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A Job to Get Work - join in the debate

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Eamonn Walsh | 16:48 UK time, Monday, 6 June 2011

The Government promises a welfare revolution, getting people off benefits and into work.

Panorama visits the seaside resort of Rhyl in North Wales where in some parts of the town, nearly half of the adult population are on benefits.

The programme follows the real life stories of some of the unemployed there, and asks the Government; can this battle really be won?

We welcome your views on A Job to Get Work. Please use this forum to leave your comment.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Im sorry and i am NOT racist, but the amount of immigration flooding into this country, the shutting down of manufacturing in this country, even trains for the UK are made abroad, this is making it more difficult to get a job. Immigrants come to this country and are cheap labour. Some immigrants come to play the system.
    he school cirriculum should inclube plumbing, joinery, painting and decoration, ect.
    We need to go back to the 50s were everyone worked, because we had coal mines, steel works ect, we need this all back, or we will have the next generation on a lifetime of benefits.

  • Comment number 2.

    As someone who has been out of work since 2009 for the first time in his life, I feel this program misses the elephant in the room in that getting a job that will 'pay the bills' is immensely difficult with tax credits requiring you to work more than 30 hours a week, and employers being incentivised into not employing people for more than 16 hours a week (due to them being exempt from paying National Insurance employers' contributions on workers doing less than 16 hours a week). The program makers seem to be buying the government line that any job is worthwhile and people should take any job they can despite not being able to live off of the money that they then earn from this.

  • Comment number 3.

    I appreciate your comment. I work for an organisation which supports long-term unemployed people. I would say that you need to look to the 'powers that be' rather than blame immigrants and such. If the government stop large companies contracting work out of the UK, then there will be jobs, and less people on benefits. The people that come to me are voluntary, they are not sanctioned to do so. These people want to work, and want to come off benefit. I would say that a good 80 percent want to come off benefit, but the 'powers that be' want everyone to think that it's 80 percent of people that are 'scroungers'. This simply isn't true. Panarama has only highlighted one part of Britain, but believe me... when you have people who have been unemployed for 10 years plus with a masters and looking for cleaning work and finding it hard to get their foot in the door.... someone needs to take stock, and frankly... the 'powers' don't want to do that.

  • Comment number 4.

    I hope Morrison management have watched this programme and make sure the chap who did the work experience and then got the 18 hours a week job gets offered full time work either in his home town or elsewhere. I have been in many of their stores and they have many people working for them who do not have such a positive outlook. He will be an asset to some company if not Morrisons then surely someone else can see his potential!

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm chronically sick because the NHS has failed to treat my condition, my IB has been stopped because the medical said I am fit. Right now I have to survive on less than the government says you need to live off, I want to work and have done voluntary work for most of the time I've been sick. Whilst off work I have used my condition to inspire ideas to help others, at the same time I've used it to show potential employers I have something to offer. It has created job offers but the permitted work trial soon aggravated my condition.

    What I have achieved is I've created work for several businesses and my main invention has helped thousands of people, getting my invention to others was about helping the elderly and disabled not making money. This year Lions UK have been taking a greater interest in the invention and things are looking better.

    Had my illness been treated earlier then it would have got better, my specialist is planning an operation to kill nerves around my sacroilliac joint hopefully to reduce my pain for up to 18 months. He has said I will not get better and will have to learn to manage my condition, yet a 20 minute meeting with someone who has not been in touch with my specialist has reduced my income without that doctor being accountable for their opinion.

    It seems this Government is kicking people whilst they are down, so much for claiming they want to help people get back to work.

  • Comment number 6.

    I am 45 years old and have been a senior manager but lost my job in January and despite 100's of applications have struggled to find a new job. If i was over 50 or under 25 seems to be much more help - but I seem to be stuck in limbo. I wanted to retrain as an accountant and enquired about any grants - nada. I am desperate to work but just need to get one foot on the ladder in my new career but no one will give me a role as they say I am over qualified and they are scared I will leave. So stuck in a massive catch 22 that in order to switch career I need experience but no one will give me that opportunity - have even offered voluntary work. Tonights programme focused on a key demographic yet no one seems to care about people like myself.

  • Comment number 7.

    Very annoyed with this portrayal yet again on those unemployed. So what about those who are educated, those who send of dozen of applications etc, those whose confidence/self esteem/self dignity has been destroyed after years of unemployment. Ok some of these issues were touched upon, but it would be very refreshing for a documentary to show those groups mentioned. By Rach, a lone parent, who holds a 1st class honours degree as well as a masters, who has 7 solid years of employment history, who has also been unemployed for the 9 years. My last application was for a cleaning job, no response back from them.

  • Comment number 8.

    I think this program showed a rather biased view of the people on job seekers, all interviewed seem to be have been troubled youngsters/previous drug users. It doesn't mention the rest of us. I am 20 years old and I have been on job seekers since November after being previously employed (the job was a summer job). I have GCSEs, A-Levels, completed work experience places and have never been in trouble with the police. I apply for all jobs possible, often I never hear back at all and of the hundreds of jobs over the last 7 months I have applied for I have only had 2 interviews (of which only one even bothered to tell me I was unsuccessful). There are so many other young people like myself who are so keen to work but cause we are young and have little experience we are completely looked over by employers. How are we supposed to gain the experience in a job if we are never given the chance? I originally didn't intended to go to uni, however have now decided to go, simply because I found the job market so disheartening.

  • Comment number 9.

    Daren on the Panorama programme - what a tremendous and inspiring young man. I was born in the 1950's, my generation were so lucky to have grown up in a periopd of full employment - people like Daren are the backbone of this country, the government must do everything possible to help people like Daren who deserve every opportunity. We have a right to ensure that young people like Daren are given opportunities to succeed.

  • Comment number 10.

    Very annoyed with this portrayal yet again on those unemployed. So what about those who are educated, those who send of dozen of applications etc, those whose confidence/self esteem/self dignity has been destroyed after years of unemployment. Ok some of these issues were touched upon, but it would be very refreshing for a documentary to show those groups mentioned. By Rach, a lone parent, who holds a 1st class honours degree as well as a masters, who has 7 solid years of employment history, who has also been unemployed for the 9 years. I send of 5-6 applications a week, my last application was for a cleaning job, no response back from them. Like I say to everyone who shuns me, 'if you can find me a job, I will do it' - weirdly none of them have been able.

  • Comment number 11.

    In my opinion, teenagers are taught from a young age to take money off the government and not get a job. I have many friends in my year who have lied on their EMA forms claiming they live with a different parent etc. just to get their money so they dont have to get a part time job after school like the rest of us. This can become habit. If they think people being on the doll is a problem now, then things are only going to get worse if they keep feeding teens money as though it grows on trees. If they want to work with a good job in the future they will go back to school without the £30 a week allowence and get a saturday job like the rest of us!

  • Comment number 12.

    Yet another piece of biased programming regarding this subject. Or maybe the BBC thinks its editorial policies do not apply when making programs about people on benefits? The word, that is, i believe lacking from such programming is 'balanced'. Shame on the BBC.

  • Comment number 13.

    I am disgusted with this propaganda type bias government advert and want to know if panorama made it this way because they get license fee money? Nothing was said or researched about the amount of immigrants that have come in to take us tax payers for a ride! Nothing is said about low pay and or how many people go for the jobs? Why has nothing been shown about real people trying to get jobs that are not there? You have let genuine people in need down! I would like to see the government go without and find a job see how hard it can be for many and like secret millionaire have it filmed so we can see these people who think they are right because they say so? Get them to prove it! As for this program it was a joke undercover do not make me laugh! Awful viewing very badly filmes and edited.

  • Comment number 14.

    Fine as far as the programme went, but far more fundemental questions need to be considered.

