This is the future for the UK’s 5,000,000 unemployed.

I’m in a nondescript open-plan office just off Portland Street in Manchester city centre.

Here, jobseekers are to be inspired to get back to work. This is the same old bollocks as the “Restart” programme, except run by a private company.

The staff (“job brokers”), all in their twenties, can barely disguise (a) their smugness because they’ve got a fucking job and (b) their distaste at having to talk to the worthless dole scum.

“Darren’s got a job!” someone cries. The whole office cheers. During the course of the day, this happens twice, so perhaps they found two people a job, or perhaps they found the same person two jobs. It strikes me that they ought to keep quiet about it, unless this is happening every few minutes instead of once every four hours.

Every single person present at this induction is here because they know that their Jobseeker’s Allowance will be stopped if they don’t attend.

The presentations by the “Job Coaches” are insulting to half the group, who have CVs, qualifications and experience, and humiliating to the other half, who don’t.

The only employers that are mentioned are Asda and Tesco. OK, jobseekers, set your sights really high!

Pauline Campbell-Jones from The League of Gentlemen would fit right in here. You thought that was black comedy?

Very, very real. Right down to the pens.

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