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After being made redundant about 6 weeks ago, I needed some income and although I dreaded it I decided to sign on at my local job-centre. I actually called the number shown on the website from my mobile phone and I had to answer a series of questions including why I am claiming job-seekers allowance, and how much I have in savings, etc. This call took about roughly 40mins. You can call the number free from inside a job-centre, if you don't want to pay for the call yourself!
I was told I would have to go for an interview, so I went the following week to my local job-centre. It was reall daunting walking in there and security staring waiting at reception ready to take you to the correct place.
The first lady I saw ran through some of the same questions with me again and I had to sign some forms declaring all the information I had given was correct. I tehn had to go and see another person, whom took details of what work I was looking for, etc. This whole process probably took about 10mins in total. I was given a job-seekers booklet and some paper which I had to fill in to show how I was looking and applying for work.
You then have to go back to the job-center every 2 weeks, so they can check your job-searches and sign a form along with your signature and then your money will be paid directly into your bank account or you can get this from a post office if you don't have a bank account.
Money is paid into your account every 2 weeks which is normally the week you go into thje job-centre to sign in and get checked off, etc. I currently get about £48 per week, but I think this may vary form person to person depending on the area they live and their personal circumstances.
I personally hate going into the job-centre, the first time I went the lady who signed my booklet didn't say much. The 2nd time I visited the man behind the desk just said sign this and you can go. He didn't even check my piece of paper to show how/what I was doing to look for work.
I do how-ever think this piece of paper is a bit pointless as you could just write anything down on the paper to make it look like you are looking for work.
I think the staff here are quite unhelpful and to be honest I think this is a really lazy place to work. Half of the staff who sit in the job-centre look bored or look like they are trying to keep themselves busy with little things!
If you are out of work, this is great to get some extra cash to help you out, but don't expect mcuh help from the staff here for actually finding a job or giving you advice!