Friday, 27 May 2011

“When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the Gentleman?”

Isle of Wight County Press

Submitted 27th May 2011

Dear Editor,

Many thanks to Martin Neville for his report in the Isle of Wight County Press on 20th May 2011, regarding the extent of job seeking prospects for Islanders. The CP is one of the mainstays for job hunting by the 3000 seekers on the Island, with about 130 jobs advertised on the website, as I type.

I would like the readers to consider the hidden extras regarding the prospects for unemployed men. Let us start with the conservative estimate that there are 10 jobseekers after every job; we must then add to that number people applying for that job who are not on JSA, including many people who are hopping between jobs. A popular position can literally attract 100s of applications.

It is well known, and perfectly reasonable, for an employer to filter out most applications on a cursory criterion, especially regarding the present employed status of applicants; thus most unemployed are in danger of remaining that way. Things get worse for men, as Harriet Harman’s employment bill of 2008, stipulates that if your business wants to secure government funding contracts, which includes all of the public sector, then it is legal and beneficial to discriminate against employing men. For example, DWP Broadlands consistently employs more than 80% women, like so many other public sector employers on the Island, and yet they claim brazenly to be “an equal opportunities employer”. This adequately accounts for the fact that there are over three times more men on JSA than women.

When you add the hidden extras, and compound the biases, the odds for an unemployed man getting a job are geometrically larger than 10:1. On bias alone, using the DWP example, the figure becomes 120:1 against [10:1 x 80:20 x 3:1]. The hidden extras could turn that figure to several hundred to one.

To add insult to injury, the Guardian exposed on 8th April 2011, that the managers’ of JobCentres are at liberty to set quotas for the sanctioning of ‘defaulters’ of the jobseekers agreement. For the year April 2007/8, DWP Broadlands submitted 135 claimants for sanctioning, of which 124 lost their bread money; a result of the DWP being both judge and jury. The DWP were not willing to tell me the gender breakdown, but with their employment bias I’m confident that men received a disproportionate amount of attention from this arbitrary justice.

Yours faithfully,

James McComb