Unfortunately, jobseeking isn’t always easy.
No matter how prepared you are for interviews, and how polished your CV is, finding the perfect fit for you can often take time. Add to that the potential pressure of being out of work and not bringing in a regular income, and the process can seem even more stressful.
Luckily, there is an organisation out there which is specifically set up to help out: Jobcentre Plus. Here’s everything you need to know to get started:
What is Jobcentre Plus?
Jobcentre Plus is a brand used by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help UK jobseekers enter or re-enter the workforce
First introduced in October 2001, it was initially formed as a government executive agency, bringing the Employment Service and Benefits Agency into one organisation.
All Jobcentre Plus sites are now run by the DWP, but still function in the same way: providing assistance for people in the community who are actively looking for work.
Who is Jobcentre Plus for?
Jobcentre Plus is for anyone struggling to find a new job.
You do have to be of working age, and also show that you are actively looking (and applying) for jobs.
If you’re claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) you will need to visit your nearest office every two weeks. However, you do not need to be claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance to visit Jobcentre Plus, and anyone looking for new opportunities in their area is welcome.
How can it help me?
By offering personalised support and advice while you’re searching for a job.
Their advisers will provide information on jobs in your area, any apprentice schemes available to you and any training schemes which may suit your career plans. Additionally, their Universal Jobmatch service will help you search for new positions, and make your CV visible to employers.
Jobcentre Plus is also the place to find out what social security benefits are available to help make your job search easier, and what you’re entitled to claim.
How do I get started?
The easiest way to see what your local Jobcentre Plus can offer is by getting in touch with them directly.
Call your local office and book an appointment to speak to one of their advisers. During the appointment they’ll interview you about your employment history, and learn more about what it is you look for in a role.
During this first interview they’ll also be able to talk to you about how to claim benefits such as JSA, or anything else which can ease the financial burden while you’re job hunting.
How do I find my nearest office?
It’s easy to find your nearest Jobcentre Plus office.
Simply call the Jobcentre Plus phone line on 0345 696 9234 (Welsh Language: 0345 606 7890). Operating hours are Monday to Friday, between 8am and 6pm.