Welcome to The Avanta Files

Hello and Welcome to The Avanta Files Blog!

I started this blog after posting stories from being sent onto the new Back to Work Programme, stared by the Coalition Government, on my personal blog, and I decided to expand it to what you see here.

As of June 17th 2013, I have finished with Avanta, but you can still read my stories as the whole site is now an Archive to my time with Avanta.

To read my new Adventures with the Job Centre, a new spin-off blog, DoleLife.com, was started, you can keep upto date with new posts by following @DoleLife_AF on Twitter, and you can still find upcoming appointments and general ramblings on my twitter, @DancingBeaver.

So, it was Goodbye

Avanta has ended! Officially! Turns out the June 17th Appointment WAS the exit interview. And they never followed up on there “threats” of dragging everyone in everyday this week or Job Search appointments, no complaints there.

Does that make this the last ever Avanta Files post? Nope, there is 1 more left (if you don’t include a new sticky welcome post), I’ll be writing a, sort of review, of my 2 years with Avanta over the weekend and hope to have it posted on Monday, I’ll then archive the site on the day of my Job Centre appointment (June 19th) and everything will be moved over to dolelife.com.

Its been a fun ride, cya on the other side.

Not so much Goodbye

So, today, I thought I had basically finished with Avanta. How wrong I was.

The whole appointment was to do a, very quick, computer questionnaire, Employment Skills or something like that. Then a quick form to fill in by the advisor for the Job Centre, the ‘Work Programme Exit Report’.

Its looking like there will be a few more appointments before I finish for real, including the possibility of a Job Search appointment, and if that wasn’t bad enough, its possible that someone within the centre (possibly management) wants EVERYONE who is finishing very soon to be at the centre EVERYDAY.

My time is up a week on Monday, I’ll keep posting here until I’m officially done, including a review of my 2 years with Avanta and all posts here from now on will be cross posted on DoleLife.com.

Dole Life and You!

Today, REALLY, wasn’t what I expected. I expected to be sitting with an advisor doing the exit review thing, but nope, it was a group session with the [new] manager.

So what was it all about, what happens when you leave avanta and what you can and can’t access through avanta, when your finished.

Its what you expect really; having to up your jobsearch, seeing the job centre whenever they tell you, doing whatever courses they tell you to do, stuff like that. The manager was diplomatic (for lack of a better word) about it, saying stuff like tell the job centre if a course they send you on isn’t suitable, saying Universal Jobmatch is basically crap, something we all know. Long story short, it was a “Use us while you can” type of thing.

The course I have on Thursday, with Northumbria Collage, is thankfully, cancelled. After we finished the session, we had a small questionnaire to fill out, just asking if you have electronic access to your CV, able to use a computer, stuff like that, and stuff I can do easily. So the manager has cancelled it for me.

So now, I have 2 more posts left before I say goodbye to The Avanta Files and start a new spin-off blog about my life on the dole, the name I wont be giving away, just yet, follow my Twitter (@DancingBeaver) (or The Avanta Files) for the latest news regarding the new blog.

Until the Exit Review post, happy job searching.

Coming to an End

This may be the final week of posts on The Avanta Files, I have my exit appointment tomorrow (Tuesday 04/06) and a Exit Course on Thursday (06/06).

So, what’s next for The Avanta Files after the final 4 posts? Well, I’ll be archiving the whole site. New comments will be allowed but there will be no new posts.

But, what about life after Avanta? I’m thinking about starting another blog, but concentrating more on life with the Job Centre and anything they send me on. Posts might be fewer and further between, but I’ll be able to re-blog some posts to add extra content to the site. Should have more news on this towards the end of the week (I need to decide if its worth it or not).

I’ll be blogging the Exit Appointment and the 2 days of the Exit Course as normal, and, sometime over the weekend, or towards Monday, I’ll post something like, an Evaluation, of my time with Avanta. That should be fun to write.

