When a business wants to hire a security guard, they want someone ready and licenced. They don’t expect to be told that their prospective employee will now go and get the requisite paperwork. But that, it seems, is precisely what one of Glasgow’s jobcentres expects to happen.
We were contacted last week by someone who has worked as a security guard in the past, and wants to renew his licence, but can’t save the money for the fee as he is surviving on JSA. This is precisely the sort of thing that the elusive Flexible Support Fund is supposed to help with, but he was told that the jobcentre would only come up with the money when he got a job offer. Our friend tried to point out to them that this would be too late, but they weren’t prepared to listen – so we have advised him to ask again with the help of his MP.
The Flexible Support Fund is designed to be used for things like training courses, or travel and clothing for interviews, at the discretion of the jobcentre. However, the DWP’s resistance to using the fund to help people – or even admitting of its existence – is well known, and Turn2us has observed that ‘the budget set aside for FSF has been under-spent in every year since it was introduced.’