My conviction was in 2013 and according to all the new regulations, it is apparently spent (2 years) so although I do not have to tick the "Do you have any unspent criminal convictions?" box on job applications, I still have to declare if I have any unprotected convictions, which I do, as it was custodial (4 weeks but not served) so will not be eligible for filtering
I have a degree, but ironically, I have been unsuccessful trying to get interviews for supermarkets (although that was just after the conviction) but I have been interviewed for jobs at universities and the NHS (this year)! For those type of jobs obviously the ROA does not apply, due to the nature of the work. I've not been successful as yet and for those organisations who do provide feedback, I am of the opinion that it is rubbish (cynical, I know) and the reason is because of the conviction. Although in saying that, I was offered a job at a London hospital in January but after the training, I decided it wasn't for me. I believe there are companies who will employ ex-offenders but due to the job market, they usually have so many applicants, they can disregard all those with convictions immediately as there are so many other people to choose from!
As someone mentioned already, what are ex-offenders supposed to do then, remain on JSA until their conviction is spent and even after that period, we still have difficulties, which reminds me of this quote:
DON'T JUDGE MY STORY BASED ON ONE CHAPTER YOU HAPPENED TO WALK INTO