    Firstly the programme may have left watchers under the misapprehension that the Job Centre Plus offices find and send benefits claiments to jobs. This isn't the case. At a certain point in the benefits process they will look up jobs they think fit the benefit claimant's skills set and tell them to apply for them. However, these identified opportunities are rarely in sink with the claimants skill set. If a claimant goes to any of these interviews and gets a job of coures they should take them, but it's rare because of the points made above.

    Secondly, free training, re-training or subsidized training is only available for the younger members of society and not for the older groups i.e. 40 plus who may have 20 years of solid work (I started with no break form work from the age of 17) behind them (including full NI and tax payments) but are unable to find work in their previous sector, but are willing to retrain but do not have the funding for it. Training courses and professional qualifications which all employers demand are expensive to obtain.

    Thirdly, I hope watchers of the programme took a careful note of the age of the audience the 'go getter' was speaking to. They weren't young, they weren't down and out, they were in the previously mentioned age group and if you were to go down to your Job Centre Plus you may be very surprised by the number of claimants that don't fit the governemnts or the general publics preconceived ideas, re-enforced by this programme, that all claimants are young, indolent ex-drug/drink or X-box playing addicts. Many had very professional positions, well paid and now find themselves rightly or wrongly asking the State, which remember they have paid into for a number of years, for a helping hand, only to be treated like criminals and spongers by Job Centre Plus staff, the public at large and the media.

    I have more to say but think I'll leave it there for now...

  • Comment number 15.

    Good programme but again I noticed that nothing was mentioned of all the muslims and immigrants who lead a great carefree life on benefits all paid by mugs like me who work and pay their taxes.It's all white people you used for your programme,it's time you showed the muslims and immigrants who live off us taxpayers on inner London Estates and who are kept with their big families living off mugs who want to work.IDS's comment about 'you can't expect to live on benefits' Well I work on these London Estates and Living on benefits seems to work perfectly well for muslims and immigrants who have never done a days graft.They have Sky tv,Plasma tv's and the latest mobiles and big families all paid for by mugs who work hard.The Government houses these people before housing people who work.Let's not forget all the single mothers who get knocked up and that's their ticket to a flat and benefits.

  • Comment number 16.

    Like other British coastal resorts Rhyl has fallen on hard times as consumer tastes have changed in the way they choose their leisure and pleasure. New Labour decided to abandon the plan for smaller casinos but is the time now opportune for the Coalition to review this. Rhyl is ideally placed to have an Hotel Casino creating many full and part time jobs: cleaners, waiting and bar staff, croupiers, car park attendants, sales and marketing experts etc. There would be opportunites for Government Training Agencies and local colleges to assist these people in up-skilling in order to move up the career ladder and give them a future.

  • Comment number 17.

    As an employer, I do not want to be forced to take on new employees who do not really want to work.
    The effect is disruptive to the workplace, to the existing employees and it costs the business more money.
    Whilst there may only be a minority of people who do not want to work, on benefits, being forced back to work does not benefit either party.
    There are too many "back to work" schemes being offered by unscrupulous employment agencies, who are being compensated for putting people back in the work place. The motivation for the employment agency is purely financial and they regularly fail to vet applicants correctly.

    I am always willing to give people "a go" but quite often you will be told by candidates they were told to apply for jobs or lose their benefits, this clearly tells me the candidate would not be at the interview otherwise.

    If the Government is to "change the benefit system radically" they need to talk to the those people on benefits and understand why they do not want to go back to work. They need to talk to employers who have been in forced positions and rethink the end goal.

    There should be no financial rewards for employment agencies or big employers for putting people "back in work".
    Instead they should reward the employees for getting trained and compensate employers for training costs, but not in such a way that the government gives the employer compensation for "time employed". This is just a false economy and it will just shuffle the numbers around in the system. People wishing to get back to work will be exploited by companies attempting to be "Good Employers"

    As for the "Immigrants taking all the jobs", this old chestnut has been around since Pakistan immigrants started setting them selves up in corner shops and taxi's. Those opportunities and jobs have always been there, yet the same old story gets banded about as always.
    I currently employ 50 employees and of those we have about 20% which are English. It was not that the English applicants did not interview well, it was simply they did not apply for the jobs we were offering.
    All too often you will hear terms like I will go back to work "if its worth it", or "I wont take any job" or "If its the right job". So what they really mean is this, I dont want to do the jobs immigrants are willing to do and get paid minimum wage.

  • Comment number 18.

    Given that in periods of high unemployment the jobs market is awash with experienced qualified people why would employers reject them in favor of taking on the long term unemployed?
    To ignore this simple factor is to set people up to fail.
    The priority should be to get nominal full employment, then when employers are short staffed they have an incentive to take on those less obviously fitted to the role.

  • Comment number 19.

    Fine as far as the programme went, but far more fundemental questions need to be considered.

    Firstly the programme may have left watchers under the misapprehension that the Job Centre Plus offices find and send benefits claiments to jobs. This isn't the case. At a certain point in the benefits process they will look up jobs they think fit the benefit claimant's skills set and tell them to apply for them. However, these identified opportunities are rarely in sink with the claimants skill set. If a claimant goes to any of these interviews and gets a job of coures they should take them, but it's rare because of the points made above.

    Secondly, free training, re-training or subsidized training is only available for the younger members of society and not for the older groups i.e. 40 plus who may have 20 years of solid work (I started with no break form work from the age of 17) behind them (including full NI and tax payments) but are unable to find work in their previous sector, but are willing to retrain but do not have the funding for it. Training courses and professional qualifications which all employers demand are expensive to obtain.

    Thirdly, I hope watchers of the programme took a careful note of the age of the audience the 'go getter' was speaking to. They weren't young, they weren't down and out, they were in the previously mentioned age group and if you were to go down to your Job Centre Plus you may be very surprised by the number of claimants that don't fit the governemnts or the general publics preconceived ideas, re-enforced by this programme, that all claimants are young, indolent ex-drug/drink or X-box playing addicts. Many had very professional positions, well paid and now find themselves rightly or wrongly asking the State, which remember they have paid into for a number of years, for a helping hand, only to be treated like criminals and spongers by Job Centre Plus staff, the public at large and the media.

    I have more to say but think I'll leave it there for now...

    Complain about this comment (Comment number 1)

  • Comment number 20.

    Hi Ive Just sat and watched your programme. I would like to wish Adam Gale all the best of luck. I hope he is still working. Adam seemed to me to be most of all the people you featured . Who honestly and really wanted a job 100%. I Personally think if he carries on with the drive and ambition he showed tonight. Adam can and will make a big success of his life. Good luck Adam.

  • Comment number 21.

    I am a local business trying to expand in manufacturing we have been growing until recently now in others eyes we are not a profitable business the WAG has not helped more like nails in coffin we are fighting to survive and will but are now unable to offer local jobs! Our business plan would have created upto 10 local jobs! No one cares here the attitude seems to be go south if you want to work move north to claim benefits!

  • Comment number 22.

    Going back to Iknownothing's point regarding training etc. This is very true, I have rang up every apprentice agency in the north east (where I live) and literally have begged them to give me a chance. Always declined as a. too old - 35), b. I am more experienced/qualified then the training providers. By the way can I add, I have never taken drugs in my life nor do I wish to own a xbox or any other console panorama!!

  • Comment number 23.

    yes heeder123, lets show the single mums, lets destroy their self worth even more, and make them even more unemployable!! Film me if you like, oh whoops they wouldn't because my hubbie died,my children don't swear, I don't drink/smoke, I don't own a plasma TV and I own my house from the days when I was in a very good job. Let's just show the maybe 1 in 1million of those single mums who genuinely love their life of having nothing, living in serious poverty etc

  • Comment number 24.

    For all those NOT racist people posting on the website, I live in Rhyl as does my husband, an 'immigrant', who now due to his drive and ambition, has his own company and employs 12 people from the area. He is friendly with other immigrants who own businesses locally and often it is only immigrants who will do a hard week's work in a kitchen for example. So immigrants do actually bring money into the country and in areas such as this they help keep it going! Sort out the benefit system, it has TOO many benefits for people who don't really need them and ends up ostracising the people who genuinely do! It is NOT only Rhyl's problem.

