When I was first signed up to Seetec I was actually very hopeful that this company would be a massive improvement on the Jobcentre and they would help me to find work.
I would be doing work related activities within a group.
My c.v would be tweaked to perfection, I would be given help and hints from filling in job application forms to how to behave in a job interview to impress your prospective empolyer/s.
I am now a year into my Seetec placement and that hope disappeared a long time ago.
There were no group activities after the first week, and even that was just sitting in a little room with 30 other people listening to the Manager praise Seetec and effectively lie about the help they would give us all.
I feel a fool now for even believing the hype.
A full year of sitting in the centre for 5 hours a day job searching on their computers every week, plus the monthly review with your adviser and that is the true extent of the 'help' you receive from them.
The walk up to the centre is a lot like that film The Green Mile, you walk in the centre to be 'greeted' with the staff who wander round like peacocks strutting their feathers, the superior little smirks on their faces as you approach the desk to sign in.
The whole process is hideous, degrading, and patronising.
All we are is a statistic, another name on their files, another unemployed lazy waste of space.
They do not take your personal circumstances into consideration at all.
I am a single mum and I am expected to apply for jobs that includes evenings and weekends even though I have no childcare, and I am guessing they do not provide an onsite free creche at any of their work places.
They allow me 2 days of illness per year. That is 2 days for me and 2 children, with health issues.
They want me in the centre 3 days every week, so that means an incredibly high chance that I will have to miss an appointment due to illness either myself or one of my children being ill at some point over the next year. I have already used up my 2 sick days in the last year.
This to me I believe is intentional so that you can be give a sanction. A 4 week sanction I might add, for missing one appointment!
When you are working and you have to take one day off sick then you will lose one days pay, not 4 weeks.
When you are working and your child has an assembly for the parents to come and watch, then you would be able to book that day off work. At Seetec you are not allowed to miss an appointment, and I have been told that a childs school assembly is not a 'good enough reason'.
This back to work programme really does not work for me as a single mum.
There are so many issues that need to be ironed out, I could write the centre a million letters stating why this work programme is not working but I really do not think they are particularly interested. The staff do their job, in the most patronising and mis-understanding way they possibly can. They get paid, they tick boxes and they go home.
Seetec does not care about people, they care about ticking boxes and making sure the centre looks good on paper.
We are merely a statistic and will be treated as such, for as long as we are still being made to attend these places.
For now I am enjoying a few days break, I can job search in the comfort of my own home for jobs I can actually do, without being patronised or made to feel that whatever I do it is never enough. I will sign off this blog now in the happy knowledge that the Green Mile does not have to be walked until next week. Filled with dread once again.