I would like my story to remain anonymous thank you!
If they can’t get you a job with the job network system what’s the chances of them getting you work elsewhere?
I am qualified to work in both a professional helping role and a teaching role within the Job Active Network System and other government and private organisations. What I’ve found so far are that; staff mistakes, government policy and incompetence, have seen potential employments opportunities and other activities not only obstructed, but extinguished altogether.
I have been unemployed for several years now. Over this period of time I have been with several different Job Network Providers. None of these agencies have helped me secure meaningful work and some of them, have actively obstructed my efforts, culminating in me not only loosing work, but loosing networks for potential employment opportunities. In one agency I actually helped my case manger leave her position that she hated, to take up a university place in a course that would qualify her to work in a profession that she has always wanted to do and was now finally going to be able to.
MY RECENT EFFORTS
My most recent Job Active Provider’s initial efforts to find me work consisted of printing off a job that didn’t even exist in this country- it was Singapore. It wasn’t actually a paying job, but an agency that requested you to register your personal details with them and they would farm out your information for potential market research work. It looked dodgy to me and I did some investigation and found it was black listed. When I alerted this my case manager he just shrugged his shoulders.
I had been enquiring about working with my provider in a professional helping role for at least twelve months before finally securing an interview. My provider did not refer me for this position, I was only able to secure an interview because privacy was so bad in the office that the manager was sitting next to me, along with everyone else and overheard me ask my case manager a question I had been asking at each appointment for months, and months. She said yes, and we had a pre-interview on the spot.
A formal interview was arranged and management were to send me the details in an email. The email never arrived, I didn’t have her contact details and my case manager was not answering his mobile. I didn’t worry to much because network providers are notorious for not doing what they say they will and not responding to mail and other forms of contact. I assumed that the interview was postponed or something else had happened. Finally my case manager responded to my mobile phone messages after the day of the interview. He said he would find out what happened.
I arrived for my regular fortnightly interview to an aggressive and bullying case manager who interrogated me for what felt like at least half a hour about why I failed to show for my job interview. At first I was shocked and confused as I expected them to apologise and organise another interview. Instead, what happened was me standing my ground saying I didn’t receive any details and he saying I just didn’t show up. He finally at the end of the interrogation said …”oh the manager sent the interview details to the wrong email address”, he knew all along!
I asked to speak to management and she reiterated the exact same thing. But instead of apologising they claimed there was a communication mix up with both of us. The interview actually went well and I was given positive feedback on my next regular appointment. From that time onwards, at each appointment I kept asking about what was happening to the job. My case manager was on holidays and then sick leave, and I was told by another case manager that they couldn’t access the file to find out the notes as to what was happening. Then I was told my employment start times were delayed because; staff were on holidays, then there were not enough clients to see and then I eventually heard seven months after the interview, that they had employed someone else and that there was not enough funding for another position.
At my next appointment I noticed brochures about teaching English in the waiting room. I took this in to my consultant who made some enquiries. I was sent for an interview and provided all my qualifications. I found out that I needed a CERT-IV qualification and that my academic qualifications and teaching experience would not be enough. But that I could get recognition of prior learning and I could qualify for a program called “Earn and Learn’. My consultant was off on sick leave again, and again, I was told by staff that they could not access to file to follow up, but they wanted me to attend another interview with the same educational organisation.
Going backwards and forwards to retrieve information that could have been done on the phone and should have been done by my consultant was aggravating. I was eventually advised by the teaching facility to ask the management of my Job Active agency to pay for the CERT-IV qualification, I was happy to do the course. Weeks went by again without any information and I was finally given an answer six months after making the first enquiry, that government will not pay in full, but would pay half if I could pay the other half. Given it’s a costly program I can’t afford to do that, and that is another job opportunity down the drain.
I was previously with a major employment service provider that lost it’s funding and no longer exists. But staff at this provider were either not properly informed of what I was eligible to do or misunderstood the activity agreements.
During my time with this provider I secured a teaching role with an established adult education provider. It was only for a few hours a week. To get this role I had to design a course and sample lessons and I didn’t reveal to them that I was on Centrelink benefits. They were very happy to have me and I was of course excited to have the role. I was going to be advertised in their upcoming Winter Brochure. I went to give the good news to my case manger – a very young inexperienced person who needed to check everything with her supervisor before agreeing to anything, but she did say she didn’t think I could do it. She sent me an email later in the day to say that the hours weren’t enough and I needed to find something with longer hours and she definitely told me that I couldn’t take the role. I now have to tell my course co-co-ordinator that I cannot do the role. She is very angry with me and has accused me of not being truthful with her and any future employment with that organisation isn’t looking positive.
I rang DEET to complain, and they unfortunately wouldn’t believe that a case manager would tell me that I couldn’t take a job. I was confused as to what my rights were and I’m not sure my case manager knew either, or she misunderstood what I was telling her.
At the time I was living in a suburb that had a busy neighbourhood community centre and I enquired about doing voluntary work with them. I also spent considerable time finding free resources to enable me to undertake the voluntary work and presented this opportunity to the project officer at the neighbourhood centre. I was with the same job network provider and the same case manager. I advised my case manger about my successful efforts to find and secure voluntary work with an organisation that employs people on a regular basis and thought this would be a good networking opportunity. Again I was told I was not eligible to do this and my case manager was going to speak to her supervisor. She came back with the supervisor who said no that I was not eligible to do the voluntary work and that I should be looking for work during business hours but that I could do the voluntary work at night or on weekends. The service wasn’t open during those hours. I left the agency feeling depleted. I was pretty unmotivated and asked to change providers. My case manager and supervisor agreed to meet me to discuss why I was leaving. Supervisor told me emphatically to forget voluntary work as it never leads to any paid work and to write on my form that I was changing providers to be closer to my residential address.
The system is failing all of us.