I've been on a two day course the Jobcentre sent me to. "Finding and Getting a Job". Because I sat there for two days I've got a certificate, not yet framed.
Most of it was common sense, though I still don't know which companies I'm supposed to target with my speculative CV and accompanying letter. "Dear Tantric Tiles, I think you're a fucking fantastic company doing fucking amazing things in the fucking fascinating world of tiles and I'd love to stick my tongue up your arse five days a week."
The method of teaching was something I'd never come across before. For each part of the course, CVs, interview techniques, etc, we were first handed ridiculously awful examples and asked to list everything that was wrong. One of the application forms was so badly completed the tutor's opinion was that the employer should get that person in for an interview to piss them off as they obviously did not want the job. We eventually had to give our examples of what to do rather than what not to do and the tutor ticked our answers and scribbled little smiley faces.
We all passed with flying colours, except for the ultra-cynical man who didn't come back for the second day. The friendly tutor tried to get us to talk amongst ourselves whenever she left the room, which was pretty frequently. We didn't say much, not really wanting to discuss our reasons for being unemployed in front of a group of five or six people we'd only known for a short time and may never see again.
I left the course with the encouragement that I am doing the right things but a dulling sense that if all of us are doing the right things why are we not successful in finding work? Maybe because hundreds of other applicants for the same jobs are doing the right things, too?
In my class there was a bookkeeper (me), a couple of construction workers, a waiter, a receptionist, an IT engineer and a gas engineer.
It's good to meet people from other walks of life.