Jimmy Stirling’s DWP Diary: 61 years old and the DWP have me applying to be a beauty therapist


61-year-old Jimmy Stirling told to consider ‘trainee hairdresser’ and ‘beauty therapist’ roles to provide proof he is looking for work

I AM Jimmy Stirling, a 61-year-old unemployed graphic designer, photographer and musician, single grandfather and social housing tenant living in Glasgow.

I receive Jobseeker’s Allowance of PS50 per week and have a very small pension payment of just under PS25 per week. I do voluntary work for my neighbouring community and look after one of my granddaughters for two days per week.

I was recently conscripted to take part in the UK Government’s Community Work Programme, where I would be forced to work for my Jobseeker’s Allowance, which I see as slave labour.

This not volunteering, this is not being paid a wage, this is conscription.

I am against this terrible programme and this is my experience in trying to avoid a six-month, 30-hours-per-week sentence just to juggle the government’s statistics to make them look good.

Below is my latest diary update. You can read the others here.


20 November 2015

Another relatively quiet week. I have been receiving jobs via email from the DWP and I have applied for these despite not having any experience in the job categories.

Butcher, tent repairer, admin/project assistant, commercial tyre fitter, Christmas period card retail assistant, multi drop driver, forklift driver, plastic fabricator, class 1 driver, sales administrator, service receptionist, office junior, fastfit mechanic, wood worker, trainee hairdresser, stylist/hairdresser and beauty therapist. The list goes on.

I received emails for civil service posts: telephony agent/account developer – “These roles offer you an exciting opportunity to shape and be at the heart of the government’s innovative welfare reform agenda, in particular the flagship Universal Credit.”

Other pointless positions included:

Field interviewer: must be able to drive.

NCA experienced intelligence collection officers: no experience.

HSE Science and Engineering Assurance Committee member: not a scientist.

Training offers: ‘setting up your own business’ – for people aged between 18 to 30.

And then there was the ‘Women Into Construction’ training, which I’m pretty sure doesn’t apply to me.

These are over and above my applications for jobs in the sectors where I have experience.

Whether I will even get an acknowledgement that my applications were received is another matter.

I go to see my ‘work coach’ on Wednesday and, again, I have no idea what will happen or what I will have thrust upon me.

Picture courtesy of Andrew_Writer