Under new rules unveiled by George Osbourne, people who have been unemployed for 2 years or more are going to have to work for their benefits. To some people this will sound like an excellent idea getting the “lazy scroungers” off their sofas/out of the pub and out there working for the community. To others this might sound like a terrible idea that may put people in vulnerable or at least less than ideal positions of doing tasks they loath, like picking up litter.
I’m not sure how I feel about it, considering I don’t really have any respect for Osbourne so let’s look at this in as balanced a way as possible… maybe
Good things about this:
- People may feel as though they have earned their benefits and gain a sense of achievement
- People might not feel as bored
- It may give them an insight into what they definitely do not want to do
- It may open people’s eyes to certain charitable causes
- It is something that may be visible to the public instilling some faith in Osbournes competence (although, perhaps a long shot)
Bad things about this:
- People may end up doing tasks they loath which will distract them from their job search (finding a job is supposedly a full time job in itself)
- People who are unable to work due to illness (not covered by disability) may be forced to do manual labour which will be excruciating – yes they do exist!
- This may fuel a distaste towards the government and not actually motivate anyone to want to achieve anything because “this is sort of a job anyway”.
- Is this just a means of putting people in a corner and saying “there, we’ve dealt with them” instead of actually helping them??
- By making those who don’t work go to the job centre every day they may cause additional expense for individuals (travel) and more pressure on job centre services…
Ultimately, I feel as though it is totally missing the point. When people go on job seekers allowance, attend job centres every other week etc they are faced with a disengaged and unconcerned person on the other side of the desk staring at a computer screen leaving them feeling unfulfilled and generally apathetic. The people at the job centre generally (from my experience and from others I know) don’t seem concerned or interested with personal development or career goals, or at least their job does not give them room/potential for that. They get you in, sit you down, tap on a computer and it’s away with you again. By pushing more people through that process the service could become even more faceless. I went to the job centre after graduating and it was massively depressing. There’s no incentive or motivation to go out and find something. I am sure there are some hardworking, lovely job centre staff who would disagree and I am sure that they all work to try and be as helpful and friendly as possible so no offence intended. I just think that the job centre system may need some changes in order to help those people who feel stuck in an unemployment rut without the need for these headline grabbing tactics.
This is a bit of a simplistic means of looking at it, but I put this together speedily as to try and remain “up to date” with the current goings on. As always, would love to hear comments.