I have to be honest and say that I didn't really read the contract, but after briefly skimming it I did notice some key words such as 'self loathing' and 'punishment.' I assumed this was all part of the job seeking process so I went ahead and signed.
The life of a jobseeker is not that of a bon viveur. It wasn't when I graduated amid a deep recession, nor is it today. Still, there was once a basic dignity in it if you were making an effort. Not for much longer it would seem.
JSA is my only source of income and my next appointment at the jobcentre was not until January. I spent all of Christmas and New Year not knowing my fate, wondering if I would soon be flat broke...
The people of Scotland have spoken, and they believe we are better together after all. The dust hasn't settled on this historic vote, but the win for 'no' was gained by English politicians entering the fray at the last minute and promising more powers for the region...
In the first wave of 'problem families', 32% had a disability or long term illness and 82% had a problem related to education, while 15% had children with a problem of substance abuse. This suffering can not be combatted by slashing budgets, but investing time, care and resources into tackling the root causes of these problems, as well as their aftermath.
Exam results are the start of the journey for young people, with so many possibilities and opportunities ahead. We need to make sure that our employment and skills system gives them the right support at the right time to make the most of these.
Jobcentres have faced huge criticism over the last few weeks, and now an insider has come forward to tell his story of how management and the government, together with some dodgy frontline staff, are ruining the service from within:
Iain Duncan Smith's benefit sanctions are poorly understood and hit "vulnerable" jobseekers the hardest, a report commissioned
There's a classic song by the band Green Day called 'Warning' from the album of the same name, released in 2000, where agile
Of course, Labour have been quick to criticise Mr Duncan Smith but the strength of the UK labour market - with record numbers of people in work, accompanied by dramatic falls in the number of the UK's unemployed - is plain evidence that his reforms are having an impact.
Jobcentres have been advised to send people to food banks, raising fears of the creeping use of the emergency food as a integral
Iain Duncan Smith's Department for Work and Pensions could charge those who have been automatically stripped of benefits
Iain Duncan Smith splashed out £75,000 of taxpayers' money on media training for gaffe-prone junior minister Lord Freud and
The separation between government and civil service is a vital one. Governments come and go, but the civil service is permanent, and only works when it stands apart and acts as a bulwark against the worst excesses of politicians. So a press release that found on the Department of Work and Pensions website on Monday tips over an invisible but vital line of trust.
In a sign of the precarious economic times in the UK, Britons have softened in their attitudes towards state benefits for
Jamie Oliver has caused controversy recently. Saying young people should get up and go try working 100 hours a week. The reality is many people would love to just have a job. Let's remember how many people are currently unemployed in our country, it's in the millions.
The government's controversial "nudge unit", which encourages people to make better lifestyle choices, is to be part-privatised
A psychometric test given to jobseekers in parts of England, seemingly to help them find their "signature strengths", has
Benefit chiefs rejected fresh claims a flagship welfare reform was "on the edge of disaster" after it was announced a full
While some media might have us believe that most single parents are shunning work in favour of a 'lifestyle' on out-of-work benefits, the reality is starkly different. Single parents are highly motivated to work. After all, they're the sole breadwinners for their families - families which face twice the risk of living in poverty than those headed up by a couple.