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Some Work Programme Thoughts

Well nothing changes on the WP front as far as I'm concerned; the machinery plunders on in the eyes of the media 'chanign people's lives', but not doing a great deal for the majority of us. No help has been offered for me whatsoever, in any way shape or form even though I've been accused of not engaging with that help. 

Speaking of my good chums at the Sally Ann, there's this story from a place called Cradley Heath. It's the usual WP propaganda, and, if the people have genuinely been helped, that's great. They are what's important, not some army of god! But I have my doubts:

The Salvation Army is working together with Employment Plus and professional training course QTT who run the courses at the Employment Resource Centre at the Salvation Army.

Firstly, Employment Plus is the Salvation Army. At first I assumed they were as separate as this quote implies, staffed by people independent of the SA (ie not necessarily god botherers with military ranks attached). But that's not the case. Their staff are members of the SA, uniforms and all and they operate within SA premises (ie churches, as I disocerved). The article even refers to the person in charge of that SA outfit as its commanding officer!

A ceremony was held at the Meredith Street church for the latest intake of adults who have passed the BTEC Level 2 warehousing and storage principals course. 

Sounds important. A ceremony! Did that include getting them a job, or is this yet another example of a meaningless qualification. You know the sort: the 'mickey mouse' degrees that are popular media bogeymen beloved of puffed up Tory types that use them to do down the last government. Warehousing and storage principles? Seriously? It makes me wonder if this is all contributing to a two tier system: how many people that have worked in warehouses for years have such qualifications and, if they find themselves unemployed and competing for similar positions in the future, will their experience be rendered inadequate for lack of such a certificate?

Ok, perhaps I'm being a bit sniffy, but the last part says it all:

He added: “The onus is now on the politicians to provide new jobs to match these skills'  

So these qualifications are pointless then.

Now it's the turn of the British Heart Foundation who justify workfare with the following quote:

Our life-saving work would not be possible without the commitment of our volunteers. We have around 15,000 people giving their time to support the charity by working in our shops across the UK - helping the fight against heart disease.

Doesn't that strike you as emotional blackmail? "We need workfare because it helps save lives?" That's not right. Voluntary work is one thing - if the person is genuinely volunteering and not forced by threat of poverty. However:

A number of volunteers and those on work schemes use their skills to find paid work, either within the BHF or elsewhere.

What number? What work?


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I Fucking Hate the Work Programme

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My legs were wobbly to begin with as I closed in on the church that passes for the office of the employment wing of the Salvation Army. My appointment was 3 to half past. I really did feel sick. Pretty early on, when he asked for the forms he gave me last time to fill in, I knew that what was arranged on the letter (a short interview with me bringing my CV and jobsearch) was actually going to be much longer. I also knew that, come half three when I had to leave to catch my bus back ten minutes later, I was going to have problems. 
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Well that's that for pursuing a diagnosis for Aspergers or anything remotely similar.

I contacted the Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS) to try and sort this out after being lied to by the clinician regarding referring me to the ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) people. That never happened and she continues to deny saying she would. Of course I cannot prove this and so the patient-doctor dynamic kicks in: I'm the lowly patient, she's the expert doctor, her reputation versus mine and so who wins?

I could make a complaint, but what would be the point. I might get a nice letter in a few months time saying sorry in a mealy mouthed way, but it doesn't get me any closer to what I need. That being a diagnosis, a formal, written and recorded, recognition of the issues I deal with. Lacking that, dealing with the systems in society, chiefly the DWP, becomes more difficult. Unfortunately the medical profession doesn't seem to care about that.

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