What does “applying for jobs online,” mean? Does Job Centre Plus know?

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Recently Nottingham made the news for having 1700 applicants for 8 jobs at a new Costa branch. The argument was that this demonstrated how desperate people are and how many people there are chasing each job. NO IT DOESN’T.

It’s because it is easy to apply for job online, even if you don’t want it and have no chance of getting it.



So who is looking out for the digitally excluded?


mystery person imageSo just who is looking out for the digitally excluded?

According to the Governments stats “82% of the UK Population are currently online” which sounds impressive but actually if you turn it around it means nearly 1 in 5 are not. Next time you are in a pub or at the market look around you and think about what 1 in 5 looks like. That’s a lot of people!

Of course if you have the misfortune to need to go into a Job Centre Plus that figure will be much higher, as it will if you meet a group of disabled or elderly people. And these tend to be people already experiencing social disadvantage.

So who has the job of doing something about this? More

What ever happened to the fax machine?

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Fax MachineFax MachineDoing some work on digital exclusion a few years ago (part of our Digital Challenge bid) someone made the point that, to a digitally excluded person, a fax machine is actually quite high tech and there must be millions of them lying around or gone to that big tech store in the sky. Or more likely causing some African State to sink under the weight of the landfill sites they now occupy.

I couldn’t comment because for years I worked for an organisation that spent so long deciding whether a fax machine was a good thing to have (even though we had numerous requests daily to fax things through) that, by the time they agreed it was it was a good idea to have one, email had replaced them. More

Consistently inconsistent

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Using web browsers and emails –
the only consistency is the inconsistency!

For 2 years I have battled to teach computing to people who have never turned on a computer before and I am now reaching the point of total despair!

If I have a washing machine (and I am sure I do somewhere) I don’t expect the company who produced it to turn up in the middle of the night to paint it a different colour and move all the knobs and buttons around. When I get in my car in the morning I expect the dashboard to look the same as it did last night when I parked it. And when I turn the key I don’t expect a sign to appear blocking out the windscreen asking me if could send my mobile phone number or asking me if I know all these other people who drive a similar car to me and who the manufacturer feels I would really like socially if I would just allow everyone access to my car. More

Pay As You Go, the fast and expensive way to digital exclusion

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For reasons rather complex and difficult to understand I found myself in a void between ending an O2 contract and starting a Vodafone contract with the promise of an iPhone 5 from Phones4u. Needless to say Phones4u couldn’t keep its promise to deliver me an iPhone 5 in 5 working days (no other provider could promise more than 3-4 weeks but good old Phones4u were adamant 5 working days)!) So I ended up back with O2 with my iPhone 4 on “Pay As You Go” while I waited. More