Having had to stop working because of ill health, I began a claim for state benefits through the local Job Centre.

Having been assessed as ‘fit for work’, I was made to attend a back to work course, otherwise losing benefits.

There were a number of us there, clearly people with physical or mental health issues, long-term or permanent.

Surprisingly, no computers were available even though claims now have to be made online.

Instead, we were all given A4 booklets with pre-ordered spaces to fill in answers.

These were done in pencil and handed in to the tutor after the session and returned with corrections before filling in the accepted version in pen.

No sympathy was expressed for our health conditions, we were all expected to access the ‘hidden job market’ by cold calling employers and ‘selling ourselves’.

Failure to do this, as I was to find out, led to benefits being stopped.

I am not aware of the fate of the other attendees, but I think it is extremely unlikely that any of them have obtained paid work and I guess that others have, like myself, been ‘sanctioned’.

I wonder how many of your readers are aware of this?