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TOPIC: An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ

An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 03:05 #7710

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Imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ


WORK COACH: Would you like to sign up for our new job search site called Find a Job? I think you will find it very helpful. It is more streamlined than Universal Jobmatch, and you can choose your own password? What’s not to like? All you have to do is register with it—this only takes a minute—then when I next see you, you can give me your login details. Don’t worry, they will be safe with me.

JOBSEEKER: Am I required legally to sign up with Find a Job and give you my login details?

WORK COACH: No, but not doing so will make me think that you aren’t seriously making the effort to look for work, which in turn will make me think that you are lazy and just want to sit around all day and still get your dole money.

JOBSEEKER: But I use other job sites, and have shown you evidence of my job applications at these in the past, so you must know by now that I am not lazy?

WORK COACH: That’s true, but if you are not lazy, then why not sign up for Find a Job? What’s the problem with that?

JOBSEEKER: Well, to be frank, I went online and found out from a few forums that Find a Job time-stamps all your search activity and job applications, and the jobs you have looked at. To me, time-stamping could be used to test the frequency of use of Find a Job, as well as the time intervals between each application, and if the time intervals are too short, a person could be sanctioned for not spending enough time on each application.

WORK COACH: Yes, that’s true. We introduced time stamping for that very reason. We wanted to make sure that a person didn’t just login, click on any old job like they did with Universal Jobmatch, and click on another job 5 seconds later. We don’t regard that as really putting an effort into the job application process. Also (and keep this to yourself or I’ll get into trouble), we don’t like our jobs very much, and are envious of jobseekers who aren’t working as hard as we do in a boring job. So we wanted to make Find a Job hard work for people, and also, of course, as a way to more easily get people sanctioned.

JOBSEEKER: I see. Thanks for explaining things to me. But seeing as I’m not legally required to sign up for Find a Job, I think I’ll give it a miss, if you don’t mind. I’ll still use the other job sites, though, and show you evidence of my job applications from those.

WORK COACH: Well, I can’t force you to sign up for Find a Job, so I will have to double-up my efforts to think of other ways to get you sanctioned. By refusing to use Find a Job, you are making it very difficult for me to sanction you easily. I was looking forward to sanctioning you via Find a Job, as it was especially designed as a sanction-making machine. And the more people I sanction, the less likely I will be made redundant when the DWP next review jobcentre staff performances. It’s not easy, you know, having to fulfil sanction quotas—and I have a wife and two kids to think of.

JOBSEEKER: I know, working here must be hell. Thank God I’m not in your boat.

WORK COACH: Well, that’s it for this meeting. I’ll send you a text with the next appointment time in it. Just to let you know, though, if you don’t receive the text I’ll sanction you.

JOBSEEKER: Ok, I’ll keep my eyes out for the text.

WORK COACH: Ok, see you next time.

JOBSEEKER: Same here. Bye.
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 10:03 #7713

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They can not and will not ask for log in details. Worse they can do is ask for screenshots of the site.
Toads - Philip Larkin
Why should I let the toad work, Squat on my life?
Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork And drive the brute off?
Six days of the week it soils,With its sickening poison -
Just for paying a few bills! That's out of proportion...
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 12:08 #7720

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Yes, but they will still tell you about FaJ and ask if you want to sign up for it. Several jobcentre staff have already told me, and I’m stalling them at present. Many people might eventually sign up and give their password, due to the atmosphere of intimidation in many jobcentres.

But to me, even screen shots would be a violation of privacy, as the time-stamps of your activity will be on the printouts—unless you black over them with ink, at which point your work coach will ask you why you blacked over them, and if you say because you don’t want them to see the time-stamps, they will ask why not, and if you tell them, they will ask then why did you sign up for Find a Job. The only answer to that would be that you felt pressured to by either the work coach or your own insecurities about refusing.

I haven’t even got a printer, and am not prepared to buy one or pay high ink refill costs just to placate a work coach.