  • Comment number 25.

    I got made redundant after 20 years in the same job. I did not even try and claim benefits as I found it too degrading which is obviously what the government intends.Losing my job made me very depressed and I now have very low confidence which makes it hard to sell myself in any interview and it feels more like survival of the fittest with the more confident people winning. I think about committing suicide regularly as the whole looking for work thing is so humiliating no, make that terrifying. I actually think suicides pleases the government as they see it as getting rid of the dead wood. So much for the BBC being left wing. This program could not have been more biased if it had been made by the Daily Mail.

  • Comment number 26.

    There really is no great mystery as to why these people are unemployed, it is simple; they don't want to work. End of. After all why would they when they can let just as much (if not more if they have multiple children) from claiming benefits by doing nothing? Most have probably never had any desire or intention to find work in their entire life when they can live comfortably, getting their rent subsidised by the LA, discounted council tax rates, free school diners as well as an entitlment to grants and 'crisis loans' that are unobtainable to the hard working populatin, and paying for those little luxeries such as laptops, flat-screen TVs, mobile phones, Internet acces and sky subscriptions that the majority have to earn.
    What equips people with such self-riotousness that they believe they have an automatic entitled to enjoy equal standards of living as those whose who work tirelessly to provide for themselves and their dependents?
    Moreover, not only are these people consciously CHOOSING not to work, but even have the braisen audacity to declare that they will not work as they can not find a job that they enjoy so therefore are not going to do anything; or that they don't want to work as it entailed getting up early in the morning, merely adds further insult to injury of those who's taxes finance the over stretched welfare system that is so callously abused.
    The benefit system rewards the irresponsible and the lazy, whilst the dedicated and hard working are consistently penalised. Inevitably, it appears that in modern society feigning vulnerability and incompetence constitutes valid justification for taking absolutely no responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
    People should not be entitled to claim jobseekers if not only do they have no intention of finding a job themselves, but also intentionlly thwart any external effort to propell them into employment. Thus, if people are unable to demonstrate some form of attempt to help themselves after a set period of time should either loose their entitlement to claim or be found some suitable form of labour or task deemed to be of an equitable nature in order to repay their debts to society.
    Incapacity benefits should be reserved for the severly incapacitated and not for every individual suffering from back pain to depression. Instead of resigning individuals to the notion of never working again they should be found alternative forms of work that is more suited to the change in capabilities.
    Bottom line: it is unfair and unsustainable that half of the population consistently exhibits hard graft, whilst the other half takes advantage of the efforts of others, contributing nothing the social resources and taking little or no responsibility for themselves what so ever and appears to be no worse off from doing much less.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    This is for all those people who truely believe that living on benefits means a life of luxury. Please remember, JSA is only £67.50 per week if you are 25 or over. It is £53.45 if you are 16 - 24. That's hardly a fortune is it? The debate over housing benefit (or LHA as it is now called) is flawed. LHA is for a claimants rent, they do not spend it on themselves, it pays their rent. Currently, any single person without children under the age of 35 only qualifies for the shared room rate. (Yes, if you have overnight access to your children they will have nowhere to sleep). More often than not the LHA does not cover the whole rent so claimants contribute towards it out of their JSA which is not a great amount. Now, you work it out. You pay maybe £10 or £20 towards your rent a week, you pay for gas, electric, food, any other bills required such as water rates. Then you put aside a small amount for phone calls to possible employers, travel costs to and from possible interviews (you have to agree to travel up to 90 minutes to a possible job now, that's an hour and a half travel and is rather costly). Now, where is the money for all those little luxuries you claim people on benefits have?

    As for the single parent haters... When you attack single parents you attacl victims of domestic violence, widows and widowers, the abandoned, the people (male and female!) who chose not to stay in a relationship they weren't happy in. Over half of all single parents are in employment. The avergae age of a single parent is 36 years old! Only 2% of single parents are teenagers and an overwhelming majority or children are born to two parents who are either married to each other, or in a long term realtionship with each other. Single parents are not lazy scroungers. They do the work of 2 people on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis! Enough with the nasty little hate campaigns! As has previousy been said, IDS would never visit someone like me. I dont take drugs, I dont sleep around, I dont put anyone before my children, I dont party. Im boring, normal and responsible. My 12 year old daughter is alive today because I became a single parent (we lived on £71.10 a week at that time). My ex husband was sent to prison shortly after we escaped from him. He was convicted of wounding with intent after he stabbed two people! I was working full time and being a single parent. Do not believe what you are shown on the TV. Take the time to research, meet real single parents of all ages and then you will see that we are not the irresponsible, partying, sleeping around, useless images you are being shown. Children grow and thrive when they live in a caring, loving, stable environment, regardless of how many parents live in their home.

  • Comment number 29.

    I object to Panorama setting themselves up as the voice of the nation, when this is the biased idiocy they come up with!

    Why was there no approach to:
    ~Long term mental health
    ~Mental disability
    ~Physical disability
    ~Bigotry by employers and also in the workplace
    ~The flood of qualified workers due to the Recession
    ~The fact that employers cherry pick employees to fit in with an acceptable norm

    EXAMPLE:
    * I am mentally ill. I have been misdiagnosed continually by the NHS over the past 10 years and only by going private have I a) received proper therapy, and b) been told that I am actually Asperger's with a touch of Sociophobia and OCD, not Depression, Laziness, Personality Disorder or any of the other ignorant rubbish I've been told.
    * I have a 2.1 BA Hons and an IQ of 149.
    * I worked and paid my taxes for the 7 years before I succumbed to my illness.
    * I am 37.
    * I began applying for jobs again in 2005, after years of sitting on NHS waiting lists. So far, I have received 500+ rejections.
    * Approximately 3% of the jobs I applied for actually bothered to tell me that I had failed. My last rejection was as a shelf stacker in Waitrose.
    * Out of these applications, I have been offered 16 interviews. The shelf stacking was not one of them.
    * I have been told to my face that an employer would prefer not to employ me because I have a history of mental illness and seemed 'desperate to get the job'.
    * I have been volunteering in an office, reading for the blind and helping with children for the past 2 years.

    So Panorama, and in particular the smug government MP who was interviewed - Would you care to offer me a job? How about asking your friends? Can any of you actually assist someone like me who wants to work but may have interaction difficulties, or would you prefer to sit back and tut about how lazy and ignorant people on Benefits are?

    Develop a relationship with reality and interview a greater proportion of job-seekers, not just the media-friendly one. People with mental health issues are supposed to be cared for by the community, not ignored in the hope we'll either kill ourselves or disappear into an asylum.

  • Comment number 30.

    i think that this programe missed alot of important information that would help fill in alot of gaps for people. i am 21 years old i have good qualifications but ive bin in and out of work for nearly 3 years some of the time out of work was due to medical issues. i was given a 6 month contract of work through the future jobs fund project just like the chefs in the programe i would have to find a job and the end of it but i never did. working was great but i spent most of the time looking and applying for jobs with no luck. as the 6 months came to a close i had no permanate job. what was i supposed to do i was lucky because i live with my husband so his income helped( his income is benifits because he was put on DLA a few years ago due to his diability)
    being 21 i can get a bit more support from the job centre but it still hasnt helped me.
    why shouldnt we have the right to decided what job we want to apply for.
    i wish people would stop blaming the immigrants for taking the jobs alot of them do jobs we do not want to do. ok they do have some ok jobs ie waiting on in cafes etc where i think its silly to have some one who can not speak or understand english. with regards to pay there is nat min wage for a reason

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    Judging by some of the comments posted by those who state they are unemployed I feel some do themselves no favours whatsoever. Comments littered with spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and a lack of understanding as to how the modern labour market works indicate poor communication & literacy skills allied with an ability to blame everyone except themselves. There are jobs out there, the problem often is that some lack the motivation & skills to even apply for jobs properly. Kithias comments holding a 2.1 degree (why do we need to know the grade but not the subject) is a classic. Just because you have a higher education doesn't give you the right to walk straight into a job. Blaming the NHS for misdiagnosis and employers for not taking you on because of your illness is a bit tiresome. Why tell them? Excuses, excuses.

