Tuesday, 31 March 2009

That was interesting.

I've just taken a call from a local Job Centre. Apparently, they don't want to see me.

Well, the number was withheld, so I'll have to do further checks. To explain to non UK readers - a Job Centre is place you go for help in finding employment, and where, if your unemployed, you're required to go to 'sign on' to receive employment benefits, should you need them. A condition of receiving those benefits is that you have to show evidence that you're actively seeking work.

To that end, they provide a great deal of help to enable you to find employment. After awhile, should you continue to claim employment benefits, you're required to attend, with others, a kind of intensive job seeking course. If you fail to attend, or you remain unemployed, you have to go on some basic skills courses. Meanwhile, you're regularly interviewed by Job Centre staff to find out what measures you've taken to find work. Fail to meet any of those criteria, and you can find any benefits reduced, or stopped.

There are advisor's to help anyone with a disability find work too. So far, so good.

One teeny-weeny problem. I haven't claimed employment benefits since I was a teenager - and I'm in my fifties now - so we're talking over 30 years ago. I've never been inside a Job Centre. My experience of unemployment and employment benefits (I think it's called Jobseekers Allowance) is second hand.

I asked the terribly nice young lady to explain how she got hold of my name and telephone number, and she couldn't - I was simply on the list of people who she was asked to phone to tell not to attend. From that she inferred, that at some point I'd been asked to attend for an interview, and that wasn't required any more. She asked if I'd received any correspondence, which I hadn't. She concluded by telling me that I wouldn't be bothered again.

Which is nice.

My first feeling was that it was some kind of scam to get personal details, but I wasn't asked to confirm my name, date of birth, or address, nor was I asked for any financial details.

So I'm flummoxed. If anyone has any idea's?