This DWP advice about commuting three hours a day is mind-blowing

The Department of Work and Pensions has launched a groovy new Tumblr page to reach out to yoof who are out of work.

Called 'The Daily Job Seeker', the site is filled with listicle-style articles with tips and suggestions on how to find a job.

Sadly for the DWP, people have already noticed that the site isn't really designed to help you get a job you want - rather, it's about getting you a job, any job at all, as long as you can be counted towards the current record unemployment low.

Those of us who've tried it know a minimum wage role (once childcare and commuting costs are factored in) or a zero hours contract will not in and of themselves positively affect your quality of life.

Not to mention the fact the DWP is oh-so-fond of benefit sanctions for people it doesn't think are doing enough to find work already.

So it seems a particularly ungainly move for the site to suggest people up their commute times in order to widen their job search - and yet one article titled 'Travel, for fun and for profit', advises exactly that:

The average daily commute is 55 minutes each way anyway, the post says, which is fair enough.

As is pointing out that looking outside your "geographic comfort zone" can widen the number of roles available (the post quotes Nomis figures which show there are currently 76,000 jobs open in Barnsley, but 35 minutes away in Sheffield, there are 250,000.)

The site says that looking further afield - perhaps in a major city - will "undoubtedly" increase your pay and further job opportunities.

Obviously, it follows that the further you look, the more opportunities there are for work. Being flexible and willing to travel opens you up to different economic climates and rates of pay.

But let's say you did take a job 90 minutes away from home, and you have five weeks off a year.

A daily commute between Birmingham and Liverpool city centres is 95 minutes each way.

That would cost you £550.50 a month - £6,055.50 - for 11 month's worth of trains.

Driving, it's 80 minutes, give or take, to drive the 75 miles from Birmingham to Oxford on the M40.

Which is approximately £94.40 a week, and £4,436.80 in a working year, in fuel alone.

A full time minimum wage job is worth about £12,000 a year.

And considering wage growth has slowed and zero hours contracts are on the rise, potentially more than £4K in travel costs and three hours of travelling a day don't seem that appealling.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said:

We make no apology for doing everything we can to support people into work and it’s right that we encourage jobseekers to look outside their immediate area.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)