  • Comment number 33.

    I'm disappointed that this programme did not highlight a number of issues. I currently work for a company who provides the flexible new deal contract. This is soon to be superseded by Mr Grayling's new Work Programme. There are those in the country who clearly have no intention of working, but there are those who desperately want to work and don't have the assistance to get them to achieve this goal. I find it appalling that this programme selected to omit the fact that due to the current members of staff are likely to be made redundant in the switch over. this is going to be to the tune of around 10,000 people. Congratulations Mr Grayling, your new glorious work programme's first act is to put thousands of people unemployed. How can this be justified? It makes me sick to think of it. Add to this that the job centre do not have a target for people they get into work, but they do have one for how many benefit claims they shut down.

  • Comment number 34.

    Tyke me Home.

    You have to tell the employer if you have a condition that may have an effect on your work.
    Absences due to disability have to be accomodated, which is difficult for both employer and employee.
    Other adjustments have to be made, even for something as simple as well-managed diabetes.
    The employer has to also check their insurances when employing people with disabilities.
    Beyond grammer and spelling, there is a distinct lack of understanding of employment law and proceedures - dont you agree?

  • Comment number 35.

    An oppuntunity missed to highlight the plight of the sick and disabled who are being refused esa under the work capability assessment and being forced on to JSA

    MIND, SCOPE, CANCER Charities are all raising the issue of people with cancer, parkinsons, MS, severe mental illness and many other cronic conditions being told they are fit to work.

    maybe the panorama team would consider making a program on this aspect of welfare reform which sadly was not raise in last nights programme.

  • Comment number 36.

    hossylass

    Since October 2010 and the introduction of The Equality Act, employers need to wait until after a job offer is made before asking most health questions. If an employer asks questions but then does not offer the applicant a job, the employer will need to show that this was not because of the applicant’s disability. Disclosing a disability may make it easier to work with an employer in order to put reasonable adjustments in place but its illegal to ask.. so why disclose before applying. Obviously the trick if you didn't want the job in the first place is to keep making referances to ilhealth in your applications, CV and interviews. The old chesnut about 'insurance' is wheeled out again. I agree that there is a certain level of ignorance in both job applicants and recruiters but hopefully through this posting I have shone a little light of knowledge into the gloom of misconception you cling to.

  • Comment number 37.

    I am disgusted with this episode. It didnt show the reality of britain. They should scrap welfare reform and do what they said and allow poeople to get on with their lives and scarp JSA and replace it with real new benefits. Also they didnt show in the episode what happens to people who are refused places on work programmes. I was sanctioned for 2 and half years by the jobcentre. they should have filmed elsewhere.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    Tyke me home:

    First of all, hi :).

    You seem to have misunderstood what I was saying, and using the misunderstanding to enhance your arguments. I have no problem with this per se, since I've said what I wish to, but I'd like to add some things, if that's alright?

    1. I never disclose voluntarily. Ever. It's no one's business but mine. However, a lot of application forms are set up so rigidly that it is impossible to apply for that job unless the applicant either gives a full account of their whereabouts with proof, or lies. Please feel free to examine varied forms online to confirm this.
    2. In interviews, my 11 year gap is consistantly focused on, forcing me into a position of again, full disclosure or lying, and because of my AS, I find it physically nauseating to lie. Most interviewers are extremely keen to get to the bottom of things, so in the majority of cases, I'm not even allowed to avoid the subject.
    3. I never stated that having a higher education gave me the right to walk into a job. That was your interpretation. However, I did work hard for 3 years in the assumption that a degree was a benefit for finding work in todays market. I sincerely wish I had done an apprenticeship instead, but I can't get that time back and, yes, apprenticeships are aimed at the 18-25 bracket because they'll get more work out of it.
    4. Accusing the jobless of not wanting to work is an old and frankly bigoted statement. Every jobless person who has posted on here obviously wants work. However, regardless of how difficult it may be to accept, the job market IS geared towards a certain type. Read entry level job adverts on any site, and they will include a specific description, aimed towards bubbly 21-25 year olds who will get on with everyone in the company, have no problems and are willing to work 24/7 for £5.00 an hour pro-rata. Employers can ask for this because the government rewards them monetarily, so it's more practical for them to split a job than take on a full-time, permanent employee. I'm not making excuses - I'm stating facts. Now, regardless of my job history, I have to apply for entry-level jobs because of my gap. As far as employers are concerned, I have never worked in my life. So far, this puts me in the position of pretending to be an alien personality type, lying on official forms and in interview and working in an environment which I am wise enough to know will force me into a breakdown within a month. How is that making excuses not to work? Should I take a job under false pretences, lie to my employer, re-develop emotional problems as a result and quit when I can't cope?

    Be realistic. People are extremely diverse in this country and if allowances are made for religious tolerance, then why are they so rarely made for proven disability? Is it possibly because people can't SEE mental illness...? Answers on a postcard.

  • Comment number 40.

    tyke me home: oh my, this explains it, this is why I am still unemployed. Damn the next cleaning job I apply for shall use your wise words of wisdom and write it like I would an essay for academic purposes. So what have you done this morning? I woke up, ironed my daughters uniform, made her packed lunch, took her to school. Job searched, selected three jobs I feel I would be suitable for, spent two hours researching, making notes on what would deem a suitable application for two of the jobs, started word documents for the relevant positions. Found about a local job fair, booked my name on it. Made lunch for my elderly neighbour. Revised my applications from yesterday and now am about to take the meal round to the elderly neighbour before revisiting my applications started this morning. Oh sorry in the midst of this morning had an emotional breakdown as I feel very much inadequate for this world, due to being jobless. Sorry if my grammar and spelling is not up to scratch, instead of moaning about people like me, if you really do know it all, why don't you get off your backside and help people like me?? And no I do not mean financially, I mean why can't you offer to read someone's CV? Its easy to preach but where are the actions?

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.


    Anyone who is civilisied could not deny that having a welfare state to support those most disadvantaged in society is a good. As a society we cannot just throw our sick, elderly desperate or broken out onto the streets and not provide some basic level of living support.

  • Comment number 43.

    Kithia.. some advice

    Create a skills based CV (also known as a functional CV)rather than the traditional chronological one. This allows you to emphasise your employability rather than concentrating on the gaps. Useful if you want to change to a broad, new area of work, and show your relevant transferable skills and experience
    Useful if you've got gaps in your employment history
    Useful if you've had a lot of jobs and you want to describe the experience you've got as a whole
    Useful if you want to highlight skills you've gained in previous jobs but that you don't use in your current or most recent job


    Treat your current voluntary work as 'employment', you quite clearly have literacy & IT skills and someone feels you're OK to work with children.. so why not push those in a CV or application form?

    If youre worried about disclosing 'mental ilness' just say that you had a brief illness, and that you're better now. You don't have to be specific about the illness if it makes you uncomfortable.

    The main reason a recruiter asks about an employment gap is because he's concerned that you aren't reliable. Talk about your recovery and how you've been feeling lately. If your employment gap is due to a chronic illness that you haven't overcome completely, mention that you've developed methods to help relieve your symptoms, so you're still valuable to the workforce.

    The way you describe yourself is is interesting. You want the whole world to know your age, your IQ and the level of degree education but you seem less able to sell yourself on your attributes, your employability.. i.e what you can bring to the party.

    I'd suggest taking a look at 'NEXT STEP'. Yes its a direct.gov website but it holds loads of useful information. If youre a genuisne jobseeker you'll find some of the advice on there useful. If however youre just a habitual moaner, blaming everyone else for your lot than you have my sympathy.

