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Digital job seeker surgeries launched to help UK unemployed find work

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·3-min read
Diverse business people applicants waiting for their turn preparing for job interview sit in line queue, horizontal wide photo banner for website header design, human resources, job search concept
The service will offer employment support, helping build interview skills and will help people find local vacancies quickly to get them back into work. It will also offer advice on switching careers. Photo: Getty

A new job finding support service has been launched by the UK government, which stands to benefit 160,000 people this year.

The service will offer employment support, helping build interview skills and will help people find local vacancies quickly to get them back into work. It will also offer advice on switching careers.

A new team of 325 Job Search Advisers are now available online or over the phone to support those recently unemployed who already have the skills and experience needed to move into a new career, but might not be sure where to start.

The coronavirus has wrought widespread damage on the UK labour market, as widespread shutdowns have forced businesses to consider their positions in the market. While unemployment numbers have recovered somewhat and been supported by chancellor Rishi Sunak’s furlough scheme, that support is due to come to an end in April.

Over the next 12 months, an expected 160,000 jobseekers will receive digital support and advice as part of a new Job Finding Support (JFS) service, the government said.

The quick-fire support, which takes place across four one-to-one sessions and aims to be completed in a matter of weeks, offers mock interviews, help to identify transferable skills and advice on how to switch industries, as well as online group sessions to improve job search techniques.

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Secretary of state for Work and Pensions (DWP), Therese Coffey, said: “Job Finding Support will help jobseekers brush up on interview skills and advice, giving them a helping hand to move back into work quickly.

“Our Plan for Jobs is helping us build back better and fairer, getting job support to people who need it right across Britain and levelling up opportunity.”

The service is completely voluntary to all jobseekers who have been unemployed for less than 13 weeks and are claiming benefits. Participants are referred to the scheme through their Work Coach.

As the DWP drives forward the Plan for Jobs, it has supported over 40,000 people to retrain and upskill on the Sector-based Work Academy Programme; and recruited 8,500 new Work Coaches to spearhead efforts to get Britain working again.

Chief executive of ERSA Elizabeth Taylor said: "The government’s Plan for Jobs package of labour market initiatives is helping people to provide for their families throughout the pandemic and the Job Finding Support is another important step in helping jobseekers in these difficult times.”

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JFS will run in parallel to existing support that is available in jobcentres and will complement the role of Work Coaches who provide more intensive support for jobseekers, including anyone facing specific difficulties returning to work.

This service will also free up frontline staff as they continue to help people access the financial support they need through the welfare safety net.

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