I posted this to Avanta 3 weeks ago. No reply, so I’m resending it and putting it up here.
To whom it may concern
I am writing to lodge a formal complaint against Avanta. I do not wish to target any individual branch or person in my complaint but, rather, your organisation as a whole. My reasons for this are that I believe any branches or individuals are only acting in the interests of your company and their actions are a reflection of what is expected of them.
I will state, however, that my branch is the [removed] branch – but I’m fully aware my complaints are not limited to this one branch.
I am extremely dis-satisfied with what is supposed to be a service intended to help myself, and other jobseekers, back into work. There is nothing about Avanta which proves to me that Avanta are interested in anything more than filling their own pockets.
My complaints are as follows, and in no particular chronological order:
1. Supplying incorrect information regarding appointments – dates and/or times – then logging down lack of attendance resulting from this.
2. Subjecting jobseekers to meaningless introductory assessments. The online career finder is without purpose and highly flawed in it’s execution.
3. Recording information on the system stating that the adviser has helped in an area they have not. In my case, it was noted down that the adviser had helped me with my CV when this was not the case. I already had a complete CV.
4. Monthly adviser appointments which are merely a repeat of the last appointment. Same useless conversation, quick job search then sent on my way.
5. Being told one thing then having it retracted/changed. In one instance I was told an activity was optional, then mandated to do it when I showed no interest.
6. Threats of sanctions for any disagreement. E.g. see number 5. I was threatened with a sanction simply for complaining about this to my adviser.
7. Obvious tricks used to ‘pretend’ the company is doing more than it actually is. E.g. giving everybody the same appointment time then making people wait for over an hour while seen individually – to have the exact same conversation on an indivudal basis (when it could have been done in a 10 minute group)
8. Setting “Back to Work” deadline dates then blaming me, the jobseeker, for not having a job by this date. This makes no sense.
9. Advisers using phrases such as “We need to get you into a job or else we don’t get paid”
10. Requiring the Jobseeker to attend “supervised job search” sessions. I do not need to be supervised. I can do this at home, without your company being paid for my attendance. The job centre are happy with my job search activity – your company has no place in supervising it. Furthermore, there are privacy issues concerning the use of publicly accessible computer systems. And again, threatened with sanctions for raising these issues.
11. Pre Employment Training course. I was told what this entailed. It sounds exactly like every other useless course of it’s type. Basically it’s just an excuse to look like you’re doing something to earn your money. In reality, many jobseekers do not need this course or have done the same course in the past (albeit, under a different guise)
12. Staff openly talking about being terminated and/or resigning, in front of jobseekers.
13. Staff openly mocking/complaining about the company, Avanta, in front of jobseekers. While I share their views, I also note the lack of professionalism in doing so.
14. Staff have limited I.T. skills – to the point I’ve had to instruct both my advisers (previous and current) on how to use their system properly. The alternative being to watch them struggle to execute the simplest task because they don’t know how.
The list does go on, but I think this will do for now.
My complaints are those specifics (and more), but in general it is simply that your company, Avanta, are nothing more than a useless burden upon the jobseeker. Avanta have, in no way, provided me with any help towards achieving employment, and I am constantly witnessing problems like the ones listed. Avanta are nothing more than a highly inefficient, ineffective waste of time and money for everyone concerned.
I have no suggestions on how to improve this. I believe my list is a result of staff attempting to do their best to justify why this company exists, and failing so hard because they cannot. It is clear that your company can not help in the battle against unemployment for 2 main reasons:
1. Avanta does not create more jobs. Avanta merely aims to put the unemployed into existing jobs, which would be taken by someone else anyway. So you’re just changing WHO is left unemployed.
2. Avanta are entirely ineffective at achieving the latter part of point number 1 anyway, so even the one thing Avanta CAN do… it doesn’t.
I do not limit this to your company either. This goes for all companies similar to Avanta, under the Work Programme. If I were sent to a different company, they’d receive the same letter.
I think the only solution to my complaints is for your company (and the Work Programme in general) to cease to exist. I am starting my complaint with yourselves, as that is the complaints procedure which I must go through.
I look forward to your response on this matter. Please do not take my comments personally. I understand Avanta is out to profit like most other companies. I just disagree with the manner in which it does it, and how I’m forced to be a pawn in that game.