View Full Version : ESA Work Program Interview Experience

14-10-16, 14:08
Hi guys and gals.

So today I had my first Work Program interview with JobFit. She said due to my condition I should be in the support group yet i'm on wrag and she was confused as to why I was on WRAG. She also said that due to my qualifications there is nothing much they can help me with as I already have more qualifications than they can offer me, they have nothing that could benefit me. Strange?

The part I found most interesting is signing some documents, I was asked to sign a spcific document that indicated I agreed to their policies and rules..ect, I refused to sign this document and when asked why I replied that I had not been informed of the policies and/or rules. To that she replied shockingly "uh oh yeah I have them here, i was going to read them out to you after you had signed" HA, oh really? I asked if I could take that paper home to study it and she rejected and claimed that it needed to stay with them. Somehow I find that very dodgy so my question is, why was she so keen on me signing this agreement and why am I not allowed to take it home?

Kind regards

14-10-16, 16:16
That's just a typical Work Programme advisor.

Undertrained and sticking doggedly to the bits of the rules that she can remember.
Worried more about hitting her 'performance targets' then actually helping anybody.

Of course they are supposed to provide you with copies of their rules, their complaints procedure, the building safety and evacuation procedures, etc., etc.
The Work Programme Provider Guidance, chapter 1, para.14 says:
(My highlighting and underlining).

14. Participants will be referred by Jobcentre Plus at a Work Programme referral interview, where they will be given information about their rights and responsibilities and the minimum service standards that they can expect from you. Jobcentre Plus will randomly allocate participants, according to market share arrangements, and will supply you with information about each participantAnd they should also give you another copy of any of this information at any time you ask.

You can find the full work programme provider guidance here, its a bit technical and a lot of it deals with accounting and other internal DWP/WPP procedures.
It is also updated/modified/clarified from time to time with memos.

The Work Programme is pretty useless if you can already read and write, and know how to write a CV.
It was set up to get jobseekers out of the jobcentres and get the private sector making them do jobsearches.
ESA claimants were added as an afterthought and the providers still get confused about why ESA are there, and sometimes still try to make them do jobseeker stuff. (Which of course they should not).

Best advice is to keep them happy by doing the minimum you have to, but don't let them try to make you do jobseeker activities.
eg. as an ESA participant they cannot make you apply for any jobs or do any kind of work experience.

They should not make you do any jobsearches, but may ask you to as part of your 'programme'.
It's a bit of a grey area as to whether this makes jobsearches mandatory or not, if they ask you I would refuse at first and say that as an ESA participant they cannnot mandate you to jobsearch.

You may find this thread interesting, it's about my experience of the last 6 months on the Work Programme a couple of years ago, (including when I got sanctioned for not attending a non-existent appointment, LOL):
Post number 33 gave an overview of what I though of the WP in general at the time.

Be careful with any quotes from or links to legislation and guidance in that thread; they are a couple of years old and may have changed.