Written by: Liam T
Fancy a career as an Immigration Officer?
Are you hard-working?
A team player?
Thrive in a challenging environment?
Have excellent people skills?
And looking for your next rewarding role?
Well, Good News! The Kent National Asylum Intake Unit needs YOU!
Yes, this actually is the gumpf the Home Office is using to entice you into becoming an Immigration Officer down here in Kent. After I saw this job advert (and the fact that it is looking to employ around 100 – yes, you read it correctly, 100 extra Immigration Officers across Kent, my ears pricked up.
The Home Office is obviously expecting an even greater summer surge compared to last year and wants more Immigration Officers in three locations: Dover’s Tug Haven, Manston Processing and Triage Centre, and a new unit soon to be opening in Folkestone (more about that later).
With my interest piqued even further, I applied for an e-ticket to an online recruitment live presentation over Microsoft teams, to find out more. Unable to record the ‘hilarity’ which was to ensue over the next hour, I thought I’d share briefly with you what was said, and how the event went.
Chapter 1 – General Housekeeping
Coming live from a pokey office in salubrious Manston (with a Home Office flag as a background), the host of the meeting was the Chief Immigration Officer. After being prompted to take notes, 10 minutes of self-congratulatory spiel was about to be endured as to what the National Asylum Intake Unit (NAIU) is, how it sits in Asylum and Human Rights Operations, how it truly makes a difference to the lives of the vulnerable and all that nonsense.
Points of note:
• Immigration Officers’ well-being and safety will always paramount in the NAIU (meaning there’s a strong chance you will get bitten!
• Regular check-ins with the Line Manager (just in case of instant regret and wanting to leave)
• But don’t worry, Officers get 25 days annual leave, plus 8 days paid holiday (pretty generous compared to the private sector, but is it a price worth paying?)
• And up to 5 days for all overtime worked (meaning if a boat is en-route, kiss any plans you had for after your shift goodbye)
Chapter 2 – A Dummies’ Guide to the Application
Following on from 10 minutes of back-slapping, this part of the broadcast was all about filling in the application, in particular the personal statement, which should be used to sell yourself. Groundbreaking tips included remembering to save often because it’s not the Home Office’s fault if there is a power outage (you don’t say?).
Remember spell check, because how many personal statements are littered with errors, and the Home Office want good communicators (really?). Oh, and get someone to proofread the statement before it is submitted.
Points of note:
• Sell yourself (because you’ll be selling yourself and your country out after all)
• Show how you’ve made a difference (well, you’re going to be facilitating the invasion of the UK, you’ll be making a difference all right)
• At the online interview, candidates will be asked about a tricky situation in their career and how they managed it (meaning it regularly ‘kicks off’ in these units, so just how mentally prepared are you?)
• And finally, candidates are quizzed on all the strengths mentioned in the personal statement, so it is important not to lie (however, lying about what you do will become second nature if employed if you’ve got any friends and family who are fervently opposed to the invasion}
Chapter 3 – Time for Questions and Answers…
At this point in the online presentation, I was losing the will to live; but bare with me, as it gets interesting. The floor was now open to the audience to type and submit their questions about becoming an Immigration Officer and they came in thick and fast.
My question was: Where will the New Folkestone Intake Unit be located and when will it open?
Awaiting Moderator to approve
I was on the list…
However, a few questions were submitted before me, so sit back and read the answers in quick-fire style:
• Will there be any Part-Time roles in Folkestone? NO (so don’t ask)
• Do you offer personal safety training (meaning “I’m scared of getting my head kicked in) YES. Two days initially and then refresher training after a year which is a one-day course. She said: “We want to keep you safe and the members of the public safe. You will be sometimes be expected to diffuse and de-escalate any tricky and potentially violent situations” (code for ‘the atmosphere often gets intense and the young males get aggressive, you’re going into a pressure cooker).
• Can I work from home? – NO – these roles are all front-facing.
• I am disabled and I find it easier to work from home than in an office, is that possible – NO
• What are annualised hours working? This is paid in addition to additional salary for any overtime worked based on shifts (meaning you’re gonna be a skivvy, accept it)
• What are the shift patterns? – An example: 2 nights, followed by 3 rest days, followed by 2 earlies and then 2 nights and then 3 rest days and so on (I actually worked the exact same shift pattern for P&O, and trust me, it’s a killer – seriously messes up your body clock. Be prepared for weight gain!).
• How many hours will I be working? – On an early for example, you will start at 7 am and work 10.5 hours. We don’t stop for lunch, you will take your meal break at the end of the shift at 16:30. (What in the? I am pretty sure that is against employment law?)
• Can I apply for the position without UK Citizenship – NO (The Home Office is hardly going to say yes now, are they)
• Can I delay my application as I am going on holiday – NO (Closing date is final – April 17. Interviews will be held in May)
• When do you expect people to start? – This will all depend on vetting and security clearance, and also on your circumstances (meaning that if you are already a Civil Servant drone the Home Office has got all its needs, so you’ve got the job, as vetting anyone not on the civil service gravy train is a chore)
• What’s the Career Path? Lots of opportunities. “Immigration Officers can advance to different ones in the Unit, so you could end up training and developing others, but the most important thing is we are supportive of growth and development and it is an exciting place to work” (essentially, you’re going to be a grunt so don’t get your hopes up).
And finally, my Question!
“David,” asks: Where will the new Folkestone Unit be located and when will it open?
(currently dreading the answer as Folkestone is my home town….)
Answer: “Frontier House, and will be fully operational by late summer, early autumn”
Frontier House is tiny in comparison to Dover and Manston, it is a simple one-story building aimed at a quick turnaround. I guess it will be used to process minors (or those posing as them) before taxiing them out. Compared with Dover and Manston, it is on a main road, which means my camera is going to be incredibly busy this summer.
So there we have it, that concluded the virtual meeting. So, if you want to make an application, facilitate the invasion and go down in history as a traitor to your country, you have until Monday 17th April to get it in and take the shilling…But seeing as Steve Laws sent you here, I very much doubt you will.