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JSA and Apprenticeship

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm due to visit my local JCP to sign back on to JSA. I got back off holiday just over 3 weeks ago, and I've been job hunting for any work, mostly Christmas temps, all of which was a failure even though I had call backs etc. But it turns out that was a disguised miracle. I was told by my apprenticeship people that in order to be eligible for the apprenticeship funding, I need to be unemployed for over 13 weeks (typical BS system before they'll help you).

So if I get a job, it means I can't do the apprenticeship. It's due to start in January so I'm told. I've recently agreed to do a "Access to Work" programme with them, which is basically a 3-4 week trial with a company, which if successful and I like them, I can use them during my 7-9 month apprenticeship as my placement but I don't have to accept the placement, its just encouraged. I know I can claim JSA during this trial period, I know I'm signing off when I begin the apprenticeship, but its the difference between now and then.

I can't get a job because I'm stuck in a catch 22. I either get a job, and throw away the one opportunity I have of getting the qualifications I need, after having years of rejection for funding by the job centre (and various charities I've tried). Which I'm not going to do, I want this so bad, but I'm lost on what to do!

The JCP will force me to job hunt and apply for jobs, any that are successful I can't refuse on these grounds, because it will terminate my JSA. They will also send me on the Work Programme, which is solely for job searching. Which in my case would be even more of a waste of time since I can't accept employment. With what I've said so far, I'm already breaking the agreement of JSA. But I can't live on a further nothing for 2 months. The way I supported myself the past few weeks, I used my left over holiday money to support myself and I claimed £40 I handed in to lost and found at ASDA before I went on holiday. I now have £2 something.

What are my options? my interview is Thursday, I will tell them all of this before I sign anything, but I'm sure they're going to refuse me, or not know what to do with me. If that's the case I'll have to seek advice from Citizens Advice too. But I'd like to know anything prior, its stressing me out.


  • LauraOLauraO Posts: 535 Incredible Poster
    :wave: JavaKrypt,

    Just stumbled across this and can see you wrote this a little while ago now. It looks as though you will have had your interview by now, have there been any further developments?

    I does sound like a real Catch 22 situation as you said, but you seemed to have some steps to take, such as talking to your JCP advisor and also to CAB, did any of these help?

    I am going to move this thread over to the work forum as I think you may get more replies there going forwards :)

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've had 2 interviews since then, both ended with me not claiming JSA because I'm not entitled. I got told I could claim Carers Allowance for my brother and get a top up with Income Support, but can't claim that either because I'm not entitled. I have no leads, everything I ask, they don't help. Everything I find, it ends with me not being entitled because I'm doing this course even when I meet other criteria.

    There is someone in the family who works in the JCP (but not an advisor), he's going to get back to me about it and see what I can claim, but so far I've got nothing. I've told the training place I have a week or so before I seriously question if I can stay on this course. I want this, I don't want to have to give it up after being dropped in the past for budget cuts and going back into the system.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey JavaKrypt,

    I'm not familiar in this area and can't give you the specific advice you need.

    Sorry to hear that the interviews did not go well. It does seem a tricky and frustrating situation.

    How are you managing to support yourself in the meantime?

    Maybe it would be an idea to visit the Citizen's Advice as they will be able to provide the specialist advice you need.

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not really supporting myself, my debts are catching up with me, I'm saving the £16 I have day after day just so I can buy a bus pass for the following week, I'm taking packed lunches using the food my brother paid for. Luckily, he's paying my share of the bills while I'm not getting any money, but obviously means I owe him hundreds more. I'm going to phone tomorrow and ask about a Training Allowance, the form only says "These are available to people undergoing training or rehabilitation in a government approved scheme", which I am. Not holding my breath right now.

    I had an interview for a placement today, it went well, but it's totally not the role I'm after, or what I'm fully trained for with what they wanted, not made me feel that great honestly. Puts me back into the same situation in the past with the JCP, sending me forward for the wrong jobs making me feel a fool. :(

    Been the CAB twice, they gave me the same advice I managed to bleed out the JCP [in a much quicker time frame though], they've not got much of an idea either with my situation.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru

    I'm really sorry for your situation at the moment. It seems so frustrating as you clearly want to better yourself but in the meantime are suffering financially.

    I would say to hang on in there and persevere with what you want to do, as things can get better.

    In terms of where else you can find advice, try searching through our Local Advice Finder. Just type in your postcode and select the advice topic you require.

    You can also try submitting your query to our askTheSite . The CAB answer our questions in this area and if you submit all the relevant information then they may be able to help.

    You must not be feeling that great at the moment at all. You could try writing to your local MP to see if they can make a difference. This is not the norm but anything is worth a try.

    Good luck and keep us posted. :)
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