I wonder if you can put your evidence of job applications (from FAJ or other job sites you use) on a USB flash drive and show it to them on their computer or one of the computers at the jobcentre.

Does anyone know?
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 12:10 #7721

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Work coach would never say would you like. They will say you must do blah blah.
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 12:22 #7722

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Catwoman wrote:
Work coach would never say would you like. They will say you must do blah blah.

Only if something is mandatory, but FAJ, so far, is not mandatory, so work coaches have to “woo” you into using it. If it ever became mandatory at some stage, then work coaches would order you to use it, But at the monument they don’t have that power.
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 12:35 #7723

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Your solution is to show them proof that you have signed up for FaJ, like a confirmation email or similar. It doesn't need to be a screen shot of your activity history.
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 12:44 #7725

osris wrote:
But to me, even screen shots would be a violation of privacy, as the time-stamps of your activity will be on the printouts—unless you black over them with ink, at which point your work coach will ask you why you blacked over them, and if you say because you don’t want them to see the time-stamps, they will ask why not, and if you tell them, they will ask then why did you sign up for Find a Job. The only answer to that would be that you felt pressured to by either the work coach or your own insecurities about refusing.

So, in some other crazed dimension where I would feel the need to show them screenshots of my activity on the site, then I would only show them screenshots of jobs applied for. Certainly not other activity such as jobs looked at as that is irrevelant.

As for showing my work roach a screenshot of jobs applied for in my gmail account, and not having a working printer or no paper/ink, then yes I'd put it on a flash drive and go to the jobcentre and use one of their computers to print it out. Assuming their computer accepts the flash drive of course...
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 13:20 #7728

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I wish I could be a sanguine about all of this as you, Tarquin. You have more experience of modern jobseeking than me. I was last unemployed in 1991. It was an easy ride then. No interviews. You just turned up with a signing on card, signed on (which took 5 seconds), no questions asked, and that was you sorted for two weeks. No pressure, no sweat, no worry.
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 13:50 #7732

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Ah, I remember the good old days too osris. Bloody nightmare now. And yet nothing from opposition MP`s who happily sit there watching the implementation of Universal Credit sweeping people into despair and barely take action to do anything. Why? because they probably like it but won`t say it.
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 13:54 #7733

I remember when I briefly signed on for a few months in the early 90s and yes it was a breeze. In and out within seconds and no questions asked about job search activity. So, I found it somewhat daunting when signing on years later with all the crap involved. First few weeks was ok as I presented my jobsearch activity on paper, then they started pressuring me to attend certain courses under threat of sanction. I had no set work roach during this period, but found most of them to be rather obtrusive, arrogant and condescending. I knew very little of what they could and couldn't do so more or less accepted whatever crap they threw my way just so I could get my pitiful jobseekers allowance paid into my bank account.

I had to deal with the work programme once that started, and it was only then I started to question some of the things I was expected to do. But luckily the advisor I had with the work programme provider was quite laid back and most of the 2 years there was a breeze plus the jobcentre pretty much left me alone while on it. I was still rather curious though at what other people I spoke to on the WP were expected to do so started searching online for help, which is when I discovered sites such as Unemployment Movement or Johnny Void's blog. So when it came to the dreaded Community Work Programme I was more than prepared for how to fight what I saw as utterly evil, having to do "voluntary" work just so you could continue claiming JSA. When we eventually all move to Universal Credit again i'll be hopefully more than prepared.

