I’m not allowed to look for work

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A YOUNG jobseeker from Cumbernauld recently contacted the News and Chronicle to say a “back to work” scheme was preventing her from going back to work.

Sarah Allan (23), of Sandyknowes Road in Carbrain, has been looking for work for the past two years and was automatically enrolled in a Triage scheme after being out of work for nine months. She wants to apply for a creative internship with a design company, but cannot because she has been enrolled in a mandatory programme.

“I want to go in for this but I’m being blocked through no fault of my own,” said Sarah. “I’ve asked but been told I cannot apply for a creative internship because I’m on the Triage programme which has done nothing for me. These are paid positions I’m being denied the chance to put in for, I would be getting around £7 an hour - more than minimum wage and working full time.”

Sarah has a degree in digital arts and also spent £500 getting a SIA licence to work in security. But she has only been offered occasional shifts and will not be looked at

“I cannot leave Triage to apply for the internship either, as I’d lose all my benefits. It seems like a massive trap.”

Billy Lees of Cumbernauld Unemployed Workers Centre said that many other jobseekers approach his centre for assistance after finding themselves caught in a similar plight to that experienced by Sarah.

“We see quite a few people in this position,” he said. “What usually happens is they get offered work that isn’t suitable for them and quit, quite often after just one day. They are then considered to have refused work and get enrolled in one of these programmes.”

The Department of Work and Pensions cannot provide comment on individual cases.

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