Unemployment, qualifications and aptitude

On the local news on TV there was a feature from a seaside town about the high level of unemployment. One guy interviewed complained he couldn’t get a job despite being a qualified bricklayer, gym instructor and IT technician. Now I know there is something known as a benefits trap and there may not be that many full time jobs in those disciplines, but a few postcards in newsagents’ windows would surely bring some work in any of these areas of expertise. It would also show continuing experience for a prospective employer when the jobs market picks up. If the guy were lucky his bits of work from the three areas could add up to a full-time occupation. It certainly sounds like a waste of talent.

Am I being harsh? Is this another example of the dependency culture? Should he be on his bike?

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Comments

  1. Not everyone is cut out to be self-employed and the benefits system does very little to ease the transition from benefits to self-employment; at its worst, you end up with no earned income AND no benefits. Once you have been signed on for six month there is access to some schemes but it is not automatic and the safety net if they go pear-shaped is rubbish.

    Going on you bike can ruin your benefits without getting you more income. For many the risk isn’t worth the candle. If you can fix this problem you may well have solved a lot of the dependency culture issues as well.

  2. missdisplaced says:

    “a few postcards in newsagents’ windows would surely bring some work in any of these areas of expertise”

    Postcards (and business cards) cost MONEY. Sometimes this is money the unemployed don’t have. Ditto with advertising in the local paper.

  3. Thanks for your comment, Jeremy. I agree that not everyone is cut out to be self-employed. I did refer to the benefits trap, but as someone who has been unemployed and had to go the the JobCentre for a few months I get frustrated by apparently skilled people who expect things on a plate.

    There is a threshold around 16 hours work a week between Jobseekers Allowance and Working Tax Credit of course, and working looks better to a future employer. It is the unskilled who are more in the trap in my opinion.

  4. @ missdisplaced thanks for your response.

    “Postcards (and business cards) cost MONEY. Sometimes this is money the unemployed don’t have. Ditto with advertising in the local paper.”

    Love it! So there are people who do not have any friends who could print a few leaflets? Goodness! I would have thought it a useful thing to write on those cards one had to fill in fortnightly at the Jobcentre.

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