I try as often as possible to spread the word to other claimants about how a lot of what they're expected to do can be avoided, and direct them towards sites such as this. Alas many I spoke to just continued to accept everything thrown their way, all because they fear having their money stopped. So it's an ongoing frustrating war against the DWP, I've won a few battles so far, but we need many more claimants to question what is happening to them. The jobcentre has always been a miserable place to visit, but the past few years that misery has increased tenfold. It's somewhat a relief when I walk out of that building, even more of a relief when I've managed to avoid any confrontations with hard nosed sanction seekers. But the thing everyone needs to remember is always be prepared for anything they throw at you. The work roach I'm seeing this week isn't my normal one, as far as I know I've never come across this one before, so I'll be quite wary at first but have it in my head that this one could be a nasty piece of work, like many others I've had the "pleasure" of dealing with. I find this approach helps a great deal in not being caught off guard.
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 16:40 #7736

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osris wrote:
Imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ


WORK COACH: Would you like to sign up for our new job search site called Find a Job? I think you will find it very helpful. It is more streamlined than Universal Jobmatch, and you can choose your own password? What’s not to like? All you have to do is register with it—this only takes a minute—then when I next see you, you can give me your login details. Don’t worry, they will be safe with me.

JOBSEEKER: Am I required legally to sign up with Find a Job and give you my login details?

WORK COACH: No, but not doing so will make me think that you aren’t seriously making the effort to look for work, which in turn will make me think that you are lazy and just want to sit around all day and still get your dole money.

JOBSEEKER: But I use other job sites, and have shown you evidence of my job applications at these in the past, so you must know by now that I am not lazy?

WORK COACH: That’s true, but if you are not lazy, then why not sign up for Find a Job? What’s the problem with that?

JOBSEEKER: Well, to be frank, I went online and found out from a few forums that Find a Job time-stamps all your search activity and job applications, and the jobs you have looked at. To me, time-stamping could be used to test the frequency of use of Find a Job, as well as the time intervals between each application, and if the time intervals are too short, a person could be sanctioned for not spending enough time on each application.

WORK COACH: Yes, that’s true. We introduced time stamping for that very reason. We wanted to make sure that a person didn’t just login, click on any old job like they did with Universal Jobmatch, and click on another job 5 seconds later. We don’t regard that as really putting an effort into the job application process. Also (and keep this to yourself or I’ll get into trouble), we don’t like our jobs very much, and are envious of jobseekers who aren’t working as hard as we do in a boring job. So we wanted to make Find a Job hard work for people, and also, of course, as a way to more easily get people sanctioned.

JOBSEEKER: I see. Thanks for explaining things to me. But seeing as I’m not legally required to sign up for Find a Job, I think I’ll give it a miss, if you don’t mind. I’ll still use the other job sites, though, and show you evidence of my job applications from those.

WORK COACH: Well, I can’t force you to sign up for Find a Job, so I will have to double-up my efforts to think of other ways to get you sanctioned. By refusing to use Find a Job, you are making it very difficult for me to sanction you easily. I was looking forward to sanctioning you via Find a Job, as it was especially designed as a sanction-making machine. And the more people I sanction, the less likely I will be made redundant when the DWP next review jobcentre staff performances. It’s not easy, you know, having to fulfil sanction quotas—and I have a wife and two kids to think of.

JOBSEEKER: I know, working here must be hell. Thank God I’m not in your boat.

WORK COACH: Well, that’s it for this meeting. I’ll send you a text with the next appointment time in it. Just to let you know, though, if you don’t receive the text I’ll sanction you.

JOBSEEKER: Ok, I’ll keep my eyes out for the text.

WORK COACH: Ok, see you next time.

JOBSEEKER: Same here. Bye.


Wow. Brilliant stuff. I understand now where I was going wrong. I wasn’t letting my imagination run away with me.

Have you considered writing scripts about a fictional character resolving fictional situations?

I cried so when the coach described the plight of the wife and kids and how callously the job seeker shrugged off his predicament with the off the cuff remark that can only be interpreted as ‘I’m all right Jack.’

Can’t wait for the next instalment. Will you be describing how the job seeker is going to act stupidly in order to get control of the situation? Reckon it might be a tad difficult now when he has already shown how stupid he really is by telling the coach that he’s already researched the implications of FaJ on the internet and knows all about it.

Look forward to seeing Columbo put in an appearance in the next exciting episode as well.

