finding regular work, work placements, benefits and stuff

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Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 649
Location: Cupboard under the Stairs

26 Jul 2012, 1:08 am

I have a multitude of questions/brain farts.... 8O

Right... I want to be a Roadie. at the moment, I am technically a weekend-Roadie. I want (and sometimes get) to work with sound systems, stage lighting, cameras & broadcast systems as well as the usual "humping stuff into venues". alot (but not all) of what I do, I do voluntarily i.e. for free - but I enjoy doing this. you might not think (as i have been DX'ed) that i would enjoy this particular type of work what with all the sensory stuff and all the people - but on the other side, I'm not having anything to do with all those people and all the senses aren't exactly background crap.... :D yes, i need to step out for a few minutes sometimes, but only after a few hours. and if i want to go walkabout, i can. contrast with working at McDimwits - i.e. standing in one place dealing with dozens of people per hour, all the horrible smells and noise and stuff - i can barely stand to be in there for FIVE MINUTES before wanting to step outside, or scream. 8O

so you have kinda guessed where I'm going with this :?:

I DO want to work. and i do, occasionally. i volunteer with local community projects and charity events like fundraisers that require a PA system, i recently completed a week long festival placement (for the fourth year in a row) where I undertook about 80 hours of voluntary work acting as part of a technical support crew, occasionally i get one-off music events in the local area or further afield ones to do with college or acquaintances etc. hell iv even been down the whole yard work and computer repair road. I have reviews and testimonials from the groups and companies i have undertaken work experience for (and my CV is getting bigger and bigger) and who all say i have absolutely no problem with time keeping, reliability, etc. :D

obviously, voluntary work looks good on my CV and keeps me busy (and also thus not depressed, but that's neither here nor there), but can't buy stuff etc. so i went to sign on at the job center. they say i'm not allowed to sign on AND do unpaid work - because apparently I can make a living off UNPAID work :?

also, the job center are saying that I have to go on a work placement where i would work for 8 weeks for free - not for a charity organization or small business, but for a multinational supermarket corporation who could well afford to pay me - to "get into a routine" and "develop people skills relevant to my industry" and "increase my reliability"... - things i have no problem with anyway.

their computer system (which is written in Visual Basic, is knackered, and they weren't impressed when i said i could fix it for them) even has on record that i'm looking for roadie related work i.e. in a theater or touring company, or at a push a bar person in a SMALL tavern (not club etc) as i have a degree and experience in the relevant fields (not a bar work degree, tho i DO have experience of it :P ). however, the best way to gain skills for sound/light tech work (according to them) is not to carry on with what i'm doing, but to work in McDimwits or a fish-gutting place for 8 weeks for free. :cry: :?

they don't listen to me when i ask them what skills i could possibly gain from a fish gutting place that i haven't learned already i.e. teamwork, communication in a team etc. and whenever i tell them i have overload problems they say that im "workshy and just making excuses not to work".... :cry:

i was going to ask about Disabled Living Allowance (or whatever the modern equivalent is) but I've heard some tales of woe on here already. If SAAS wouldn't pay me disabled students allowance despite four years of valid applications and supporting evidence, i don't think i will have much chance with DLA. it may seem quite petty in comparison to be saying "i can't cook for myself unless its a ready-made microwave meal, and even then i'll probably burn the house down", that i "can't go anywhere new unless i have someone with me to help me feel better, explain things and avoid panic attacks" and that "i can't go more than 15 minutes in a crowded or busy place - like McDimwits - without needing 45 mins time out".

I do not have any of the aforementioned problems with the voluntary work i'm doing as i'm with people i know, but the job center just seem to want me to work in McDimwits end of.

i do want to work, just not in McDimwits or whatever crummy hellhole. is this unreasonable? how do i get them to listen?

also, can anyone recommend a good UK solicitor with specialisms in suing the pants off of the Student Awards Agency Scotland?

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Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,396
Location: UK

26 Jul 2012, 12:37 pm

As far as I am aware, it is OK to do unpaid work as long as you are still looking for full time work, and would be available for interview with 48 hours notice and available to start work with 1 weeks notice. I clarified this with the JobCentre the last time I was there, which was a fortnight ago. My sister also did voluntary work while she looked for work. You may want to ask them again at your next sign on appointment.

The idea of the work placement to get you some experience, a recent work reference and possibly a foot in the door. You aren't working for free, you are working for your benefit money and getting work skills. I haven't been offered anything like that, perhaps because of my age, but I would gladly take that opportunity if it was offered to me. I know that once I have a foot in the door there is every likelihood that I will be kept on, I just need that chance.

JSA is designed for people who are fit and able to work - quite rightly they don't accept excuses and you are not allowed to turn down reasonable job offers. It wouldn't be fair on the tax payer if that was the case. If your Aspergers is severely restricting the jobs you can take then JSA is not the route you should be on. You need more specialist support to find you a job that is suitable for your needs. DLA is usually only given to those who have significant issues caring for themselves and need help with basic tasks` such as washing themselves, cooking for themselves, etc. If someone is unable to work due to a disability they used to be given Incapacity Benefit, this has now been changed to Employment and Support Allowance. I think this sounds like the best option for you: they will help you into work but will be far less likely to push you into work that you are not suitable for.

Here is some information about Employment and Support Allowance [url=]/url]

It isn't very nice to call McDonalds McDimwits if you are referring to the staff as the people that work there are the people who have chosen to work when they could have just stayed on benefits. Whether you get JSA or ESA, the people who work in McDonalds pay the taxes that you allow you to have that money.


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Joined: 9 Feb 2007
Age: 61
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Location: Santa Cruz , CA , USA

02 May 2015, 12:42 pm

...I didn't think he was referring to " Mickey D's " in that way .