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The Illiterate and Untruthful C.V. written for me by A4e


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I have been placed on the Work Programme with A4e and yesterday was seen by an A4e ‘recruiter/client adviser’.

 

He decided that he was going to rewrite my C.V. and ended up giving me a new one littered with bad grammar and untruthful statements about my previous employment.

 

He began by cutting and pasting the Personal Profile from his own C.V., saying it was a ‘generic’ that he always uses for A4e clients. It goes:

 

A motivated, conscientious and meticulous individual who performs to high standards at all times. With high level organisational and instructional abilities in a fast changing and complex environments. Multi-skilled, versatile and methodical with a hardworking and enthusiastic approach to achieving goals. A self disciplined team player with proven skills in high-pressure environments with excellent communication abilities.

 

A grammarian would have a field day with this semi-literate drivel. It’s the kind of writing that Kingsley Amis liked to quote when lamenting the falling standards of English usage.

 

Of course, this so-called Personal Profile is not a personal description of me. It’s the adviser’s inflated and poorly expressed opinion of himself which he sticks willy-nilly on other people’s C.V.s. He even thinks he has ‘excellent communication abilities’.

 

After putting his Personal Profile on my C.V., the adviser then asked me for details of jobs I had done and began writing descriptions them. Here is part of what he wrote about my work at an engineering company (here fictitiously renamed Rontgen):

 

Whilst working at Rontgen I was responsible for all aspect of administration work, I was also responsible for stock ordering and oversee shipment of Rontgen products.

 

The description of my duties is accurate, but he blunders the grammar, unable to get the parts of the sentence to agree with one another.

 

Here is his description of a telemarketing job I once did on a short contract. Now the grammar is better, but he has said things about my employment that are not true, blatantly making things up:

 

Whilst working at Techno I was responsible for appointment booking for external field sales agents. I was targeted on making 100 calls a day with a 5 hour a day talk time. While I was at Techno I helped secure 3-4 dental plans a week. I generated over £40,000 a week in revenue which enabled me to be the highest performer in the office.

 

I said nothing about ‘making 100 calls a day’ or ‘a 5 hour a day talk time’, details he never asked me about. I certainly never claimed that ‘I generated over £40,000 a week in revenue’ or that I was ‘the highest performer in the office’.

 

I have no idea how much revenue was generated by my calls, which were merely to book appointments with sales agents, but the invented figure of ‘£40,000’ is clearly ludicrous.

 

If a telemarketing operator were generating ‘over £40,000 a week in revenue’ the annual revenue he generated would be about £2,000,000 – and on my 13-week contract I would have generated about £500,000. He invented this preposterous figure to sound impressive, not because it is true.

 

The adviser was unable to spell correctly without the help of the spell-checker. At one point he wanted to write the word ‘priorities’ but spelt it ‘prioritys’. He noticed that a red line had appeared under the word so he added an apostrophe to make it ‘priority’s’. The spell-checker removed the red line. I wondered whether he would realise it was still spelt wrongly, now as a possessive instead of a plural, but he left it spelt with the apostrophe.

 

My original C.V. says I am a ‘good communicator’, which I believe is true. But the C.V. written by this A4e adviser is illiterate and mendacious.

 

I do not mind that some people cannot express themselves well, but I object to such a person being employed by A4e to rewrite C.V.s in this abysmal manner.

 

The adviser claims that he has ‘excellent communication abilities’, but he wrote a C.V. for me that is full of grammatical errors. He claims to be ‘a conscientious and meticulous individual’, but he made up things about my previous employment, blatantly misrepresenting the truth.

 

Of course, a good C.V. is valuable as it creates that all-important first impression to potential employers. It should be clearly written and an honest record of an individual’s record of employment.

 

I am fortunate to have had a good education and so can easily spot the errors in the C.V. written for me yesterday. But there are unemployed people who struggle with the English language and genuinely need help, and A4e’s employment this illiterate adviser is a sad case of the blind leading the blind.

 

I would like an A4e adviser that I can trust and respect. But I do not have one. Today, he phoned to tell me that he wants to put me on a job placement as a cleaner.

 

It's regrettable that the government have seen fit to use A4e for the Work Programme. A4e were investigated for fraud by the DWP in 2009, leading to the removal of several corrupt employees, and were fined £60,000 under the Data Protection Act in 2010 for losing the unencrypted personal details of clients sent to them by JCP.

 

The Times has described this company saying: ’A4e is a business consultancy that offers “to make millions from the unemployed by treating them as a commodity” to private and public companies.’