  • Comment number 44.

    To all these people who say rhyl is a disgrace and all the young people love being on benefits and scrounge of the government are wrong ! Not all people are bought up with silver spoons yano ! Some people around the area are young and go down the wrong path and take drugs and in trouble with the police. We only take drugs when we are young because were bored and theres nothing to do. You should ask the government to think of an idea to come up with to help the younger people go down the right road. When i was younger there was nothing at all to do all there was were drugs an alcohol. Just because some people are different than others doesnt mean that you should look down on people. I was on the program an i took drugs from the age of 11 to 16, they didnt mention that i have been of them now for 5 years, and i have a job on the ILM with Rhyl Football In The Community. Im now doing a football charity match at the end of July for Macmillan Cancer Support. So people can change ! They have edited that to make me look like a drugy with a baby ! They aint said how i got on drugs and why i got drugs or how i got of them and now i have a job ! All you people who look down on the people who have drug problems need to think how you should help them not how to get there money stoped or anything like that ! Some people have family problems or for any other reason and go on to drugs some people can deal with it some people cant ! Thats all i got to say anyway =)

  • Comment number 45.

    #43 Tyke me home
    you were doing so well, your response looked like a series of advice and support but all really spoiled by the last sentance

  • Comment number 46.

    I am unemployed but volunteering. Having watched this programme about jobseekers in Rhyll, I would like to know why the Jobcentre Plus, in Rhyll, is able to offer jobseekers/unemployed jobs? Until yesterday's programme, I was under the impression that Jobcentre Plus only advertises job vacancies which jobseekers/unemployed has to follow the application procedures instructed by the recruiter....unless I am accessing a different website under the same name, please visit www.jobseekers.direct.gov.uk...or i totally misunderstood the sentence voiced by the reporter...

  • Comment number 47.

    steflavery - I think it's wonderful you have just commented and we can hear your side. I used to work for a media company (who to those negative people, I used to pay a lot of taxes to support people who are in my current situ) and I know how much editing is done. Well done you, for your job at the football club, hope you win :0) and if you don't I and am sure others will agree you have already achieved so much. I personally wasn't annoyed at you as had the common sense to realise the editing in which was done, I just hated the way you and the others had been labelled and stereotyped, so it was the program I was very annoyed with. Any consolation I worked in a office of 100 people in the media company I previously mentioned, the majority spent their weekends taking all kinds of stuff. Yeah they have jobs but why should they bang on about drug taking when they do it themselves. And please note I do not condone drugs, just why do people have to use drugs as the scapegoat in these progs? Again well done Ste :0)

  • Comment number 48.

    Found the program disappointing to say the least, it really wasn't a balanced view on many levels, some of which other posters have pointed out. My gripe is more should have been said about the unfair assessments the sick/disabled are having to endure, most of which are wrongly being declared "fit for work". Perhaps the BBC could do a program informing the public about these flawed, not to mention corrupt assessments, come on BBC, make a program about the plight of the sick/disabled and the suffering they are experiencing, you the BBC are only to aware or what's going on, so do your duty and show the naive and ignorant of our country the appalling treatment being dished out to the most vulnerable and needy. They need help, so damn well help them !!!

  • Comment number 49.

    Why it is that any programme about unemployment focuses on one particular type of person? Not only is this totally unrepresentative of the people who have now become reliant on benefits since the recession but also perpetuates the stereotype that people who are unemployed don't want to work and are uneducated, socially inept, ex drug addicts who cannot be bothered!

    I have been unemployed now for roughly 12 months with a gap of one month over Christmas where I was offered temporary work which ended prematurely. I have a BA and an MA and several years of experience in the field of international relations. I have been looking for permanent work for 6 years during which time I have applied for over 500 jobs. I have been interviewed for some very sought after jobs in think tanks and for political parties but always seem to fail the interview. I have no problems with confidence or selling myself but I have been told that even for the sort of work I would happy to do that I am over qualified.

    This doesn't mean that I have been sat on my backside for the last 6 years, on the contrary I have temped for the whole time - which has meant doing some of the most basic badly paid work there is (so unlike one of the men in your programme who won't do a job he doesn't like, I've done hundreds of jobs that I hate and that have barely paid me enough to live on). What most people don't understand is that temping is a very stressful way to live: new work/colleagues ever few months, no sick pay, no pension, no chance of promotion, constantly living in fear that your job may end at any minute and not even knowing from one month to the next what kind of work you will be expected to do (plus all the bank holidays are a nightmare as temps don't get paid for them - losing one day or two from low wage leaves you with less money for a week than you get on the dole). People complain about being made redundant but I can tell you that I have been made redundant at least twice a year for the last 6 years. My situation has gone from bad to unbearable and I now take medication for depression.

    I have a very strong work ethic as a teenager I baby sat, had a Saturday job and did paper rounds, so I can assure you that I really hate being on the dole. Furthermore I can tell you that I was told by the Job Centre that I am in the 8% of people they cannot help. My personal adviser who I see once a fortnight told me that they don't usually get the sort of work that I am qualified to do so I had to pick 3 other jobs that I would be prepared to do instead. I am now trying to get work as a waitress which hasn't led me anywhere as this is the sort of unskilled work that lots of people want and can do, a care worker but this is proving problematic because it's over 7 years since I last did it and most jobs now require an NVQ, and administration which, again, is very popular. The only interviews I've been offered in the last 2 months is for part time admin and I've only passed one interview - and I've not even been guaranteed that job (plus it's still only temporary)! Looking for work is a long, drawn out process - it can take months to get through the selection process/interviews etc only to discover you've not been successful. I've even resorted to taking all my qualifications off my CV to get cleaning work but that hasn't worked either!

    I was recently sanctioned by the Job Centre for failing to apply for one of the jobs off their system and the only reason I didn't was because I didn't fully understand the procedure (the information at the Job Centre is usually incomplete or just incorrect) - I was still applying for my weekly quota, if fact as usual I was exceeding it. I disputed the sanction (which left me with no income whatsoever for 4 weeks) by sending letter plus evidence of interviews I've sat, plus evidence of a fitness instructor course that I'm going on in order to re-train. The information was received, date stamped and returned to me - I believed it was being processed. I waited for weeks only to discover a few days ago that the instructions they had given me were wrong - they said I sent it to the wrong address - but this was the address that they'd told me to contact. I've now written to my MP to complain.

    This is what I have been up against for years - and I know that I'm not alone. I am 34 now I have no savings, no pension, no stability, and frankly no hope - so the next time you make a programme about unemployment why don't you consider who else is out there and present a "panoramic" view of the situation instead of tarring everyone with the same brush!!

  • Comment number 50.

    My first post got canned by the mods for whatever reason so I won't waste any more of their time or mine with a long message.

    Well done to all on the program that really wanted work and well done especially to Adam, I really hope Morrissons took him on fulltime.

    To anyone else who needs to earn a living I suggest you look into the forex markets and teach yourself how to play that game. Everything you need is free online and when / if you crack it you will never need to worry about money again.

    I do hope the mods let this through this time.

    Good luck all.

  • Comment number 51.

    Another comment from me on employers, and I appreciate this maybe a sweeping generalisation but feel it needs saying.

    I was a manager in an international organisation. I quite literally travelled the world and the seven seas, staying in the best hotels and in the best places. My managers gave me increasingly glowing reviews, I had the sports car, the house and the life style many may dream off. But I also had the pressure, the stress and finally the break down. I left it all behind after my wife asked me to STOP. With a TIA (mini stroke behind me) I did what I needed to do.

    So, I now found myself unemployed for the first time in 22 years, of my adult working life. I worked hard at charity work and raised £4000 but wanted to do something back in the workplace. But I wanted something less demanding.

    Knowing not a great deal about the workplace and how it might of changed in 20 years I signed on and got my job seekers allowance to which I was intitled.

