One of the great myths in 2010 was young people wandering around at my early Jobs Fairs and saying ‘there’s nothing here for me’. Well there is if they look more closely – the opportunities for chefs in the Army, for photographers in the RAF, for IT staff in the NHS, for care home assistants at several local companies, and for Business Admin apprentices in several sectors.
“I’m looking for a job – what do I do?”
The most obvious thing is to look in The Citizen newspaper or online on websites like http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/jobs, http://www.glosjobs.co.uk/ or http://www.gavca.org.uk/charity-jobs/, but at different times in your life you may need extra advice and support to help you into work. Whether you are a lone parent, disabled, leaving school or college, over 50, or simply out of work, there’s practical help available.
The JobCentre Plus has one of Britain’s largest databases of job vacancies, which is updated constantly. Thousands of new jobs are available every week. You can also look for voluntary work which can help you develop and learn new skills while you’re looking for a job. There are hundreds of jobs currently available in and around Gloucester on the JobCentre Plus website: CLICK HERE to be taken to where they are listed.
“What benefits can I claim while I’m looking?”
You can claim Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) online if you are:
- actively looking for work or working less than 16 hours per week
- over 18 but below State Pension age
- living in England, Scotland or Wales
"What should I do at a jobs fair?"
I have organised jobs fairs in different parts of the city. My tips for anyone going to a Jobs Fair are:
- Remember first impressions matter so consider your clothing.
- Bring a CV and if you know what you’re looking for focus on those employers in that sector
- Introduce yourself with a handshake and ask about what sort of jobs the company has available, and what sort of skills are relevant.
- If you’re less sure of what you’re looking for talk with the JobsCentre Plus or GlosJobs.co.uk teams first
- Try and leave with a contact name and e mail address and a clear idea of how to follow up chasing a job. If you think that your CV needs tweaking for that employer make notes and adapt it at home before sending it off.
- If you find your skills are short of what an employer needs, talk with TABS, Prospect and other training companies about what is available.
- Above all – you’ll get as much out of the Jobs Fair as you put in.
“I need help on my CV, interview techniques and confidence. How can the government help?”
There are many government funded training schemes which can help you. There is a huge amount of information on the Direct.gov website CLICK HERE or locally TABS Training , Connexions and Bridge Training provide courses.
“I’m looking for an apprenticeship – where do I start?”
There were over 1000 new apprenticeship starts in Gloucester last year (50% up from the year before) and 2011/12 will be better again. Not all employers advertise apprenticeships but many that offer then use them use the National Apprenticeship Service. Also talk to training providers like Glos Col , Prospect Training , South West Apprenticeship Company and Gloucestershire Training Group about their courses and employers who use them. Word of mouth and visiting local employers is also a good way of finding out more. Look at the specific employers websites eg EDF Energy, Renishaw, Gloucester City Council, Delphi are useful.
Gloucestershire’s FESTival Of MANufacturing, Engineering, Digital & Cyber is also a great opportunity to meet apprenticeship providers and look out for opportunities: https://www.festomane.co.uk/
“Who can help on work or career advice?”
Traditionally schools have done this, with mixed results. The Government’s new National Careers Service offers advice for people of any age. Feedback on how well this works is welcomed! Many people looking for work struggle with confidence. Jobs Clubs can provide expert support on writing CV’s, interview technique and help searching for jobs.
“What about work experience?”
Government funded voluntary work experience is for anyone aged 16 to 24 and is receiving Job Seeker Allowance. It gives you the opportunity to take part in a work placement with a real employer. It could be helpful if you have little or no recent work experience. For more information contact the Jobs Centre by CLICKING HERE
Informally ask anyone in your family for help with work experience in the school holidays. Some companies offer part time work at weekends or in the evenings.
A friend, Marcus Grant, who was out of work for a long time last year has analysed the five stages like this –
- A good place to be: Everyone needs the basics of life before they can get a job. A roof over their head, safety and food. Once that’s sorted the process of getting a job can start.
- Making contact with the outside world: This could be going to a workshop or going for some training – getting mentally prepared to work.
- Volunteering: Helping the Salvation Army for an hour, the Cathedral breakfast for the homeless or a GCH litter pick up. Getting used to work, building confidence and boosting your CV are the key things at this stage.
- Part time work: Part time jobs, especially at supermarkets, are a good way of taking the next step towards a full time job. Supermarkets give good training, they’re social places to work, and they understand the process of brining unemployed back into work – with good opportunities for converting part time jobs into full time and even management jobs.
- Full time job: Marcus stresses commitment to the search, and understanding basic human psychology to improve their chances – and writing polite letters to show their interest and commitment. Persistence and an assumption that finding the right job takes time is key.
“I’ve been out of work for over a year and need more help”
There is now some specific help for you. The Government’s “Work Programme” is a scheme to help the long-term unemployed claiming Jobseeker’s. Around 2.5 million people are expected to be supported through the new ‘Work Programme’ over the next five years.
For more information on the Work Programme CLICK HERE