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.
Getting a job and keeping it is one the most important things in life. Losing your job is a very stressful and painful experience and those in that situation need our support.
I don’t have a magic wand. I can’t sort a job for everyone, but I can help signpost you in the right direction to sources of jobs, advice, help and re-training. I organise jobs fairs and apprenticeship fairs in Gloucester, try to highlight opportunities when they come up and encourage youngsters to focus on the right qualifications to make them eligible for as many opportunities as possible. There is more to be done with the National Careers Service and schools on this.
So here are some suggestions to frequently asked questions:
“I’m looking for a job – what do I do?”
The most obvious thing is to look in The Citizen on a Wednesday 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.
Is there any information and help elsewhere online?
Yes, the BBC have recently published this information giving advice on “steps to getting that job”: CLICK HERE
“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
My Jobs Fair Programme
I have organised jobs fairs about every 3 months in different parts of the city – keep checking back for details of my next jobs fair. If you subscribe to my enews you will automatically be sent a reminder of when the next jobs fair is happening.
My tips for anyone going to the Fair are:
1) Remember first impressions matter so consider your clothing.
2) Bring a CV and if you know what you’re looking for focus on those employers in that sector
3) Introduce yourself with a handshake and ask about what sort of jobs the company has available, and what sort of skills are relevant.
4) If you’re less sure of what you’re looking for talk with the JobsCentre Plus or GlosJobs.co.uk teams first
5) 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.
6) If you find your skills are short of what an employer needs, talk with TABS, Prospect and other training companies about what is available.
7) Above all – you’ll get as much out of the Jobs Fair as you put in.
There are many websites which will help signpost Gloucester residents towards job opportunities.
Do you have any suggestions about where to hold future jobs fairs? If so, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
“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.
“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.
Two jobs clubs run in Gloucester:
GFirst Job Hub is every Monday at Gloucester Library – call 0800 002 9838 for more details
G3 Rooftop Jobs Club at Gloucester Gateway is every Wednesday (10am-12noon)
“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 –
1. 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.
2. Making contact with the outside world
This could be going to a workshop or going for some training – getting mentally prepared to work.
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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
“Is the Government actually giving any money to help?”
Yes, the Youth Contract is a cash injection of £1 billion to get young unemployed people earning or learning over the next three years. The key measures include some of the things above as well as:
- 160,000 wage incentives worth up to £2,275 for each 18-24 year old an employer recruits
- 250,000 work experience placements (see above)
- 20,000 additional incentive payments to encourage employers to take on young (16-24 year old) apprentices
- £126 million set aside specifically to help 55,000 16-17 year old ‘NEETs’ into education, apprenticeships or jobs with training
- Extra support through Jobcentre Plus in the form of weekly, rather than fortnightly, signing-on meetings, more time to talk to an adviser, more help and support through Jobcentre Plus and a National Careers Service interview
That’s aside from the other investment in apprenticeships (1/2 million new starts expected this year) and the Work Programme.
“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
“Does all this help get a job?”
There are no guarantees in life. It’s hard work winning a job, but it’s possible.
Here’s an email from a constituent called Chris:
Please forward me a poster (for upcoming jobs fair) if you have one, will circulate & spread the word by posting on Facebook etc.
It would be nice to play my part in helping others find work. After just over a year “signing on” I am now finding my way back into employment: already doing a fair amount of relief care work & am now on the verge of gaining permanent employment! This was in part due to the support I had accessed via the Jobcentre – including Gloucester Works (now G-First): Envesca Training: TABS etc. – so I can testify that support is available out there AND if you get involved & take it seriously it works!!”