    So here folks is your challenge. Try to get a job that is less demanding than that that your CV would indicate you are capable. No-one will touch you. I have been told to stand any chance of a job now I must go back into the level in which I left.

    Go, as the Americans say, figure that one...

  • Comment number 52.

    Ok so now the mods let my last post through I would like to elaborate a little about my own circumstances and why I chose forex as my LAST career move.

    I am now 48 and found myself out of work back in 2008. I have always been self employed but was getting fed up with all the government red tape regarding employing people etc, so I decided my final career would be from home and wouldn't involve employing anyone. Forex ticked all the boxes.

    Well here we are three excrutiatingly painful and stressful years of teaching myself to make money that way but I am there now.

    All you need is a pc and an internet connection and everything else you need can be found online for free. Please allow two or three years but I promise you it can be done and is worth all the effort.

    I now have the best job in the world, I can work from anywhere in the world and my average days work can be as little as an hour a day.

    Please I beg you people look into it, it can be done.

    Good luck.

  • Comment number 53.

    With interest, I watched the Panorama programme for one reason only. This was to see how many unemployed women the documentary would show. The answer? One. The only other women featured were the ones helping men to find work. The Presenter said that Rhyl was a place with one of the highest number of unemployed people in the UK. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, where I was born, raised, and currently live, has the highest number of unemployed people in England, the other 'big' three are Liverpool, Tower Hamlets (London) and Hastings. In Barnsley, as in Haringay, 70% of public sector workers are female. I am a post-graduate qualified teacher/lecturer for learners in the FE sector. I have not taught since 2009 and have not supported students, in the FE sector, since 2010. I have, however, worked as an Exams Invigilator in a secondary school. Up to qualifiying as a teacher, for the Further Education sector, I had never had a job, other than a training programme that lasted 12 months and didn't offer a job at the end of it. That was as a designer for an advertising company. Like 25yo Adam who was desperate to do a job he would enjoy, working for Morrison's, I am a 39yo man desperate to work in the FE sector. Unfortunately, it is now mainly part-time, hourly paid and agency based. Gone are the days of permanent, full-time and well paid jobs in Further Education. What's worse, me being a man, is that only 1 in 5 teachers are men (nationally), this makes it almost impossible for men like me to get a job that we are qualified, trained and eager to do. Teaching is my main passion, I also enjoy acting, singing, gardening and painting. Unfortunately, none of these talents have found me long-term work. Until the Government addresses the fact that the vast majority of the unemployed are men, the country will continue to remain in the state it is in.

  • Comment number 54.

    Boredupnorth - I have no way of contacting you but agree 100% with everything you say. I am one of those people in your situation but aged 39 and male. Temping is the lowest form of employment, worse than volunteering [unpaid] for an organisation. By nature, I'm a work-a-holic. I love being busy. I thrive on tight deadlines and being expected to use every skill in my range to get a job done well. Unemployment iss crippling, depressing and makes me feel completely worthless. I am unfortunate in that I don't have one main skill, I'm an all-rounder, jack of all trades, master of none. This, however, has often gone against me. I'm deemed too talented, too qualified and even too nice to do a paid job. I'm a social butterfly and, when I worked in a particular college for four years, I became so well known and well respected that even the principal asked why, after 4 yrs, I was still an agency worker and not a permanent member of staff. Why did I leave? They wanted to make cuts and cut the agency staff first. I am multi-talented in painting, gardening, singing, acting, dancing etc but can't find work that allows me to use my talents to the full. I'm thinking of applying for a shelf stacking job, but I'm too qualified.

  • Comment number 55.

    Please can Panorama make a programme about middle management - 'too expensive to sack'. Southern Cross have just announced that most of their 3000 redundancies will be cleaners chefs and maintenance staff. Who cares if the care homes/schools/hospitals fall down - just so long as there are an army of pen pushers there to account for the damages. I don't blame people not wanting to work rubbish jobs for rubbish pay. The most menial jobs are fundamental to society yet there's no dignity to them. They are difficult and thankless and the poor people who do them have to deal with the kind of obnoxious hypocrites who litter this blog with their racist or snobbish remarks. If the critical bloggers on here are employed then intelligence or sparkling personality was obviously not on the job spec. I feel Panorama's most controversial programmes don't always address the real issues. For instance last week's show on care abuse didn't address the fact that the type of salaries offered care workers are not likely to attract trained and skilled staff with high emotional intelligence. The nurses who stood by were from ethnic minorities and vulnerable to bullying themselves. Unfortunately the services most necessary are the lowest paid. We live in a brutal society that views poverty as a loser's just reward. I'd welcome an undercover report that shows how the public treat workers in the service industry.

  • Comment number 56.

    Please can Panorama make a programme about middle management - 'too expensive to sack'. Southern Cross have just announced that most of their 3000 redundancies will be cleaners chefs and maintenance staff. Who cares if the care homes/schools/hospitals fall down - just so long as there are an army of pen pushers there to account for the damages. I don't blame people not wanting to work rubbish jobs for rubbish pay. The most menial jobs are fundamental to society yet there's no dignity to them. They are difficult and thankless and the poor people who do them have to deal with the kind of obnoxious hypocrites who litter this blog with their racist or snobbish remarks. Why are these people so seethingly resentful I wonder? Could it be because they know deep down that playing by the rules doesn't get them anywhere anymore. People who don't want to work do us all the favour of giving us someone to feel superior to. There's always a bright side to every scrounger. If the critical bloggers on here are employed then intelligence or sparkling personality was obviously not on the job spec. I feel Panorama's most controversial programmes don't always address the real issues. For instance last week's show on care abuse didn't address the fact that the type of salaries offered care workers are not likely to attract trained and skilled staff with high emotional intelligence. The nurses who stood by were from ethnic minorities and vulnerable to bullying themselves. All those people had been hired by the top brass and were in those roles for a reason - cost effectiveness I imagine. Unfortunately the services most necessary are the lowest paid. We live in a brutal society that views poverty as a loser's just reward. I'd welcome an undercover report that shows how the public treat workers in the service industry.

  • Comment number 57.

    What happens to people who are educated with degree(s) who cannot find suitable work , especially outside London? The government wants graduates to pay back £9000 pounds a year + other debts. Even before the recession, there were too many graduates and not enough highly skilled, highly paid jobs. Graduates are over - qualified for many non - graduate jobs. The government does not support graduates well.

    What happens to ethnic minorities ?

    What happens to people with mental health problems, people with dyslexia, dyspraxia, aspergers, autism ? Support for people with those conditions is atrocious.

    Graduates with those conditions are written off.

    A graduate with a disability is more than twice as likely to be out of work as a non - graduate who is able - bodied.

  • Comment number 58.

    Just watchin the repeat of this. I've got to say this. The goverment is reducing benefits to force people back to work. I live in clitheroe. In the past 3 months there has been probably only 10 job openings in this town. Further out probably a 100 or so. With thousands of people applying for the limited number of jobs and the goverment penalising tho that can't, then we are going to see starving families, suicide increase, the works.

    I've been off work, after having an operation to repair a detached labrum in my shoulder and how can I be expected to work being on heavy dosage of painkillers for months on end!! Apparently I could be a security guard I was told by the jobcentre.

    I don't really blame the government, just Gordon Brown and the Banking centre!!

  • Comment number 59.

    What on earth has happened to the great BBC tradition of investigative journalism ? this programme was so poor in terms of even giving a nod to balance it was amazing, nothing more than an advert for "return to work schemes" without a look at the effect of low wages, job centre staff training, immigration, unemployed training schemes etc etc, really 1/10 for this programme

  • Comment number 60.

