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I'm unsuitable

Remember I was thinking about doing the Social Service Worker program at Algonquin? Well, it seems I’m ineligible for funding for retraining from the government. Actually, that’s not quite accurate – I’m eligible, but I’m not suitable.

It seems the Second Career program has three levels of assessment to determine whether someone qualifies to receive funding: eligibility, suitability and financial need. Eligibility is easy: if you were laid off, you’re eligible. This is how the government can make such claims as “80% of unemployed Ontarians are eligible for retraining under the Second Career program.”

But once they’ve established our eligibility, they disqualify most of us in the suitability assessment.

Apparently very few people in Ottawa are deemed suitable. The suitability assessment is based on scores in six categories, including the career and sector you’re coming from. If they’re not on the “declining list” in your region, you don’t get any points. And very few careers and sectors are deemed to be in decline in Ottawa.

So that’s that. I’m disqualified.

Oh well. It was just an idea, and there are other ideas where that one came from. Bigger and better ideas even.

19 comments to I’m unsuitable

  • “Unsuitable.” Gosh, could they choose a more judge-y word?

  • Ahh thank god the government has ways to make sure the programmes they start up never actually do anything.

    Personally i find this unsuitable but maybe it’s just me.

  • I am so disappointed for you. But I want to thank you for bringing this use of terminology to our attention. “Unsuitable” indeed.

    I now have P.D. James’ book “An Unsuitable Job for a Woman” on the brain.

  • molly

    You are a wonderful, gifted writer. Selfishly, I wish this would be your career choice and that it paid well. You probably wouldn’t be comfortable in suits, anyway.

  • reb

    so what _sustainable_ careers are in demand in Ottawa?

  • Deb

    You are probably the Most Suitable person for a career in Social Work that I know. Any other ways of getting student assistance to be able to go?

  • Bethany

    Man, that’s crap. (Pardon my salty language.) Seems like they’re intentionally misleading people, talking about eligibility versus suitability.

    Canada must have private foundations/endowments where you can apply for scholarships. Have you looked for any of those?

  • Livefrom161, yeah, I know, it sounds so harsh, like I *failed* somehow.

    Dave, I can’t help but wonder if the Second Career program is all about the illusion of doing something, more than actually doing anything.

    Julia, I got fired once for being a woman. The boss actually said “I think it’s a man’s job.” I gave him ample opportunity to rephrase it, but he kept insisting it was because I was a woman, and this was a “man’s job.” It was shipping/receiving. He fired me and hired his buddy. I reported him to the Human Rights Commission and won.

    Molly, thank you very much. I would love to be a writer.

    Reb, my career choice met the “suitability” requirement, since there is a demand for social service workers in Ottawa. But the job I was laid off from isn’t “in decline,” so I failed the suitability test.

    Thanks Deb. I’m going to see if I can find a way to do my BSW or MSW at Carleton. I’m too late for 2010, so I’m looking into 2011.

    Bethany, yeah, it’s a bit of semantic sleight of hand. We do have student loans and grants, and I’m going to see what I can do.

    Nursemyra, thank you. :)

  • XUP

    What a scam. How much could it possibly cost them to put you through the program in order to give you a whole new career and bring someone imminently qualified into the field? This reminds me of my neighbour (the one who looks after Bazel) who is on disability but managed to find herself a very part-time job so she could get a little bit out of the hole of poverty she’s been living in. She was very up front with her earnings and they’ve been taking half of her wages off her disability. Now she got a letter saying they were cutting her off disability since she was earning money regularly. She’s freaking out — because she really needs the drug plan that goes along with the disability pension.

  • XUP

    So this gets me to thinking that if you are able to become a social worker, YOU might have to be the person who cuts someone like this off her lifeline.

  • reb

    TO XUP

    Wit the new rules they don’t cut off the drug plan unless there is another one in place. Unfortunately ODSP’s computer system is so messed up that those stupid letters go out in error and cause panic on a regular basis.

    Tell your neighbour to take the letter to the closest legal clinic for translation it was probably sent in error as usual.

  • nurse myra’s right.

    and yep, me too for these unemployment retraining things. I was two government meetings in at offices on different corners at the city and requisite lines before being told I don’t fit some criteria. it’s easier to make do without the loops of red tapes if you can. I tried to apply for EI and it kept timing out and losing all my data. Finally filed and it bounced back for something. I never did get a claim processed.

  • XUP

    Thanks Reb. I’ve passed the message along. It seemed to make her feel a bit less panicked. Let’s hope they get this straightened out quickly so she can pay her rent at the end of the month

  • lisa in toronto

    I agree that I too can not stand our federal government. They seem determined to not help Canadians at so many levels.
    This stinks!
    Please try your MP.

  • lisa in toronto

    (I meant to add for both the post box and the retraining!)

  • Your last line made me smile. Optimism is full of grace and strength.

  • And . . . more specifically . . . I admire your grace and strength.