Right now, looking for work can feel overwhelming – but help is just a click away
It might be hard to know where to start but if you’re struggling with staying motivated or need help with where to look and how to improve your chances then expert, friendly help is at hand.
The JobHelp website from Jobcentre Plus provides advice, support and information to help people get back into the work– but there’s lots more.
Many industries in Scotland are hiring right now and you may already have the right skills – but it may not be something you’ve done, or thought about, before. This is where your ‘transferable skills’ (things you can already do) come in. Or you might be new to working and don’t know where to begin.
JobHelp has lots of advice and tips from experienced Jobcentre Plus Work Coaches on how to improve your CV, interview chances and job search techniques. You can also find out what it’s like to work in different sectors, and how to look for jobs.
The UK Government’s Plan for Jobs has already helped millions of Britons and saved jobs thanks to a £352 billion support package.
Its aim is to help people out of this pandemic and into work and there are a number of ways it could help you if you’re currently out of work and receiving benefits.
The UK Government has worked with the Scottish Government to develop these schemes and they run in addition to existing support offered by the Scottish Government.
Six months with a local employer
If you’re 16-24 and claiming Universal Credit you are eligible for the Kickstart Scheme, a six-month paid job with a local employer.
Your wages will be paid for by the government, but you’ll be gaining valuable skills in a genuine job in a real workplace.
Find the industry that suits you
Another option is the Sectorbased Work Academy Programme (SWAPs). So far, these six-week programmes have helped over 40,000 people to gain valuable work experience and training, enhance their CVs and build up their confidence.
Each SWAP looks at a different industry – such as construction or care – so you can pick the one that’s right for you.
Becoming your own boss
Want to start your own business? The New Enterprise Allowance could help you.
You’ll get your own mentor and there is a weekly allowance worth up to £1,274 over 26 weeks.
You can also apply for a loan to help with start-up costs if the business is less than two years old.
More than 215,000 people have become their own boss since the scheme started 10 years ago and if you’re self-employed it helps develop your business.
Get motivated with targeted help
Finally, the Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) programme is a personalised job-seeking support package.
It lasts six months and includes specialist support and regular contact from an employment adviser, a tailored action plan, help with IT skills, writing your CV and preparation for those all-important interviews.
If you’re lacking a bit of self-confidence and motivation and have been out of work for a while this could be right for you – there’s also access to wellbeing support services if needed.
Whatever your situation, there are opportunities out there and JobHelp can help you find them. Take the first step and visit the JobHelp website – it’s a good place to start.
‘I’m living the dream of being my own boss’
BRENDA HASTIE, OWNER OF WEE BUNTY’S TRADITIONAL SCOTTISH TAKEAWAY IN GOVAN, GLASGOW
After 27 years working in factories, Brenda found herself redundant and on Universal Credit – but she had a dream … to be her own boss. Research showed nobody was offering foods like steak pie, stovies, mince and tatties as takeaway options.
“I like to cook the way my mum taught me. It’s nothing fancy, but I just knew it would work!” With the encouragement and support of friends and family she plucked up the courage to tell the jobcentre of her idea. Through the New Enterprise Allowance scheme she got lots of advice and support – she says it really took the pressure off.
They put her in touch with someone at Scottish Enterprise. “He was a diamond,” she said. “He said it was a fantastic idea and that gave me a boost.”
They helped her with a business plan, she found premises and Wee Bunty’s opened on March 9, 2020 – just two weeks before national lockdown. It’s been a tough year but she’s been able, with help from her friend Gina, to deliver her takeaway meals.
She says, despite the sleepless nights, blood, sweat and tears, she doesn’t regret a thing. “I like being my own boss!”
‘Guiding people in the right direction’
LOUISE ROONEY, YOUTH WORK COACH, RUTHERGLEN, GLASGOW
Louise has 22 years’ experience in jobcentres but recently became a Work Coach for young people aged 18-24 and she loves her job.
“I approach my role as a Work Coach, first and foremost with the aim of helping our customers towards better prospects, better jobs, and ultimately a better life,” she said.
“I love the fact that every person, along with their individual set of circumstances is unique.
“Although every case may bring up different challenges or obstacles, I always engage with the customer to try and help them overcome their barriers to achieve their goals.”
She says it can be hard to break the benefit cycle and can seem impossible – but it’s not.
“With the support, additional training and funds available that we can offer, I try my best to guide them in the right direction.
“I always encourage my customers to believe in themselves, show them their own potential and, by doing this, they usually gain a new self-belief and determination to find work and in turn a better way of life.”
WHERE TO GET SUPPORT
Website from Jobcentre Plus – wide range of advice, support and information for anyone looking for work. Find out more here.
Six-month paid job with an employer. Open to 16-24 year olds claiming Universal Credit. Find out more here.
New Enterprise Allowance (NEA)
Money and support to start your own business. Includes a mentor and a weekly allowance. Start-up loans might also be available. Open to those in receipt of Universal Credit, JSA or ESA. Talk to your Jobcentre Plus Work Coach or visit the JobHelp website here.
Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAPs)
Build confidence in a new line of work, enhance CV and gain work experience. Six-week placement in a particular industry. Includes pre-employment training, work experience with an employer, a job interview or help with the application process. Open to those claiming Universal Credit, JSA or ESA. Talk to your Work Coach or visit the JobHelp website here.
Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS)
Helps you build confidence and motivation. Specialist support from an employment adviser, tailored action plan, help with IT, CV writing and interview preparation. Lasts up to six months. Open to those unemployed for at least 13 weeks and receiving Universal Credit in the Intensive Work Search Regime or New Style JSA. Talk to your Work Coach for more information.
PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH UK GOVERNMENT