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Old 05-02-2013, 16:44
clarky323
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,174

hi guys, just been to an a4e structured job search session and I wasn't happy with it at all

firstly, when I went it there, my advisor told me to go to a computer and start looking for work and she'll be over in a minute. so I did and then she came over about 10 mins later and gave me a piece of paper that I had to fill in (similar to the job centre) and a card with her email address on, she asked me to email her my CV immediately (despite the fact I was in the middle of sending an email to an employer) instead of showing it to her whilst she was sitting right next to me

anyway, I continued for an hour just looking at websites and applying for jobs, she didn't come over at all, all staff members were just talking about the snow outside, when I finished I took my piece of paper over to her and she said 'have you finished already?', I said I'd looked at many sites and applied for a few jobs and then she said 'okay see you next week then'. I then asked if she wanted the sheet I'd been writing on and she said 'no you keep it', she didn't even look at it, how is this helping me?

In the end I did exactly the same as what I do at home every day of every week so its not benefiting me, anyone else have to go on these? are they helpful?
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Old 05-02-2013, 16:46
ladymoanalot
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I should imagine they are an absolute waste of time and money.

If a person wants a job they will apply for as many as they can regardless of being forced to go action4fiddling anyway.

If a person does not want a job they will just not make the effort if they got to interview stage anyway.
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Old 05-02-2013, 17:19
Aztec23
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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hi guys, just been to an a4e structured job search session and I wasn't happy with it at all

firstly, when I went it there, my advisor told me to go to a computer and start looking for work and she'll be over in a minute. so I did and then she came over about 10 mins later and gave me a piece of paper that I had to fill in (similar to the job centre) and a card with her email address on, she asked me to email her my CV immediately (despite the fact I was in the middle of sending an email to an employer) instead of showing it to her whilst she was sitting right next to me

anyway, I continued for an hour just looking at websites and applying for jobs, she didn't come over at all, all staff members were just talking about the snow outside, when I finished I took my piece of paper over to her and she said 'have you finished already?', I said I'd looked at many sites and applied for a few jobs and then she said 'okay see you next week then'. I then asked if she wanted the sheet I'd been writing on and she said 'no you keep it', she didn't even look at it, how is this helping me?

In the end I did exactly the same as what I do at home every day of every week so its not benefiting me, anyone else have to go on these? are they helpful?
This actually sounds ominous and military of which this is not what should be happening.

When I say ominous, I mean, I've seen this myself with one of the adviser's with my own eyes.

The a4e customers seemingly are pre-screened and placed into a category - largely depending on the level of support needed as well as their background/circumstances and like.

I have delivered in the past employment support myself and I am not on the work programme with the same company, so I've seen the best of both worlds.

You are perfectly entitled to put forward your concerns to either their head office, a member of the A4E Management team or the Jobcentre themselves. Remember, they are not actually a governing body, but an external provider, and they have been given a contract on the basis that they deliver to satisfaction.

You're not at school, you're in the real world and you should be treated with the respect.

Feel free to PM in terms of any jobsearch/other support needed.
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Old 05-02-2013, 17:48
evil c
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The Jobcentre sent me to an A4E Jobclub (one of many Jobclubs I was forced to attend) and when they saw my CV they sent me to a placement at the local council in the Lift Dept. I didn't have a clue what the Lift Dept did, but it transpired that they were repsonsible for the installation and maintenance of the disabled equipment installed in people's homes and Council run sheltered housing.

The first day the section head in the Lift Dept gave me a wad of papers that were the maintenance reports for equipment installed by the company contracted by the Council. The reports were 6 months old and no-one had been bothered to check them. There were about 200 reports. I was told to file them against people's names and tell the boss if any of the reports showed that there were problems.

Several of the reports highlighted serious defects which the company recommended should be sorted asap. When I was filing the reports I noticed that the paperwork in all of the individual files was out of date order and just thrown in.

It took me about 2 hours to check and file the reports and I told the boss about the problem reports and suggested that instead of producing reports in one colour, that they start a new scheme producing reports in red, orange and green. Red where immediate action was required, orange for needed to be done but not urgent, and green for OK.

I got told to mind my own business and that the current system had worked just fine for the last 10 years. The boss contacted A4E and said I wasn't suitable for the placement.

