Dear Sir,

With regard to your letter of 11/2/2014 and the contents thereof, regarding the ‘decision’ about whether I satisfied the conditions of my Jobseeker’s Agreement between 16/1/14 and 22/1/14, I still take issue with your conclusions and feel that this is little more than a spiteful, petty, vindictive accusation, based on flawed thinking and a complete lack of understanding of my situation.

Firstly, however, I would like to point out that my response is delayed due to the fact that, although your letter, is dated 11/2/14, I did not receive it until 2/3/2014. This was probably due to the fact that, in spite of having provided my correct contact details to the DWP many times, you inexplicably managed to get my address wrong on the letter you sent out. I do NOT live in Poynton and never have. I can only conclude that this is a deliberate attempt to pervert the process of appeal. Or, you are incompetent. Either way, the DWP is not following correct procedure.

Secondly, I have read the aforementioned letter and it all seems to come down to the fact that although, you admit that I more than satisfied the stipulations of my Jobseeker’s Agreement during the period in question, in your opinion, I did not apply for a sufficient proportion of positions that were ‘within my capabilities’, rather applying only for ‘specialist roles’. I refute this conclusion completely. I applied for positions that I felt I had a reasonable chance of receiving a response from.
Moreover, my Jobseeker’s Agreement DID NOT specify a proportion of skilled/unskilled jobs that should be applied for. So, not only is your conclusion subjective, it is unenforceable, as it is your opinion against mine and I believe that I actually have more experience of what I am qualified, experienced, and capable of doing, than you or your Jobcentreplus staff, most of whom appear to have little practical experience of actual jobseeking. To me, a position such as an Office Administrator, which I have never done before, have no specific knowledge of, and requires no named qualifications, is an unskilled position, just as much as a van driver or, cleaner, may be to you.

In the meeting where your operative decided that I should be sanctioned because, in her opinion, I hadn’t applied for a sufficient number of, unskilled, minimum wage, zero-hour contract positions, the vacancy she picked, for which I hadn’t applied, bearing in mind that this took place at the end of January, was dated in November and clearly stated that it was for seasonal work ie Christmas. Why would I have applied for this particular job, that your staff member selected, specifically, based on her own extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the job market?

I have no objection to applying for positions for which I am not trained, skilled or, experienced. I believe that my experience as an Instructional Designer, Project Manager, e-Learning Specialist, Writer, Photographer, have given me many useful transferable skills. When my applications for positions, for which I am suitably qualified and experienced, are rejected because I am ‘too senior’ and ‘too experienced’, I fail to see why my applying for a job as a cleaner or garment packer is likely to have a high chance of success. Nevertheless, I have applied for every single one of these fool’s errands, as ordered by your minions. NOT ONE OF THESE TYPES OF JOBS I HAVE APPLIED FOR HAS HAD SO MUCH AS A RESPONSE.

I believe that your decision is fatally flawed and would, therefore, ask you to provide answers to the following, by way of a written response:

1. What are the specific qualifications or experience of the ‘Decision Maker’, in my case, that enables them to decide what constitutes a position that I am skilled to perform or, not?

2. Please point to the relevant section in the Jobseeker’s Agreement which states the exact number of unskilled positions I should have applied for, given that I had satisfied the actual agreement requirements.

3. Which SPECIFIC positions should I have applied for during this period, other than the one used to fabricate the decision to sanction me? It has recently become clear that many of these unskilled positions on Universal Jobmatch are, indeed, fraudulent non-jobs, something I pointed out to Jobcentreplus staff on a number of occasions. Can you prove that there were actual positions that I did NOT apply for? Was the position the staff member used to sanction me an actual job or, one of your fake jobs?

Finally, for the record, your ‘letter’ of 11/2/14 clearly states that, according to my Jobseeker’s Agreement, I ‘agreed to take a minimum of 49 job seeking steps a week and spend a minimum of 35 hours per day looking for work’ (sic). I could ask you to let me have sight of such documentation, but I know that such is impossible.

I await your response.

Yours faithfully,

Mark L. Potts