Edited by FitzWilliam
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I'm surprised someone tried to write a CV for you. I'm with Working Links. All the adviser did was advise me on what she thinks I should do. She said there was only one issue with my personal statement - the use of the word I.

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I totally objected to my jobcentre advisor telling me to remove my degree AND 20 yrs experience from my cv or I won't get a job! Isn't that lying just as bad as saying you have something you don't? Many managers wouldn't wish to employ someone with better qualifications than them and would be rightly annoyed when it comes out that they are. The taxpayer paid £80k for me to do 5 years uni to get that! I keep saying retrain me but they can't apparently and I can't retrain at Uni all over again in my very late 40's with student debt of £20k plus! Stalemate.

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I totally objected to my jobcentre advisor telling me to remove my degree AND 20 yrs experience from my cv or I won't get a job!

 

Yes, there is a very unfortunate strain of anti-intellectualism in British society. I have been told by various people to avoid mentioning on my C.V. that I have a first-class honours degree. A lot of stress is placed on having 'experience' in job advertisements, as if this were some great leveler, but ability is a far greater quality.

 

* * *

 

Staff at my jobcentre do not like the contracting of A4e by JCP, believing that it is taking work they should be doing. They are pretty amazed that A4e, after losing its previous contract over the fraud scandal in 2009, were then awarded a new contract for the Work Programme. 'Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?'

 

Fortunately, I have arranged my own placement at the local second-hand bookshop so will not be dumped in a cleaning job by A4e. :-)

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I have put in a complaint about one private "training provider" contracted to the JCP as they turned up 1 hr late at the venue and sent the admin girl who looked quite shaken and admitted she knew nothing about the course for the day. She was hoping someone else from her office would "rescue" her. There was anger in the room as many of the participants just needed a cv and was told the day was to get them sorted with one. There were no computers at the venue and the admin girl said that they just talk about how to do a cv all day but do not give help with using a computer. If the claimants didn't turn up or present a cv to the Jobcentre, they lose benefits. It was dire.

 

Also my friends son went to Prospects (private provider) for work help but they admitted on Day 1 there was nothing more they could do and sent him home. 6 months later he gets a letter asking him to come back to their office and fill in a form so they can get 6 months funding for "assisting him with jobsearch" and will pay him £10 in cash as "expenses" for going. Isn't this blatantly fraudulent bribery? The taxpayer is paying ££££££'s for this contract!

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Also my friends son went to Prospects (private provider) for work help but they admitted on Day 1 there was nothing more they could do and sent him home. 6 months later he gets a letter asking him to come back to their office and fill in a form so they can get 6 months funding for "assisting him with jobsearch" and will pay him £10 in cash as "expenses" for going. Isn't this blatantly fraudulent bribery? The taxpayer is paying ££££££'s for this contract!

 

Disgusting. Can't say I'm that surprised though.

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whats going on is people are being sent to these companies with already fully prepared cv's and letters' from earlier courses and they are still unemployed,once thats covered there's nothing else to do except apply. there's no skills training.

 

the man who repeats these sessions states that seventy people are applying for each vacancy,add to this health problems and disability and chances are not good.

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I was told by a JCP person that my CV was too long :jaw:

 

My CV is 4 pages long Includes 1 page of Education/Qualifications and 3 pages of Jobs worked.

 

It was also written by a very nice Australian girl who did a Masters in HR and works in my field in Australian Government. She updated it from the version written by the head of HR at the Agency I use to pick up most of my jobs through.

 

I got handed the application for a JCP Temp AO job and gave them permission to show the rest of their dept it after I informed them of the above :lol:

 

Unfortunately it will not get me a job where non exist. Nor will it get me a job in another area as now HR will not employ basic admin staff without a relevant degree to the job advertised.

 

Now degrees etc use to be a measure of intelligence. A transferable skill that could be applied to any job. Unfortunately as the standard of education started to diminish in the 80s... so did the perception of transferability of skill...

 

We are all tarred by the same brush... unfortunately that's the last brush taken out of the pot.

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I mentioned this post to one of the advisers at the JCP where I work and she said to request a copyof the complaints procedures and make sure that you do complain.Unfortunateky the Government are adamant that the only answer appears to be to outsource and privatise everything, but there are standards in place which these companies must adhere to or face fines. If the mistakes the companies are making aren't pointed out and susequently rectified then things cannot improve to provide the best possible help and support to people who have to attend the programmes.

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I was told by a JCP person that my CV was too long :jaw:

 

My CV is 4 pages long Includes 1 page of Education/Qualifications and 3 pages of Jobs worked.

 

I think I was told that it should only be a maximum of 2 pages long.

