I was talking to someone the other day about how I don't think WINZ do a great job.
The problem is, government institutions are sledge hammers. You can't get them looking at how happy someone is going to be in a job without them interfering in your life.
So what's the alternative? Either you work with "the system" and go on those courses that take valuable time away from doing something worthwhile... is there a space here for something else?
So I was thinking about this a little bit more. What's currently in this space? The answer came back - life coach. I don't know how the readers of this blog feel about life coaches but personally, I don't particularly like the idea. Those who need them can't afford them. And can you imagine asking WINZ for the funding for that sort of thing? It'd be a bit like asking:
"Can I have some funding for a 'lil dog and a handbag to go with it?"
Because let's face it. A life coach is kind of a fashion accessory. Something for the miserable rich and famous to sling around proving that they're deeper than their catch phrase.
Isn't that kind of how psychiatrists were seen in the early 80's?
When the cat died, people almost instantly started telling me about cats that were avaliable. Jobs are kind of the same. I was out of work and people didn't really think about the appropriateness of the links they sent me. Even after telling them that I really didn't want to be doing something they would respond with "think of the money". Depressing, depressing, depressing.
So even someone in a more... supportive role. Someone who actually talks to you about what you want and need and can understand why you're rejecting a role would be a huge step up in my opinion. And hell, if they actually assessed whether you were likely to get any benefit from a course, even that would help.
I don't think there's a perfect system to be had, but I think we can improve. The problem is, sledge hammers are only really good for one thing - breaking things.