Seriously though, sooner or later you will have to accept that the only way you can beat them and win is to use their own rules and regulations and the law against them. On your own admission you don’t have what it takes to mess with their heads or play mind games.

The first you are likely to hear about FaJ from your work coach is when he’s good and ready to change your Claimant Commitment or Jobseekers Agreement. Several contributors to your threads already know and some are starting to come round to the conclusion that this is the only way your coach can try to make you have anything to do with FaJ. He may hit you with those changes immediately at your routing signing on appointment, thereby not giving you any opportunity to prepare and make your case, or he may give you a date for an appointment specifically for the purpose, in which case you may have time to prepare. Either way you are going to have to prepare, and that brings us back to what I’ve been so bold as to suggest you should be doing all along.

If you regard my lack of a vivid imagination, or a bit of common sense, on your thread as going off topic, my apologies for encroaching with those few comments.
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 17:02 #7738

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Benefit Bolshie wrote:
osris wrote:
Imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ


WORK COACH: Would you like to sign up for our new job search site called Find a Job? I think you will find it very helpful. It is more streamlined than Universal Jobmatch, and you can choose your own password? What’s not to like? All you have to do is register with it—this only takes a minute—then when I next see you, you can give me your login details. Don’t worry, they will be safe with me.

JOBSEEKER: Am I required legally to sign up with Find a Job and give you my login details?

WORK COACH: No, but not doing so will make me think that you aren’t seriously making the effort to look for work, which in turn will make me think that you are lazy and just want to sit around all day and still get your dole money.

JOBSEEKER: But I use other job sites, and have shown you evidence of my job applications at these in the past, so you must know by now that I am not lazy?

WORK COACH: That’s true, but if you are not lazy, then why not sign up for Find a Job? What’s the problem with that?

JOBSEEKER: Well, to be frank, I went online and found out from a few forums that Find a Job time-stamps all your search activity and job applications, and the jobs you have looked at. To me, time-stamping could be used to test the frequency of use of Find a Job, as well as the time intervals between each application, and if the time intervals are too short, a person could be sanctioned for not spending enough time on each application.

WORK COACH: Yes, that’s true. We introduced time stamping for that very reason. We wanted to make sure that a person didn’t just login, click on any old job like they did with Universal Jobmatch, and click on another job 5 seconds later. We don’t regard that as really putting an effort into the job application process. Also (and keep this to yourself or I’ll get into trouble), we don’t like our jobs very much, and are envious of jobseekers who aren’t working as hard as we do in a boring job. So we wanted to make Find a Job hard work for people, and also, of course, as a way to more easily get people sanctioned.

JOBSEEKER: I see. Thanks for explaining things to me. But seeing as I’m not legally required to sign up for Find a Job, I think I’ll give it a miss, if you don’t mind. I’ll still use the other job sites, though, and show you evidence of my job applications from those.

WORK COACH: Well, I can’t force you to sign up for Find a Job, so I will have to double-up my efforts to think of other ways to get you sanctioned. By refusing to use Find a Job, you are making it very difficult for me to sanction you easily. I was looking forward to sanctioning you via Find a Job, as it was especially designed as a sanction-making machine. And the more people I sanction, the less likely I will be made redundant when the DWP next review jobcentre staff performances. It’s not easy, you know, having to fulfil sanction quotas—and I have a wife and two kids to think of.

JOBSEEKER: I know, working here must be hell. Thank God I’m not in your boat.

WORK COACH: Well, that’s it for this meeting. I’ll send you a text with the next appointment time in it. Just to let you know, though, if you don’t receive the text I’ll sanction you.

JOBSEEKER: Ok, I’ll keep my eyes out for the text.

WORK COACH: Ok, see you next time.

JOBSEEKER: Same here. Bye.


Wow. Brilliant stuff. I understand now where I was going wrong. I wasn’t letting my imagination run away with me.

Have you considered writing scripts about a fictional character resolving fictional situations?