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I completely agree Flumps, we have to feedback to govt about how these private firms are performing. It is our benefit money that they are trying to get off of us that is paying for their services!

 

Also the point about cv's and degrees: it is my bugbear that it is considered that you are ok because you have a degree. Granted you seem more attractive to employers whereas those with difficulties educationally are obviously more disadvantaged and should get more support. But...

 

Why oh why is it that I can't get to sit down with an advisor or someone (anyone!) who can tell me based on my skills what jobs the country needs doing and help me get the training? I would gladly do whatever - maths teacher (my maths is rubbish though!), osteopath, whatever. I have looked at the skills shortage information for immigrants on the govt website and it gives a list of people they want to attract to Britain i.e nurses etc. I have asked if I could have support in pursuing these careers (teaching in my case). No I can't!! I have to get loans and allsorts and I did the maths and it was shocking. I would be living on £4000 a year (slightly more than the dole) for 2 years and then have accrued about £15000 debt at the end of it. And of course with cuts in services there's no guarantee of a job at the end.

 

I'm not going to bang on about immigrants but I can see the govt just wants people in and out to do work as is expedient and not train its own people. The JCP gave me a leaflet on "Executive and Managerial Recruitment Skills Course" - I thought "at last" but it costs £150 for one day and I'd have to pay it!!!!

 

After 60 applications for call-centre, shop and admin jobs in 4 months, I didn't even get an interview. That's when the JC told me to get rid of the degree and just focus on how well I can answer a phone and use a photocopier on my cv, which I find personally insulting to my skill level.

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have to get loans and allsorts and I did the maths and it was shocking. I would be living on £4000 a year (slightly more than the dole) for 2 years and then have accrued about £15000 debt at the end of it. And of course with cuts in services there's no guarantee of a job at the end.

 

No different to any other student.

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I have put in a complaint about one private "training provider" contracted to the JCP as they turned up 1 hr late at the venue and sent the admin girl who looked quite shaken and admitted she knew nothing about the course for the day. She was hoping someone else from her office would "rescue" her. There was anger in the room as many of the participants just needed a cv and was told the day was to get them sorted with one. There were no computers at the venue and the admin girl said that they just talk about how to do a cv all day but do not give help with using a computer. If the claimants didn't turn up or present a cv to the Jobcentre, they lose benefits. It was dire.

 

Also my friends son went to Prospects (private provider) for work help but they admitted on Day 1 there was nothing more they could do and sent him home. 6 months later he gets a letter asking him to come back to their office and fill in a form so they can get 6 months funding for "assisting him with jobsearch" and will pay him £10 in cash as "expenses" for going. Isn't this blatantly fraudulent bribery? The taxpayer is paying ££££££'s for this contract!

 

 

the work programme locally is in chaos. confronted with being late when half an hour early,supposed to have been in some days when i wasn't even down to be attending.no one bothered to check the times before confronting me and they had the exact same paperwork.

 

the latest one is i was booked to be on a session which wasn't even down to be on that day or i wasn't even down to attend for the booked appointment.i sat there for half an hour waiting for a session to start that was never going to.thought it was suspicious as my name wasn't on the log for that day.

 

a doctors appointment is the next step,the job centre cannot send disabled people into this.

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that may be true,it sounds so ridiculous whats happened i found it hard to believe myself as i was typing.theres one person between sixty people,it looks to be operating on a shoestring with few staff and one of these is ill most of the time, and people in increasing numbers and as you say the disabled too.these were usually kept off these programs previously by the dea.

 

the doctor can sign people off of jsa on to e&sa and take the chances with the examination.that will remove the need to attend the work programme at least for now.it pushes up anxiety in those susceptible.

 

it might be best to ignore their cv advice as most people will have one anyway and use what your comfortable with,mistakes stand out a mile while anyone can make one cv's are not the place to have any.

 

the fraud issues which relate to this company were well documented at the time of 2008-9 what stood out was the attempts of cover up/web site removal and an aggressive legal team that stifled any scrutiny of its practices.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jun/28/fraud-inquiry-government-jobs-scheme

Edited by seen this before
updated
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No different to any other student.

 

Yeah except most students don't have mortgages and are approaching 50! I'd never pay it off again, so it is different to other students who mostly have mummy and daddy.

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Indeed, most of the people I was a student with were supporting themselves and had part time jobs - I worked weekends and weekday sleep ins at a residential home. I don't remember anyone being supported by mum and dad - we were all working class and our parents could just about afford to pay their own bills. My cousin is at Uni at the moment and when at home in the holidays, works a 60 hour week to support herself while away during term time - her parents can't afford to support her financially.

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