There is help at hand for Scotland’s jobseekers, whether it’s getting back into work if you’ve recently been made redundant, looking to change career, or finding your first job or work placement.
The JobHelp website from Jobcentre Plus provides advice and information to help people get back into work, or make that next step in their career.
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 in them.
It’s all part of the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs – a £352 billion package which has already helped millions of Britons and saved jobs.
If you’re currently unemployed and claiming benefits, there are a range of different programmes available in Scotland which can help you with employment, work placements, training, getting interviews or getting advice and financial assistance to become your own boss.
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.
We’re not all the same, and neither is the help on offer, it’s tailored to suit you. Whatever your circumstances, 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.
‘My Work Coach has my interests at heart and really understands me’
JOURNALISM GRADUATE Sonny Neil had hit a bit of a brick wall – but with the careful guidance of his Youth Work Coach, he’s back on track and the future’s looking much brighter.
Having left university in Edinburgh without the usual fanfare of a graduation ceremony, he was keen to put his four years of hard work and practical study to good use. But a national lockdown and global pandemic made job seeking especially difficult.
“There were few opportunities in my field,” he explains. “I had been applying for everything under the sun, as well as what I trained for.”
By Christmas, Sonny was in a real slump and felt like he was “getting nowhere”, something Chris Robb, a Youth Work Coach at Dalkeith recognised immediately.
He had been Sonny’s Work Coach since August 2020 and they had regular catch-ups, usually once a week.
“At first he seemed to be quite focused but it was getting to November time and he was not getting anywhere,” said Chris, who has been instrumental in delivering digital sessions with customers at the Dalkeith office to keep jobseekers motivated.
He talks about winter months being dark, but with COVID they have felt like much darker times for some of his customers.
“Lockdown has meant people have been spending so much time on their own that it’s easy for them to assume what they are doing is wrong – but the problem could be circumstances out of their control,” says Chris.
“I think in Sonny’s case he had been trying so hard but was wondering what he was doing wrong.
“I saw a lot of self-doubt and self-criticism.”
Chris continues: “He was really feeling the pressure and wanted to make sure his time at university was meaningful.”
As Sonny explains: “My biggest fear was that I would be pigeon-holed into a career I did not want to do.
“I understand there are jobs to be filled, but I was scared that if I was forced down a path I did not want to do, I would find it hard to get back.”
But he had faith in Chris’s advice.
“I feel he always has my interests at heart. I felt he really understood my desire to be a journalist,” said Sonny.
So, when Sonny was at a low, Chris suggested a motivational course which helps people to fulfil their potential.
“It’s hard to know what you want to do in life when life itself grinds to a halt,” says Chris.
Then when a PR writing opportunity came up under the Kickstart scheme – a six-month paid work placement open to 16-24 year old jobseekers on Universal Credit – Chris got in touch with Sonny immediately, and he is now awaiting the results of a second stage interview for the role.
Sonny says he is now much more positive for the future and would urge anyone to get as much help as they can from their Work Coach – they offer moral support as well as practical help.
“He would not only ask if I was doing things, but would also ask how I was doing,” he said.
“At the end of the day my Work Coach and the DWP have done the best they can to support me.”
WHERE TO GET SUPPORT
Website from Jobcentre Plus – wide range of advice, support and information for anyone looking for work.
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.