I cried so when the coach described the plight of the wife and kids and how callously the job seeker shrugged off his predicament with the off the cuff remark that can only be interpreted as ‘I’m all right Jack.’

Can’t wait for the next instalment. Will you be describing how the job seeker is going to act stupidly in order to get control of the situation? Reckon it might be a tad difficult now when he has already shown how stupid he really is by telling the coach that he’s already researched the implications of FaJ on the internet and knows all about it.

Look forward to seeing Columbo put in an appearance in the next exciting episode as well.

Seriously though, sooner or later you will have to accept that the only way you can beat them and win is to use their own rules and regulations and the law against them. On your own admission you don’t have what it takes to mess with their heads or play mind games.

The first you are likely to hear about FaJ from your work coach is when he’s good and ready to change your Claimant Commitment or Jobseekers Agreement. Several contributors to your threads already know and some are starting to come round to the conclusion that this is the only way your coach can try to make you have anything to do with FaJ. He may hit you with those changes immediately at your routing signing on appointment, thereby not giving you any opportunity to prepare and make your case, or he may give you a date for an appointment specifically for the purpose, in which case you may have time to prepare. Either way you are going to have to prepare, and that brings us back to what I’ve been so bold as to suggest you should be doing all along.

If you regard my lack of a vivid imagination, or a bit of common sense, on your thread as going off topic, my apologies for encroaching with those few comments.

Hi Benefits Bolshie, I was wondering where you were. No doubt licking your wounds after the chastisement you got on that thread you were last posting on, where you were insulting a couple of people who had the temerity to query a few of your expert opinions. It sounds like you are still bearing grievances.

You are at your best, I think, when you stick to facts and not let your emotions or ego affect your posts.

The latter part of your post here was, indeed, informative, and I thank you for that.

I would appreciate it, though, if you were perhaps less bitter, and less, dare I say, bolshie. You don’t always have to live up to your username here.
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 17:45 #7742

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osris wrote:
Hi Benefits Bolshie, I was wondering where you were. No doubt licking your wounds after the chastisement you got on that thread you were last posting on, where you were insulting a couple of people who had the temerity to query a few of your expert opinions. It sounds like you are still bearing grievances.

You are at your best, I think, when you stick to facts and not let your emotions or ego affect your posts.

The latter part of your post here was, indeed, informative, and I thank you for that.

I would appreciate it, though, if you were perhaps less bitter, and less, dare I say, bolshie. You don’t always have to live up to your username here.

I agree with you here. There is no need for fighting. Some of us (me including) worry a lot, perhaps too much. I tend to over think every possible scenario and I can't rest until I been assured by a lot of people. For some of us, the small amount of money we get from DWP is what keeps us from becoming homeless. If it takes an extra post or threat to protect my home, then that's a small price to pay.
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 18:20 #7743

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Ducray wrote:
osris wrote:
Hi Benefits Bolshie, I was wondering where you were. No doubt licking your wounds after the chastisement you got on that thread you were last posting on, where you were insulting a couple of people who had the temerity to query a few of your expert opinions. It sounds like you are still bearing grievances.

You are at your best, I think, when you stick to facts and not let your emotions or ego affect your posts.

The latter part of your post here was, indeed, informative, and I thank you for that.

I would appreciate it, though, if you were perhaps less bitter, and less, dare I say, bolshie. You don’t always have to live up to your username here.

I agree with you here. There is no need for fighting. Some of us (me including) worry a lot, perhaps too much. I tend to over think every possible scenario and I can't rest until I been assured by a lot of people. For some of us, the small amount of money we get from DWP is what keeps us from becoming homeless. If it takes an extra post or threat to protect my home, then that's a small price to pay.

Me too, Ducray.

That’s why most of us come to this forum—for support and reassurance. Yes, sometimes we worry too much—I for one. But I hope that this forum allows for that, however silly it might appear to more seasoned jobseekers who know a lot about DWP policy and its various nuances.

