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AIBU

A job offer that is not!

(47 Posts)
icanhandthemback Thu 28-Jan-21 12:33:46

My youngest is at Uni and applying for internships for his placement year. He has been lucky enough to get to interview stage in most of the places he has applied to but, until recently, hasn't had any offers. He is obliged by the Uni to take the first offer he gets.
The job he really wanted is with the Civil Service so after several tests and an interview, he was absolutely thrilled when he got offered a placement subject to references and would be notified of the specifics shortly. How we celebrated!
A couple of weeks later, he got an email to say would he consider placements in Wales, despite having applied for London. There was no mention of any consequences of turning this down so he wrote to say he would prefer a place in London. He got another email acknowledging that and told he would hear of his placement shortly . A week later he got another email saying that all the places were gone in his chosen place, he would be on a waiting list and those on it would be chosen if a place came up in order of merit but no mention of how far up the list that would place him. Once again there was mention of placements in Wales.
Now, obviously he immediately wrote and said he would take a guaranteed place in Wales but would still like to be considered for a place in London if one came up. He is still waiting over a week later to see if he is going to get a place.
AIBU to think that if you write to tell someone they are going to get a placement, you should be able to provide that placement even if it isn't in the place they want? He could have turned down other jobs had he been offered them on the basis that he had the job he wanted. Surely they could count the number of vacancies and send out the right number of job offers. They could write to the others and say they were on a reserve list. The disappointment has come when he was in the middle of his exams which was disheartening and he had stopped applying to other placements because he thought he had it in the bag. I know this may not be as terrible as many of the things that are going in the world and he will get over it but others may have really floundered at this treatment.

Septimia Thu 28-Jan-21 12:54:10

It sounds like it's a rotten way to treat anyone, especially someone starting on their working life.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 28-Jan-21 13:04:54

If I understood your post, your son is applying for a traineeship as part of his studies.

Frankly, I feel he should have taken the first place offered. It isn't a permanent job and it would only do him good to see another part of the country.

SueDonim Thu 28-Jan-21 16:04:13

A number of my DD’s friend have applied for the CS. From their experiences, I’d say that the wheels of the CS grind exceedingly slow, the process taking months rather than days or weeks.

One of them was offered a job in the North of England, when she’d applied for London, but a few months in, she was offered a transfer to London so she moved there. By this time her partner had also applied to the CS and they’ve been very good at ensuring the couple can stay together.

Of course, then Covid came, when they both ended up working from her mum’s conservatory, but they’re both back in London now.

If you can remain patient, hopefully, it will pan out for your son.

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 28-Jan-21 16:53:53

I can understand his frustration at not being offered a placement in London, but as he hadn’t had any offers he must have realised that jobs in London are few and far between.
I think he should have accepted the placement in Wales.

Callistemon Thu 28-Jan-21 17:05:37

Everything is rather chaotic at the moment with people off work ill, many with Covid and many working from home. The DVLA has been in the news because of this.

If he turned down a guaranteed placement in Wales, hoping to be offered one in London, the place in Wales would have been offered to someone else on the list.

I hope he's offered another placement soon.

icanhandthemback Thu 28-Jan-21 17:35:00

I think the point was missed that he was actually originally told he had an offer where he'd applied for in London which is where his specialism is. The posts in Wales are not for that specialism but it is a year's working experience. Had the email said, turning down this may mean you don't get a place, he wouldn't have even considered saying no.
The reason he was so thrilled at this particular placement was that if you do well, you are usually taken on in a permanent placement at the end of Uni.
Yes, as an ex CS I can remember waiting over a year for my placement but that was as a permanent employee (on probation) not a placement which you have to get sorted early on because, if you can't get one, you have to change course and arrange your Uni accommodation for the next year. Last year, if you didn't arrange it before Christmas, you were lucky to find somewhere.
My husband worked in HR in an organisation that takes on a large number of people for their training at any one time. He would not have allowed for more people to be told they had a post than they had available. They would have offered the posts to the right number and if they were still missing people to fill vacancies, they would have written to the next people on the list. If they had offered a roll to someone in a specific area, the offer would have actively stated that turning it down, it may mean there wasn't a roll for them. It is the over offering and the lack of statement for the consequences which I think was unreasonable particularly as the way it was worded was as if they were just testing the water!

Peasblossom Thu 28-Jan-21 17:46:23

Just reading the way you’ve written it, did they mean he was on the waiting list for his chosen place rather than the waiting list for a place anywhere?

GrannyRose15 Thu 28-Jan-21 18:21:58

I think if they've told him they are prepared to accept him that he will get a job eventually. These things take time and he shouldn't be too down hearted.

Doodledog Thu 28-Jan-21 19:48:00

Is it worth chasing it up? He could email and ask what the situation is, and if there is anything he could be doing to prepare in the meantime.

That way, his name will be noticed, and he will come across as proactive and willing to take the initiative. It is also worth asking his course leader to chase it up.

It's no good now saying what he should have done - as I always say to my mother, 'advice that needs a time machine is no advice at all'.

M0nica Fri 29-Jan-21 17:57:42

When looking for a job, or an internship, you take what you are offered, you do not pick and choose and say you will work in one place but ot another.

This is what life and work is like. Most of us at sometime or another have had to make decisions between the right job in the wrong place and a less good job in a more convenient place. What decision you make is up to you.

Any employer other than the Civil Service would have given him an ultimatum by now, or just withdrawn the offer of an internship.

Its time he sharpened up and knuckled down.

Missfoodlove Fri 29-Jan-21 18:45:42

With a large organisation such as the CS it’s the “ foot in the door” approach.
I am sorry but I cannot empathise.
To have a specialism as an undergraduate is quite an achievement, I’m sure he will find a placement.

