: ByrneToff via Twitter
H/T: ByrneToff via Twitter