I admit that I am no expert, hence my asking so many questions—possibly to the irritation of the more seasoned jobseekers here. But if we never ask questions, how will we ever be confident enough to know where we stand with jobcentre staff.

As you say, it is the small amount of money we get from the DWP that keeps us from becoming homeless. That’s part of the reason why I am cautious in my dealings with jobcentre staff—they literally have the power to make me homeless. Given that stark reality, I don’t want to give them an excuse to make me so by being “difficult” with them.

If that is seen as being timid in the eyes of some people, so be it.
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 19:47 #7746

One thing which I think would be of much benefit here is not quoting everything in a particular post but just the relevant part(s). It's a bit of a chore to keep scrolling down to see the response to a particular comment!
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 20 May 2018 22:05 #7748

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I was told that FAJ would allow you to record your job search diary, but it doesn't,, so if they ask me I'll just say it's crap very few local jobs, and I don't care if it will pick up over time, it will never be the main choice for me, so no thanks, unless your mandating me.
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 21 May 2018 13:45 #7754

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It`s human nature to question things even if they seem foolproof and although there are many links posted to give us a head start, it would also help if the link to the regulations were posted as an http address, but the best wording within it was snipped or copy & pasted and posted directly below it in order to jump right to the piece of information we require. For example:

.. a new link from DWP is posted about FAJ and how it works/registering etc....but within the long script of words which can be very long sometimes, there is a smaller paragraph which states what we all want to read, "You are not required to open an account" or "You can open an account but DWP work coaches cannot access or ask for access to your account".....


This would then be easier to save and print off with the correct DWP heading and date printed. We could then keep this handy for such a time we meet our coach and right from the start (especially as they might try to apply it to a Claimant Commitment) that we do not want an account, or if we are directed to do so, we know they cannot gain access to it as it clearly states in the rules. Having the full https link to the website with the quote from it But MAKE SURE the web link is either FROM DWP themselves, or answered by them on Whatdotheyknow or Freedom of Information requests made and replied to that are in line with Universal Credit and not from way back in 2013!
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 21 May 2018 15:54 #7758

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Tarquin_Flotsam wrote:
One thing which I think would be of much benefit here is not quoting everything in a particular post but just the relevant part(s). It's a bit of a chore to keep scrolling down to see the response to a particular comment!

My apologies. I'm still grappling with how to delete irrelevant parts of the quoted post.
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 21 May 2018 16:04 #7759

  • osris
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At the risk of boring people.

If you have already agreed to let jobcentre staff have access to UJM, won’t it be difficult to refuse them access to FAJ? As they will ask you:

“Why do you want to refuse access to FAJ when you have agreed to allow access to UJM?”

For those who have denied access to UJM, denying access to FAJ will probably be less of an issue for jobcentre staff, who will just see it as a logical progression.
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An imagined dialogue between a jobseeker and a work coach regarding FAJ 21 May 2018 16:33 #7762

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When I signed on osris, I ticked the `allow access` box on the morning that I signed on and then when I met with my coach, she was able to view it. But when I got home, I logged in again and `unticked` the access box to deny access. My coach had never added anything for me to look at or apply for. This worked fine for me mainly because I was only applying for part time/temporary jobs anyway and although I hated UJM and the way it was set up, I was willing to meet them half way by blocking their access altogether, but when I allowed access only. FAJ doesn`t have the `activity history` section that UJM had I understand? But jut using the site should be enough and take from it the jobs/dates/times you looked at or applied for, save them as website links (and in written form as a back up) and keep a daily job search diary that looks something like:


21/05/2018 - Delivery Driver - DPD Logistics - www.DPD.UK. applied through Find a Job on 21/05/2018. Sent attached CV/cover letter to Mr X at 2:45pm by email
21/05/2018 - Driver -Warehouse - www.Acme vehicles.UK. applied through Indeed.co,uk on 21/05/2018. Sent CV/Cover letter to Mr J. Smith at 3:20pm by email

And so on.....and write down any additional notes too.
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