Published on 14 Sep 2011 Sections

Jobless angry at lack of opportunities

As unemployment surges upwards, jobseekers tell Channel 4 News why they are struggling to find work and what practical changes they want to see in the jobs market.

Jobless angry at lack of opportunities. (Getty)

David Cameron accuses the previous Labour government of “robbing young people of their future by piling up the debt” as Labour leader Ed Miliband claims the prime minister thinks “unemployment is a price worth paying”. But away from Westminster, Channel 4 News talks to the people who know the most about the current unemployment crisis – the jobless – and finds many feel ignored and helpless, despite their skills.

Richard Porter, via Facebook: I’ve been out of work for three years. Because employers can afford to be picky, they find the perfect candidate. Minimal training, full availability, experience, the list goes on and people like myself are becoming obsolete.

We can’t get the experience and qualifications because the employers have so many people to pick from. The Jobcentre should assess people and determine whether they want to get back into work, not give all the training opportunities to 18-21 year olds and that’s it.

We need jobs that are only available for determined jobseekers. Agreements need to be made with employers. I don’t want to be out of work for another three years, I tried to enroll at college to do hairdressing, the Jobcentre refused to support me. All for wanting to better myself and get back into work.

Nicole Healing (@Snafflepuss) via Twitter: Was made redundant by local council in Dec, had to leave my home. Free courses and travel to interview would help the most.

I feel like they don’t know what to do with me because I’m skilled and it’d be easier for the Jobcentre if I was 18 with no education or experience. Steph Mulrine

Gina Deacon, via Facebook: Not back to work through illness, not where I want to be but have no choice, major lifetime changes, and am sure there are many people out there longing for the chance to earn a living. Take a look at rural areas, and you will find how the loss of community services, transport and amenities, has affected people dramatically. Not to mention the actual cost, of trying to stay in work.

Their chances of building a secure future, unlikely for the foreseeable future. I have just seen my youngest off to uni, and am very proud of his achievements despite the struggles over the past years, but sad that I couldn’t help him in his long journey ahead.

Al Wilson-Smith (albeck1994) via Twitter: Employment agencies taking on British workers and employers prepared to take staff on rather than only employing agency staff.

Citizen Smith via Channel 4 News blogs: It’s all a mess. I lost my job last year, I went freelance after a few months on the Jobseeker’s allowance. I want to buy an old house and renovate, my investment would provide much needed employment. Well, screw the UK I’m off to Australia and New Zealand for three months and leaving my money in the bank. The whole system is broken. Cheerio Cameron and Osborne. Back at Xmas.

Shobana Bayliss via Facebook: It’s only goin’ to get worse b4 it gets better! I’m still lookin’ for a permanent IT job since ’08 and in and out of contract jobs!?…and now lookin for any job for the last six months…and I’m “British” since the day I was born!…It’s a dog eat dog world today.

Steph Mulrine via Facebook: I’m finishing my part-time masters (which I’d been doing part-time to fit around work, because I couldn’t afford to do it otherwise) I lost my job at the end of August and am currently finishing my dissertation (deadline extended due to losing job), whilst signing on and job hunting.

More from Channel 4 News: Biggest unemployment rise for two years

I live in Teesside and find searching the Jobcentres offerings I’m over-qualified or don’t have specific experience. I can’t really afford to not work and volunteer/intern/placement. I’m potentially going to have to move out of the area if I want work that isn’t minimum wage. I feel like they don’t know what to do with me because I’m skilled and it’d be easier for the Jobcentre if I was 18 with no education or experience!

I’m off to Australia and New Zealand for three months and leaving my money in the bank. The whole system is broken. Cheerio Cameron and Osborne. Citizen Smith

Andy Brown via Facebook: Having interviewed a few people lately I think it is literacy that lets many people down. So many applications and CVs contain really basic spelling and grammatical errors. They may have the skills for the job but they don’t get the chance to prove it because their application is unintelligible.

Paul Adams (_PatchAdams) via Twitter: Employers prepared to look outside the box at transferrable skills for experienced workers.

Lewis Marshall via Facebook: Out of a job at the moment and I’ve got to say if there’s one thing that won’t help is the Jobcentre. They waste millions on pathetic courses that waste time and money.

I could go on about the Jobcentre but I won’t. An issue for me is were I live, I need to move to a nearby city or have my own transport to find work. Unfortunately I can’t afford any transport. And there’s no way in hell I’ll get help to move closer to where I’ll find work. It sucks to be honest.