How to use Jobcentre Plus

What is Jobcentre Plus? See how the Jobcentre can help young people get jobs, training, work experience and other opportunities.

You’ve heard about Jobcentre Plus, but what does it really do? Finding a job can be hard, especially for young people. Here’s what you need to know about how Jobcentre Plus could help you with your next steps.

You might be confused about what Jobcentre Plus is and what it does. You might not even know if it’s something you can use. This info will help you separate myths from facts.

What is it?

Jobcentre Plus is an organisation that helps people in the UK find work. Government-funded, it’s part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Where is it?

There are over 600 Jobcentre Plus offices all over the UK.

All big cities and many towns have one.

Who can use Jobcentre Plus?

If you’re of working age (that means 16+) you can use Jobcentre Plus. Graduates, this includes you! You also need to be looking for work, jobs or paid training.

How can Jobcentre Plus help me find jobs?

Jobcentre Plus offers a wide range of resources to help young people into work. Each centre has drop-in facilities where you don’t need to have an appointment.

Ask someone for help

In usual circumstances you can go in any time and speak to an advisor to get help with your job search. You can also make an appointment to speak to an advisor at a time that suits you if you prefer. Things will work slightly differently during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Find jobs and opportunities

In usual circumstances you can search through listings using Jobpoints (touch-screen computers where you can search through job listings). You can also use their computers and free Wi-Fi to apply for jobs during the Coronavirus pandemic you will need to double check what is available.

Universal Jobmatch

The DWP also has its own jobs board (formerly called Universal Jobmatch.)

Once you’ve signed up for a free account you can create a profile, add your CV and your skills, and search for vacancies.

Free training

Many Job Centres also offer free training courses on skills like writing a CV, how to apply for a job, and how to behave in a job interview. They can also help you find Apprenticeships and work experience. Check your local Jobcentre Plus centre and follow them on social media for up to date details.

Financial support

The Job Centre is where you’ll go to apply for various benefits if you need financial support while you look for work. Forget the stigma. There is no shame in accepting support when you have a right and a need to receive it. The two main types of benefit for job seekers are known as Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) and Universal Credit (UC), you can read more about these and the differences here.

Job fairs

Sometimes Jobcentre Plus runs jobs fairs or can give you information about jobs fairs going on locally. A job fair is an event where people looking for work can meet with potential employers. These are particularly useful for young people and those looking for entry-level jobs, but anyone of any age can go along.

Jobcentre Plus FAQs

Can I use Jobcentre Plus if I have graduated from University?

Yes! Many people think Jobcentre Plus is only for people without a University degree, but that’s not the case. Graduates can use Jobcentre Plus and can also apply for financial support.

I feel anxious about going to Jobcentre Plus. Will they judge me?

Jobcentre Plus is there to help you, not judge you. Most of the staff you’ll meet will be kind and understanding, even if they are busy. They understand how hard it can be to find the right job, and many of them have been exactly where you are.

Feeling anxious or nervous is normal, but just remember that THERE IS NO SHAME in struggling to find work. The climate for all jobseekers, and especially young people, is really tough right now. Even the most seasoned professionals have likely been through periods of unemployment or job insecurity.

Going to your Job Centre means you’re actively making an effort to find work – that’s a big deal, and it’s impressive. So give yourself a big cheer.

What is a Jobcentre Plus Work Coach and what do they do?

Your Work Coach is a member of staff at the Job Centre who supports you to find work. They are the person you’ll see if you make an appointment or attend a drop-in session.

A Work Coach gives advice and helps you overcome difficulties that are stopping you from finding work. They can help with anything from improving your CV to writing better job applications to learning how to use online jobs boards to find suitable vacancies.

Your Work Coach will also advise on what benefits, free training and other support you might be eligible for, and help you to get access to these.

Your Work Coach should be friendly, encouraging and supportive. Their job is to help you, not to judge you.

Can Jobcentre Plus help me start a business?

Yes! If you have an entrepreneurial streak, the New Enterprise Allowance is a scheme which supports to people looking to start (or grow) their own business. You might be eligible if you’re 18+ and receiving Universal Credit, Jobseekers’ Allowance, or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA.) As well as a financial allowance, you’ll also get a mentor who will advise and support you.

If you’re interested in setting up your own business, talk to your Jobcentre Plus Work Coach. They will listen to you talk about your business idea. They will work out if you’re eligible for the New Enterprise Allowance. If you are, they can help you apply.

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For more information, please email info@youthemployment.org.uk or call 01536 513388.

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