The next day back at A4E I looked at the newspapers but couldn't get to use any of the computers because all the hard men were using them to play games. The A4E staff just let them get on with it. A couple of days later I was getting bored and I saw the boss. He said that in future I could just come in the morning, sign in and then go home.

So that's what I did, me and quite a few others. There wasn't any job help anyway, the A4E staff just sat around talking and doing nothing. Anyway, I got fed up with it, because I wanted a job. Next time I went to sign on I told my adviser what was going on and asked if I could stop going to A4E because it was a waste of time. He said OK.
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Old 05-02-2013, 17:52
clarky323
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You are perfectly entitled to put forward your concerns to either their head office, a member of the A4E Management team or the Jobcentre themselves. Remember, they are not actually a governing body, but an external provider, and they have been given a contract on the basis that they deliver to satisfaction.

Feel free to PM in terms of any jobsearch/other support needed.
the job centre aren't that much better either! they sent me to a course back in August and asked what I wanted to do there, I said retail and they ended up sending me on an admin course, then when I got there they said I couldn't do the admin course as I wasn't old enough!

anyway, I ended up on a course about looking for work and they told me that there was a shop around the corner who were offering 30-hour per week work experience for 8 weeks so I did it and they offered me a xmas temp job so I took it

anyway, when it finished a couple of weeks ago, they said they'd like to take me on permantly but couldn't afford too so I went back to the job centre and the first thing they did was send me to a4e, it was a bit annoying, now I'm pretty much just waiting for a retail job to come up and when it does hopefully the experience I've got now could get me the job!

thanks
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Old 05-02-2013, 17:57
clarky323
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,174
The Jobcentre sent me to an A4E Jobclub (one of many Jobclubs I was forced to attend) and when they saw my CV they sent me to a placement at the local council in the Lift Dept. I didn't have a clue what the Lift Dept did, but it transpired that they were repsonsible for the installation and maintenance of the disabled equipment installed in people's homes and Council run sheltered housing.

The first day the section head in the Lift Dept gave me a wad of papers that were the maintenance reports for equipment installed by the company contracted by the Council. The reports were 6 months old and no-one had been bothered to check them. There were about 200 reports. I was told to file them against people's names and tell the boss if any of the reports showed that there were problems.

Several of the reports highlighted serious defects which the company recommended should be sorted asap. When I was filing the reports I noticed that the paperwork in all of the individual files was out of date order and just thrown in.

It took me about 2 hours to check and file the reports and I told the boss about the problem reports and suggested that instead of producing reports in one colour, that they start a new scheme producing reports in red, orange and green. Red where immediate action was required, orange for needed to be done but not urgent, and green for OK.

I got told to mind my own business and that the current system had worked just fine for the last 10 years. The boss contacted A4E and said I wasn't suitable for the placement.

The next day back at A4E I looked at the newspapers but couldn't get to use any of the computers because all the hard men were using them to play games. The A4E staff just let them get on with it. A couple of days later I was getting bored and I saw the boss. He said that in future I could just come in the morning, sign in and then go home.

So that's what I did, me and quite a few others. There wasn't any job help anyway, the A4E staff just sat around talking and doing nothing. Anyway, I got fed up with it, because I wanted a job. Next time I went to sign on I told my adviser what was going on and asked if I could stop going to A4E because it was a waste of time. He said OK.
wow sorry to hear that mate, that was a good idea you had and my ex-boss told me that using your initiative is very appealing to employers

anyway, I can't leave a4e really as I've only just being referred to them, this was my first job search session, they are sending me on two courses (one that I've already done) as well, I'll do them and see how it goes from there
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Old 05-02-2013, 18:13
Aztec23
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: The Sunny Parts!
Posts: 1,297
the job centre aren't that much better either! they sent me to a course back in August and asked what I wanted to do there, I said retail and they ended up sending me on an admin course, then when I got there they said I couldn't do the admin course as I wasn't old enough!

anyway, I ended up on a course about looking for work and they told me that there was a shop around the corner who were offering 30-hour per week work experience for 8 weeks so I did it and they offered me a xmas temp job so I took it

anyway, when it finished a couple of weeks ago, they said they'd like to take me on permantly but couldn't afford too so I went back to the job centre and the first thing they did was send me to a4e, it was a bit annoying, now I'm pretty much just waiting for a retail job to come up and when it does hopefully the experience I've got now could get me the job!

thanks
The positive to come out of this is that you got a recent entry logged onto your CV, so prospective employers know that at least you are employable - did that place where you worked offered to write you a reference?