Nonogran Sat 30-Jan-21 00:02:52

Yep, "foot in the door" with the Civil Service it is I'm afraid. As an ex CS this much I know! It was a shame he turned down Wales.
In his shoes he should accept what he's offered regardless of specialism. No experience is ever wasted & who knows what will turn up wherever he ends up. Good luck to him.

welbeck Sat 30-Jan-21 01:52:10

agree with Monica.
he is not in a position to pick and choose.
he needs them. they don't need him; they have thousands of applicants.
it's obvious that London is going to be most popular location, therefore less availability.
he should have accepted Wales, or at least rung up as soon as he got the letter to clarify the position.
they have offered him a placement, and he has turned it down. as i read it they have fulfilled their promise.
sorry, but you did ask what we thought.
it'a life lesson for him i guess. a bird in the hand...

cc Sat 30-Jan-21 09:48:49

CS do move you around regularly once you are permanent so to be offered a post (even as an intern) is a good first step - realistically its better to take what you're offered so you have a definite place. Could be too late now though, they may well have offered the original post to someone else - he couldn't realistically expect them to take it away from them.

Jess20 Sat 30-Jan-21 09:54:06

If the Wales placement is with the DVLA he may be better to avoid that due to their horrendous working conditions for staff during the coronavirus epidemic.

Happysexagenarian Sat 30-Jan-21 10:10:39

Why can't he go to Wales? As others have said there may be an opportunity to transfer back to London in the future. Surely at the moment any job is better than no job at all.

Tanjamaltija Sat 30-Jan-21 10:26:45

He may also be entitled to travel and residence money. Why is he waiting for an e-mail? Can't he call the person who sent him the e-mail?

welshgirl2017 Sat 30-Jan-21 10:33:09

True, things at DVLA have not been good, but this is being addressed now....and we still have far, far below London and south east of England Covid rates. Wales is a great place to live and work :-)

justwokeup Sat 30-Jan-21 11:54:47

Hopefully it will be resolved this year but, if not, he does not have to change course. If he doesn’t get a placement sorted this year he could take a year out and sort one out early for next year. CS might guarantee one if he gets in touch but, I agree, he should take any CS placement offered if he can afford to do so. He could find work or voluntary work for his year out to show initiative. Depends on his finances of course, but he will be out of sync with his friends anyway so that shouldn’t be a consideration.

Riggie Sat 30-Jan-21 12:07:54

To be honest (as an ex CS) they will have plenty of applicants who are happy to snap up places.

He said he didnt want Wales so it will have been offered to someone else - theyre not going to hang around waiting while he changes his mind. If the London places are filled then there is no guarantee he is ever going to get one. Even of he is on a reserve list it means someone dropping out.

My husband is a London senior civil servant. The vast majority if his department are working from home on a more or less permanent basis - so I imagine that opportunities for interns are very limited.
Hopefully he has learned a lesson that refusing an offer - whether for an internship or in future for a paid job - will have consequences for him.

GoldenAge Sat 30-Jan-21 12:10:04

icanhandthemback - unfortunately, your son is not involved in the 'real world' of employment, but rather looking for a year-long sandwich placement (now called an internship). My first career was in Higher Education where I ran a department which had two four-year sandwich undergraduate programmes which required us to find 120 placements each year in the UK and overseas. We also had two other sandwich programmes in the faculty, meaning that figure was doubled. At the individual level it is of course important for a student to secure the placement that will give the very best learning experience, but at the institutional level it is not easy to secure the co-operation of companies/organisations that will genuinely honour that commitment, and especially in this pandemic, traditional placements are going by the board because of economic imperatives. Personally, I don't think your son is entitled to a placement in a particular area/city although he would be happier to be where he wants. However, I don't see the problem with him finding the placement himself - if he is unsuccessful he may appreciate the difficulties faced by his university, and it may be that a placement in Wales will bring him much better experience. And finally, the idea of doing an internship and later being offered a job is not that important anyway, because the internship is about providing him with experience, not a specialism, and on return to the final year of his degree your son will learn a lot more and be motivated to do so, and to widen his horizons. Going back to Year 3 with a job under his belt is hardly the driving force for him to work hard in that year - much more likely to make him complacent and then not reach his potential.

ElaineRI55 Sat 30-Jan-21 12:18:16

Sounds like a misunderstanding and a certain lack of clarity from CS. IMO they should have made it clear at interview what the offer was and whether it was guaranteed to be a place in London . When offering the position in Wales it should have been made clear if that was " the job offer" and rejecting it meant just going on the waiting list. Can he phone them for confirmation of the position - it might be easier if he can talk to someone? If he's unlikely to get a position with them now, presumably he needs to apply elsewhere. No point in anyone saying what he could/should have done. Unfortunately, disappointment is part of life as we know and whatever happens, he can learn from this, not dwell on what should have been done and will hopefully go on to secure a job in the specialism he wants. He is in the fortunate position of having parents with the sort of experience you both have and are there to advise and support him. I wish him all the best in his career.

kjmpde Sat 30-Jan-21 12:27:26

i write this as an ex civil servant. i presume the grade your son is applying for is considered as a mobile grade - anything over the first 2 levels in the civil service. yes the civil service does treat all staff badly ( pay cuts or frozen) but colleagues are usually good. so it is possible to have a good work experience. I agree that it would be better if your son can speak to somebody but it could be that staff are working remotely . Also what part of Wales ?

3dognight Sat 30-Jan-21 12:41:04

I think it may be one of those life lessons learned. Of course I hope he hears soon about a London placement.

I know nothing about the CS, but I would have advised my child to accept the Wales option.

It would have been a chance to stand on his own two feet, so to speak, gain confidence and maybe do something that he would not have ordinarily done.....

I wish him all the very best as I do all youngsters trying to find careers in these very trying times.

Please let us know how he goes on.