Down at the Dole Office: A Lighthearted Look at Signing On! Part Two


I was part of the Employment Service’s Birmingham Implementation Team for New Deal between the autumn of 1997 and December 1998.  It was an exciting, sometimes frustrating, often tiring, but ultimately wonderful experience.  Well thought out practical measures to help people find and keep a job.  Here is a story from that time:

My Boss Asked Me To Ask …

The New Deal for Young People began for each individual with an in depth interview with a New Deal Adviser.

Young lad came in for his first interview, talked through his WETCHA and everything seemed normal.  A fairly straightforward case, in fact.

At the end of the interview, he said, “My boss has asked me to ask you if he qualifies for the employer subsidy as I am under 24?”

“What employer?  What job?  You’ve never declared any earnings to us?”

The lad had blithely admitted to working and signing with his employer’s knowledge and, presumably consent!

I am not sure what happened next, but the subsidy paid over 26 weeks (and related training grant) was to encourage businesses to take young people on when they might not otherwise do so.  It was not meant as a reward for employers who had already taken someone on.

WETCHA?  Work; Education; Training; Circumstances; Health and Aspirations.




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