Name and Shame Report

Savers, Aug 2015

A few months ago, the Jobcenter send me on a group meeting that meant we either had to take up a course, do an apprenticeship or do some volunteer work experience to prove we were doing something to help get us a job. I don't think the 30+ applications a week were enough somehow. Anyways I was overqualified for the apprenticeship I wanted to do and over qualified for the courses as I have been to University and don't need basic maths and English, IT. My Personal adviser insisted I do volunteering or face being put on MWA. Which I had been put on 2 month previously when I asked for IT experience work and somehow got dumped in a Salvation Army steaming and tagging clothes. Holding out, I asked for IT experience and they had none available. So a week later I was pushed for my decision on which volunteer job I wanted to to do, I said none.As I have done so called beneficial MWA work before, at that point 3 month ago, and also 5 months prior to that finished a job, and with that plenty of other past experience appropriate for my age,24. And she said she would have to refer me for MWA. I gave into it, to me it was volunteer or volunteer to do MWA. The next week she was about to refer me for it and I asked what volunteer role was I more likely to be offered a job in the end, It was either Poundland or Savers. I didn't want to be doing MWA again so I picked Savers because if I had to work anyways, I might as well had a chance of getting a job out of it. Anyways I get the interview and the first thing the the lady asks me as I sit down is how did you hear about this job. I said the job center. She then bluntly asks if I was being forced to work here. Slightly startled, I said yeah but then backtracked saying well not really I want to volunteer here so I don't get put on a mandatory work placement because I wanted the job. The rest of the interview was fine, I though the job would be mine. Next appointment at the job center, I sat down and my adviser, she asked me what did I say at my interview. I said that I lived near? I was confused as hadn't really thought of anything about the forced work comment until after my adviser made it an issue. She said, you told her we were forcing you to work there. I proclaimed I didn't say that and it was the woman who asked me. She said she didn't believe me because the woman was a close friend for years and someone would lose the job (dunno if she meant her, or the lady in savers) anyways she said she didn't believe me and had no choice but to refer me for MWA. I was almost crying at this point. I couldn't talk. She kept going on and on at me but I just nodded knowing if I were to open my mouth and fight back I would have bawled out crying in front of the whole Jobcenter. I hate being told I'm a liar and being made to feel so small. She had the audacity to ask me if I even went to school? Anyways, now I'm on MWA being made to work at the RSPCA Charity Shop. But I have more information on Savers Byker, as my cousin has recently been referred there when he willingly asked for Volunteer work. I already knew Savers took on unpaid worker permanently, as in they always had placements available. Because I saw on the computer when I had the choice to work there. But my cousin, who calls in my house some days on his break because I live close to it has been complaining because they have been making him swap shifts with other members of staff to cover the work load and today they were making him stay an extra hour because of putting promotional stock out. I said to him you do know that legally, they are supposed to not replace paid staff with unpaid.So you shouldn't have to stay because legally they should have paid staff there. He told me they have only have 4 paid staff in total. The rest are supplied and replaced by Job-center constantly.