Help with moving from benefits to work – Work Experience and Volunteering

There are opportunities that can help to improve your chances of finding work such as work experience, volunteering and work trials. These schemes will provide you with good experience to put on your CV and offer you a chance to learn new skills and experience valuable to employers. Contact Jobcentre Plus for more information – you may also be able to receive help with cost such as childcare and travel expenses.

If you are aged 16 – 24 and you are receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance, you can get a work experience opportunity through Jobcentre Plus. Work experience placements usually last between 2 and 8 weeks and it is expected that you will work between 25 to 30 hours a week.

There is also the ‘Work Together’ programme which can help you if you are unemployed and looking for work. ‘Work Together’ is a volunteering programme designed to help you get back into work. You can volunteer with a local organisation which can help you work temporarily and gain experience and skills.

There are two other trial schemes which can also help when you are trying to find work.

Work trials can provide you with a chance to try out a job and to keep receiving your benefits. Work trials can last up to 30 days with the possibility of being given a job offer at the end of the trial period. Work trials are voluntary and you will not be forced to give up your benefits if you finish the trial early or turn down a job that is offered to you at the end. Work trials are an excellent way for you to experience what working in a particular job would be like and to see if it would be suitable for you. You can contact your local Jobcentre Plus to help organise a work trial for you or to ask for information about how to organise one for yourself.

‘Employment on Trial’ is the second trial scheme. This scheme allows you to leave a job you have taken and start claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance again without this affecting your benefit, unless your reason for leaving was that you were sacked or left because of misconduct. You must have worked at the job for more than 16 hours a week for a period between 4 and 12 weeks before leaving the job.


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