    To Lee Watson: Under the previous Labour Govt., in 2010, unemployment was 0.8 million. It is now over 1.3 million. In 1979, under the then Labour Govt., unemployment was 0.6 million. By the November of 1981, under the Tory Govt., unemployment was 1.9 million. Literally, over night, 1.3 million men were made jobless when the News Paper industry was moved from Fleet Street to Wapping. Men who worked in News Paper production and related skills. Later, in 1984, coal mines were closed, forcing over a million more men on to the dole queue. By 1997, when Labour took back power, over 3.6 million people were out of work. In the ten years between 1999 and 2009, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown recruited 40,000 new doctors and 80,000 new nurses to the NHS. Waiting lists went down from 3 years to 6 weeks (hip replacements, etc) and the public sector was run by 70% women to 30% men. In the private sector, only 60% of jobs were done by women.

  • Comment number 61.

    A very poor programme: Patronising, prejudiced, stereo-typical labelling! I watched with interest: I am an unemployed Further Education Tutor - yes, unemployed. Presently, I have the 'joy' of being placed on the New Deal Training Scheme. For those 'uninitiated' out there - this is the 'training scheme' for the poorly educated, never have worked or, had very little experience of work - challenging young people, perhaps tagged individuals on probation: So, here I am, on the New Deal [Raw Deal] 'training scheme'? 13 weeks for 30 hours per week.

    I feel utterly, incredulous, that an educated professional who, through no fault of their own is placed on such a vacuous, and wholly inappropriate scheme.

    I am equally appalled, however, to witness how these young people are treated. Many are offered NO WORK PLACEMENT during their 13 weeks; many are offered NO TRAINING during their 13 weeks. It is common place to see them virtually, begging their 'Trainers' to give them something of value to do during their 6hours day in the centre. They are BORED beyond belief - and who can blame them!

    I personally, feel so very, very sorry for these youngsters: I have a lot of sympathy for them. And yes, there are those who do not wish to work, but - and this is a huge BUT - I think it is about time that, the UK MEDIA (in this case the BBC) stopped playing to the populist, stereotypical, mythological, lowest common denominator in our youth demographic AND, began to tell the whole TRUTH.

    Young people have the most appalling press in this country. Yes I know some of them are deplorable and, need deporting to an Island - heaven forbid! But, please, please, BBC, could we discuss the wider issues here?

    When the previous Conservative government virtually wiped out our manufacturing base, a base where, many young people would have begun their working lives, whole communities were left without employment: 25yrs on, those communities still live with the consequences of the previous recession. This is where the benefits culture was born, this is where whole families were forced to live on welfare and this, is why we now have second and third generations seeing a life on welfare as the the norm.

    NB: We are now in the midst of yet another recession, one that was not created by the people of this country. One that was not created by immigration. One that was not created by unions striking, workers wanting pay rises, aliens 'sponging' off our state - THIS RECESSION was created by the greed, and risk taking of our wealthiest businesses - THE BANKS - and the FSA let them get on with it!!!!!

    I personally, struggle, to get through the days of not working, isolation, sometimes depression, worrying about my winter bills, the car I can no longer afford to run and the son, who, I am no longer able to help - as I would like to, through a lack of a paid career. A life it feels like of constant rejections, no replies, no explanations, ridiculous rules, lack of common decency and common sense - where did that all go?

    At 52 and, with a life times experience behind me I am no longer valued by this society. But you know what? I feel for these young people. Unlike me, they haven't had the chance to work as I have for the past several decades. They haven't has the opportunity to travel as I have, buy my own property (gone now), and just to have the self esteem and dignity, the confidence and respect that comes from being independent. NO, they are set for a life of being undervalued, and worse - blamed for a situation that, they did not create and did not ask for - UNEMPLOYMENT.

    If we do not invest in EDUCATION, if we do not invest in sufficient and APPROPRIATE TRAINING, if we do not invest in our young people, THEN WE DO NOT INVEST IN OUR COUNTRY'S BEST INTERESTS.

    The government doesn't care about the individual - DO YOU?

    CYNICAL AND DISPAIRING

  • Comment number 62.

    I watched this programme last night (9 June) and found it to be the one of the most biased examples of reporting that I've ever seen from the BBC.

    Chris Grayling, the minister for employment, had his say, but where were the opposition speakers? That's not balanced reporting.

    Welfare to work schemes have been around for a long time and the lack of any examination of the effectiveness of previous schemes, in this country and abroad (research shows they tend to fail in their aims) during the programme was disappointing and also indicative of bias.

    The statement by the programme's narrator that “the government is now starting to test everybody on incapacity benefits to see if they’re fit for work. It’s a step no government has ever taken before” is so fundamentally wrong that it can only be explained either by heavy bias towards the current government, deliberate mis-reporting or gross incompetence by the programme makers. The truth is that the current tests for incapacity, tweaked (no more) by the current government, were introduced by the Welfare Reform Act 2007 and came into force in October 2008. In turn, that reform built on tests introduced in 1995.

    Overall, this was an extremely disappointing programme that was as far from independent and balanced as it's possible to get. I only wish it were not a crime to withhold my licence fee as the BBC has most certainly not earned it on this occasion.

    Shame on you BBC!

  • Comment number 63.

    To Johninbarnsley,

    every labour government I had had the displeasure to live through have kept unemployment down by spending more than they can afford, they buy votes until the coffers are dry then big bad tories have to come in and sort the mess out.

    The problem is that by the time the countries finances are sorted out all voters seem to remember is the hardships thay have had to suffer to get the country back on it's feet and hand things back to labour to repeat the whole cycle again.

    Gordon Brown bankrupted this country, he could have stopped lending 5 and 6 times income and slowed the property bubble here but oh no it would have cost him votes back in 2006, that was when the real damage was done to this country.

    The governments AND the banks caused this crisis. Thank goodness that idiot is gone now.

  • Comment number 64.

    On Panorama 06:06:11 Employment Secretary Chis Grayling MP said this:-
    "The only people who put themselves in danger of of having their benefits stopped are those that are capable of doing so and wilfully say "I refuse to engage with the system."" What tosh! -and that's being polite. Twice now, since being made redundant in 2009, I had my JSA stopped without any form of notice. In fact, on both occasions, I only realised it when I received a bank statement at the end of the month! Apparently, I'd refused work by not following up on two jobs I expressed an interest in whilst signing on. They got this information by calling the 'prospective' employer and asking if they'd heard from me and on both occasions the were told "No". In fact, I had. For the first one, I phoned up to be told the position had been cancelled, so thought no more about it, but it eventually came out that they decided to re-open it and hadn't recorded my application, but I had to fight like mad to have the decission overturned. A couple of months later it happened again, the 'representative' of the employer said I hadn't applied for their job, but, luckily, this time I had applied by email, so had a copy in my sent box, and had to print it off to get my money back on track as it was to be stopped for months! I complained that these people should be repremanded for putting my only means of income in jeopardy -for all the good it would do as with the DWP you are GUILTY until you prove you're INNOCENT. Yet according to Chris Grayling's comment I shouldn't have been verbally or financially harrassed as at no time (ever) have I said or implied in any way that I am "refusing to engage with the system"!

  • Comment number 65.

    Why is it that just about every job advertised in the Job Centre has "Meets National Minimum Wage" where the salery should be? What on earth is "meets"? Now imagine, four people are going after that job, someone that wants an apprenticeship, a 17 year old, a 20 year old, and me, 53. If they took the apprentice on they would only have to pay him £2.50 per hour. The 17 year old would only have to be paid £3.64 an hour. The 20 year old £4.92 an hour, and me a "mind blowing" £5.93 an hour to pay all my bills, insurances, pensions and holidays! Who do you think will get the job? Well, I think we can safely say it won't be me -and not because of attitude. The full salary should be made abundantly clear, and as for Working Tax Credits to 'top up your earnings', don't make me laugh, they're a con.

  • Comment number 66.

    Unwell and disabled people need help from the taxpayers but able bodied and minded people of any age should take responsibility for themselves.

    No-one owes you anything. I hate to be blunt but if you are out of work for whatever reason then it is your job to do something about it.

