Here’s another short one from the “What is the point of jobcentres?” files:
I went to a JSA signon meeting with a claimant this week at one of the London jobcentres. The jobcentre adviser we saw was very keen for the person I was with to attend a jobs fair that will be held in mid-November.
“Bring CVs,” the adviser said. The person I was with only had one paper copy of his CV left, though, so I asked the adviser if the jobcentre could make some photocopies. The jobcentre adviser said No. The jobcentre couldn’t photocopy the CV, because the paper the jobcentre used wasn’t of a good enough quality. I wasn’t 100% sure what the adviser meant by that, if I’m honest. We weren’t demanding a parchment scroll, or personal embossing – we just wanted a few basic copies of a CV. If jobcentres don’t have the right paper for photocopying CVS – well, perhaps they should. They are jobcentres, let’s not forget. As it stands, we’ll have to get the CVs copied elsewhere, at our expense. I’ve done it before. I’ll be doing it again.
To recap, then: I asked an adviser at a jobcentre if the jobcentre could make copies of a CV for a jobseeker to take to a jobs fair, and the adviser said No. That may not sound like a major event in the greater scheme, but it does make me wonder. This sort of Absolutely Nothing Happens Here experience is so typical of the many visits to jobcentres that I’ve made over the past two years. If jobcentres won’t, or can’t, do the basics – help fill in job application forms, or copy CVs for people to take to jobs fairs – then the long-term unemployed are trudging backwards and forwards to jobcentres for the hell of it. I suppose that’s a political win somewhere. Very strange.