Teen slams Jobcentre in college course row

Karl Cowell is 19. He left school last July after doing his A-Levels. He wants to become a counsellor and found a suitable course at Wakefield College. He claims the job centre told him he couldn't do that course and instead told him he had to do a very basic ICT course. The course he wants to do is at the same time, same place and costs the same. His job advisor told him he had to do the ICT course as it would help him get a job quicker and he had to improve his stastitics. (H502B235)
Karl Cowell is 19. He left school last July after doing his A-Levels. He wants to become a counsellor and found a suitable course at Wakefield College. He claims the job centre told him he couldn't do that course and instead told him he had to do a very basic ICT course. The course he wants to do is at the same time, same place and costs the same. His job advisor told him he had to do the ICT course as it would help him get a job quicker and he had to improve his stastitics. (H502B235)
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AN UNEMPLOYED teenager has criticised Jobcentre Plus staff claiming they have wasted his time and tax-payers’ money in a row over a college course.

Karl Cowell, 19, of Upton, dreams of becoming a counsellor.

He found a course at Wakefield College which he said would help him achieve his goal and find a job.

But Karl, of Main Street, claims staff at Jobcentre Plus in Hemsworth told him they would not fund the course.

Instead he says they enrolled him in a basic information technology and computer skills class.

Karl said: “The course they wanted me to go on would really not have benefitted me at all.

“It teaches you how to use the internet and apply for jobs online - things I can already do. So it would be a total waste of time and money.

“I want to do the counselling course because it will help me get a job or at least some volunteering but the job advisors won’t listen to me.”

Karl left Minsthorpe College in July 2011 with A-level qualifications in Sociology, Psychology and Business studies.

Since then he has struggled to find a full time job and has only had temporary work.

Karl said: “My job advisor told me if I wanted to do the counselling course then I’d have to sign off and stop receiving my benefits.

“My parents have agreed to help me pay for the course but I think it’s ridiculous that the government doesn’t seem to want to help young people do worthwhile courses to get jobs.

“The college said both courses cost the same and were at the same time so what is the problem?”

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Jobcentre Plus are happy to help with training where it is considered that it would significantly increase the jobseeker’s chances of obtaining employment. ITC skills are vital in today’s jobs market where people need to be able to search for jobs and apply online.”