    Immigrants come here for a reason, they move heaven and earth to get work, a few here should look and learn.

    I am sorry to be blunt but academics and graduates should make sure their chosen careers are recession proof before they embark on training for them.

    We all have the same choices when we start out so don't bleat about hardship cos I well know what it is to drag yourself up by your fingernails.

    Pull your fingers out and go where the work is, there are plenty of opportunities that cost next to nothing to get off the ground.

    Think outside the box people.

  • Comment number 67.

    Easy job opps.

    Websites, cost £6 for two years for a domain name and £40 a year for hosting.

    Delivery drivers, £50 a week to lease a van, off you go.

    Have you any idea what courier companies charge for oversized packages or products over 20 or so kilos? Have you ever tried to get an oversized delivery to Europe, the expat community is crying out for 7 day deliveries of british goods.

    The internet delivery services are booming, they can charge what they like and generally the service they provide is rubbish.

  • Comment number 68.

    Hello and thank you for last weeks program. Was it informative or factual? ...the answer to that is yes, if I want to know how a person that has been on drugs from the age of 11-16, or other public minorities get on in the adult working world.

    I am a 23 year old girl with a good set of GCSE's and A-levels along with work experience in the UK as well as abroad behind me. ...who still can't after much effort attain work in this country.
    I have applied for loads of jobs since returning from working in Mexico earlier this year; travel agent, bar staff, cabin crew, hotel reception, sales assistant, office admin etc...all to no avail and yet all within my capabilities. This situation is very disheartening and if anything depressing.
    I completely agree with one of the previous comments that, it does force you to consider university.
    We live in a country where if you live with your parents and you are between the ages of 16 - 24 you will be entitled to no more than £53.45 a week.
    Personally I think in this current economic climate it should be re-named 'living allowance' as what jobs are really out there to be sought I ask myself?
    Why should I be suffering; having to buy cheap clothes and barely any make-up as the government let us chase our own tails looking for work. I am a young woman who likes to look glamourous and I simply need more money than this ridiculous entitlement.
    Well all I can say to this shambles of a government that has let too many
    immigrants in and ships too many industrial projects out is this ;.. if I don't get a job soon i will go to University where I can get a descent student grant compared to the 'impossible to live on' jobseekers and I won't be paying it back until I get a descent job!!
    It's time to look after yourself Britain because all this country look after are; pensioners, single low income mums and tear away teens.
    I think it would have made far more interesting viewing to have produced a show on the people in my, more realistic situation and what jobs of the ones advertised are actually 'vacant' for people like me because I believe many are already taken by these so called employer's family of friends, of course making this job situation ever more frustrating.

  • Comment number 69.

    I commented on the over 50's debate, where many of the same positive and negative comments were also made.

    Whilst you can criticize (could we please have an English spell checker!!) the people at the bottom for not helping themselves, one can criticise those at the top of society for not doing good when they clearly can! If it is as morally wrong to take drugs as it is to make staff redundant so as to meet some profit target. Society has to sort out the social economics. All companies could take on more staff and make less profit, either that or reap the consequences of social unrest!

    That said, giving people money is charity. Giving money to the third world never worked either. People should be helped to get back on their feet, but with and expectation that it has to be paid back in some way. The crux of the issue is that only we are responsible for ourselves, we have to support ourselves. But we live in a society, which is like an insurance policy. We pay in during good times, and take out during bad! Those who have paid in alot and now get nothing out are wondering how groups of people seem to be living better than them and appear never to have paid in anything. If the program had shed light on that then we would all be much wiser.

    A solution is we go back to no benefits system, charity picks up the task and it is all funded by donations from industry, national lottery and the public. Those giving help, charity workers etc, know who is working the system and would just not offer help to those who did not want to help themselves. Government gives tax breaks for charity giving. Oh ... isn't that what conservatism is !!

    By contrast a Socialist would take directly in taxes and pay direct to the needy, oh we have tried that and it seems not to work.

    My opinion is that we need to discuss the role of companies within a society. Society provides an infra-structure in which a company operates, is the issue that the companies have progressively made society pick up their costs, thus allowing more profit. We are now in the knowledge business, what do we do with people who have manual skills. A increasing problem is that companies can buy knowledge skills cheaper in the developing world. Foreign workers have been working for less at all levels for many years, as have women. So can society manage the market for jobs? I think it can't. The more british companies become foreign owned, the less we have influence over employment.

  • Comment number 70.

    I'm 48, still working but unfortunately off work at the moment due to slip vertebra and weakness on the left leg. I'm very eager to go back to work but I have to wait for an MRI scan to ensure nothing more serious is going on. But what SHOCKED me the most is the waiting time for an MRI appointment of 6-12weeks!!!!!! I just couldn't believe it that a first world country and claiming to be an advanced country on all these technology will let patients wait this long. This is the only thing that holds me back in getting back to work. I don't want to be a part of the statistics of being on benefit! Now that I'm offwork, I'm still being paid fulltime but they have to pay someone else to cover my shifts, where's the logic of paying TWO people for one job when all they could have done is do my MRI immediately and get me back to work! HOPELESS.

  • Comment number 71.

    the programme depicted people that clearly had not come to terms with their own situations and were caught up in the belief that they needed to retain their former status at work; they all looked depressed and rather beaten which is not the way to get a job - employers want those that can cut it , bosses want someone who can support them rather than need supporting - also do we have to look fifty?
    I'm a 53 year old woman but I've kept my figure, gym it and have invested in decent clothing that tells people I'm a young professional rather than on my way out! don't underestimate the "can do " approach as others like this however corny, also read the signs - we all know if we are flavour of the month in our organisation or not and we should not just recognise it but act! I've just left my job because I knew that after the restructuring I'd be out so I burned the midnight oil and got another job - less money than I'm used to but it was a good move and I really get on with my new boss. This move made me feel in control and confident and I've avoided a year or two on the dole. For women its essential to be well heeled and willing to get on with others - don't underestimate emotional intelligence even in this job market you can win through.

  • Comment number 72.

    I had a full time admin/customer service job and after 4 years with them I was made redundant in August 2010. My partner had a very good job at this point which is why I didn't claim JSA (waste of time anyway). I was unable to work from September 2010 until the new year for personal reasons. So since new year I've been looking for a part time role for the following reasons 1. I do not want to work in customer service/sales again, I think people quibble over the silliest things and no one gets paid enough to take the amount of abuse given. and 2. my son starts school in september 2011 and I do not want to pay for a childminder to take him to and from school - I'm his mum and I SHOULD be doing this. I've been looking for a part time flexible role to accommodate around school times etc. So a part time admin role is like gold dust and are soon snapped up. So I've been applying for cleaning jobs - to absolutely no avail. I know that these companies think I am overqualified and won't stick to the job for long. WELL IF YOU WOULD AT LEAST OFFER AN INTERVIEW, YOU MIGHT FIND THAT SOME OF US HAVE A REASON FOR THE CHANGE! - My partner has just this week been made redundant from a popular windscreen firm. He applied for a job with another popular firm and has been turned down as he has 3 points on his license from 3 years ago. He, like me, will apply for other jobs in other sectors; warehouses, supermarkets, driving jobs etc. But if someone has a skilled trade then quite rightly these firms are going to think 'well hang on why does he want to work here when he can do that??' Then, if lucky to even get such a response, its always 'Dear Miss/ Mr... thankyou... but NO'

    I do not want to claim a thing and believe me I live in an area where people think its ok to get sprogged up and sponge. So my partner and I are going to be tarnished with the same brush and forced to sign on and claim benefits etc. This country is an absolute joke and the system is a shambles. Italy will probably get more from this country than I do. Oh and to all the agencies out there who need a passport, birth certifcate, proof of address?? Just to register?? I'm applying for a job not a loan! I was born in this country, I am from this country and I shouldn't have to comply to a particular criteria just to keep the peace.

 

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