Your adviser alternatively may be used as a character sort of a reference, but do check.

These are extra stepping stones that put you in good stead and make you shine in front of the jobcentre.

It seems like you made progress - retail is a little tricky, but it's not all doom and gloom as there are vacancies out there.

You could try the following webs:

RetailCareers
RetailChoiceJobs
Jobsite
Freedom Recruitment

Good luck and I really hope you find something new soon
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Old 05-02-2013, 18:20
Aztec23
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: The Sunny Parts!
Posts: 1,297
The Jobcentre sent me to an A4E Jobclub (one of many Jobclubs I was forced to attend) and when they saw my CV they sent me to a placement at the local council in the Lift Dept. I didn't have a clue what the Lift Dept did, but it transpired that they were repsonsible for the installation and maintenance of the disabled equipment installed in people's homes and Council run sheltered housing.

The first day the section head in the Lift Dept gave me a wad of papers that were the maintenance reports for equipment installed by the company contracted by the Council. The reports were 6 months old and no-one had been bothered to check them. There were about 200 reports. I was told to file them against people's names and tell the boss if any of the reports showed that there were problems.

Several of the reports highlighted serious defects which the company recommended should be sorted asap. When I was filing the reports I noticed that the paperwork in all of the individual files was out of date order and just thrown in.

It took me about 2 hours to check and file the reports and I told the boss about the problem reports and suggested that instead of producing reports in one colour, that they start a new scheme producing reports in red, orange and green. Red where immediate action was required, orange for needed to be done but not urgent, and green for OK.


I got told to mind my own business and that the current system had worked just fine for the last 10 years. The boss contacted A4E and said I wasn't suitable for the placement.

The next day back at A4E I looked at the newspapers but couldn't get to use any of the computers because all the hard men were using them to play games. The A4E staff just let them get on with it. A couple of days later I was getting bored and I saw the boss. He said that in future I could just come in the morning, sign in and then go home.

So that's what I did, me and quite a few others. There wasn't any job help anyway, the A4E staff just sat around talking and doing nothing. Anyway, I got fed up with it, because I wanted a job. Next time I went to sign on I told my adviser what was going on and asked if I could stop going to A4E because it was a waste of time. He said OK.
The bit I've highlighted - do not dismiss this at all as this is a very good idea. Even if that particular boss didn't agree with this, the theory is certainly there and could be used as an example when asked at an interview for instance:

Give me an example of improve good practice at work or an example of an innovation?

This shows that you are creative and were willing to use your own initiative - this also shows good practice in checking FIRST with the so-called hierarchy - not all doom and gloom.

I know exactly what it's like in the open-plan areas of A4E, but funnily enough, the times I have gone there myself, I've never experienced any form of a group that were just messing around - if anything, I helped somebody complete a Royal Mail application online, and they were really please, which made me feel delighted, for them.

I tend to go in the library, or do everything at home. It is nice to go on occasions, and check out for any new job opportunities. Fortunately for me, my contact is mainly over the phones, and I only really have to attend once or twice a month.
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Old 05-02-2013, 18:25
Jason100
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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Posts: 12,196
I did one of these sessions last year. While the advisor's supported me with my job search i didn't get any replies to any of the six weeks worth of applications.
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Old 05-02-2013, 18:27
clarky323
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,174
The positive to come out of this is that you got a recent entry logged onto your CV, so prospective employers know that at least you are employable - did that place where you worked offered to write you a reference?

Your adviser alternatively may be used as a character sort of a reference, but do check.

These are extra stepping stones that put you in good stead and make you shine in front of the jobcentre.

It seems like you made progress - retail is a little tricky, but it's not all doom and gloom as there are vacancies out there.

You could try the following webs:

RetailCareers
RetailChoiceJobs
Jobsite
Freedom Recruitment

Good luck and I really hope you find something new soon
yeah they did say that I could write them down as a reference. as you said retail is tricky work at times but it can be fun too, it was great to make new friends and be doing something outside the house!

thanks for giving me those websites I will take a look at them
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