The 5 Minute Job

In a sequel to “The 10 Minute Job” I present to you, the 5 Minute Job.

Went for my Jobsearch appointment at 11:00am, got there… Computers are down and my advisor is off. 11:05am, I’m out the door.

Should get an email with my next appointment, but I’m betting its either a letter or a phone call.

So, until next time.

The Black Box [Approach]

Just got back from my “Supported” Job Search appointment, 30minutes late, because I slept in after finally getting to sleep after 5am last night, worrying about going to Avanta caused that.

Supported Job Search…. AKA Sit in front of a computer, apply for some jobs and tell us. Not that I can actually apply for any jobs while at Avanta, because Google Drive is blocked, blocked by there Symamtec Cloud Filters. Bit behind the times really, its probably one of the most reliable places to store your CV (even if the US Government can look at it at any time, without asking).

So, what do I have to do? Email them at home and CC my advisor into the emails.

Next appointment isnt until the 29th of April… Yeah…

That was the appointment, now for a smallish rant…

The black box approach they use, doesn’t work, it doesn’t take into account Individual Circumstances, Individual Problems and Individuals full stop.

I was actually recommended to sign onto the sick, its a bit pointless, I would be back where I was within a month. I told Avanta this, you know what they said… “It doesn’t matter what benefit your on, you would still be coming here, just not for job search” (not the exact words, but close). You can’t win with them.

I really feel like I’m being backed into a corner, and my fighting it is just making things worse, but I’m not going to bend over and take it, I can’t. I have no way to stop what is happening, its stressing me out to no end, not like they understand this, I’m on JSA, so I should be ready for work, I am, sort of, I just cant take going into new places on my own, making phone calls terrifies me, meeting new people, terrifies me, but they don’t understand.

I did get a referral to MIND, had my first appointment with them, they are the ones who suggested signing onto the sick. Its sort of helping, I just need a bit more support from them, their diary is booked full, so appointment will be sporadic with them, it can’t be helped.

This is going to go on for months, I really feel that no matter what I do, Its not enough for Avanta and they WILL find a way to sanction me, just because they can. I can’t take this shit.

Because I Forgot the Last Appointment

I should have wrote this on Monday, but I didn’t. I should have wrote this on Tuesday, but I didn’t. I should have wrote… well, you get the idea.

Yeah, I forgot the Appointment I had on Monday, the reason… I, for some stupid reason, thought that it was on Tuesday and NOT Monday, even though I had it in my calendar for Monday and it was written on here for Monday.

There was no malaise in me not turning up, I just had my head up my arse all weekend and just really though it was for Tuesday and not Monday.

I don’t know, it happens I guess. Next appointment is Monday 4th March, I wont forget this one.

2012 Year In Blogging – The Avanta Files Status & Annual Report

I was planning on keeping the year end Status/Annual Report for The Avanta Files secret, but since they have reset after the domain was changed. I’m making them public.

Status and Annual Report are provided by WordPress.com and Jetpack – Enjoy.

Click Here to View The Avanta Files Year in Blogging 2012 Annual Report

I Was Forgotten… Sort of

I was 10minutes late for my appointment today, thanks to Stagecoach Hartlepool, bus was 10-15minutes late, and 3 came along at once. But, I didn’t really need to worry, because my advisor forgot he booked me in for today.

It wasn’t much of an appointment, sat in-front of a computer, printed off a few admin jobs that I might have a chance of doing (bet you never heard of an administrator who has a phobia of phones [Telephonophobia], have you).

After I had a look, I sat with my advisor, who looked through them and highlighted the key points and printed off a couple more. There is one, massive, huge problem with most of these jobs, there Temporary Contracts, anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. Yes, it adds to my CV, but, do I really want to be going from Temp Job to Temp Job, not really.

That’s all there is to report really, I’m back in on 4th February at 11am for another Job Search session, not looking forward to that, at all.