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Start Earning This Summer

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As the economy starts to open up again, the summer months could be the perfect time to get back into work

If you’ve been out of work through the pandemic – or longer – the thought of getting back into employment might be daunting.

But the good news is there are people out there who want you to succeed! Your CV might need a refresh after a spell of unemployment, and there are plenty of online templates you can borrow. Check out our Reader’s Club for Jobseekers, which has tips and links to free resources.

And when you do land that interview, high street chain Timpson will dry clean your outfit for you for free to help you feel at your best. Just tell them you’re unemployed and they’ll take you at your word.

It’s worth noting too, that around 10 per cent of Timpson’s workforce are recruited from prison. So if you’re worried that your past may be hurting your prospects then ask in your local branch if they have any opportunities. Bakery chain Greggs has the same ethos, even saying that some former offenders have gone on to become their most loyal workers.

If you’ve scoured the job boards and still aren’t landing interviews, there is other help available.

SWAP joblessness for skills

SWAP – sector-based work academy programmes – pair people searching for work with employers in industries like care, construction, public sector or hospitality.

A college will provide training, which is paid for by the government. Then you’ll head into a work experience placement to top up your skills on the job. At the end of this you’ll either land an interview with the employer or get help with their application process.

Each SWAP is linked to a genuine vacancy, and while you’re not guaranteed to come out of it with a job, your skills and confidence will grow.

Because the programmes only last around six weeks, and you can continue claiming benefits throughout (and potentially travel and childcare costs), there’s really nothing to lose. And potentially a whole lot to gain.

Need to know: You must live in either England or Scotland and be claiming Universal Credit, JSA or ESA.

Kickstart your career

The economic and social effects of the pandemic have hit young people hard. If you’re aged between 16 and 24 and at risk of long-term unemployment then the Kickstart Scheme could be for you.

You’ll do a six-month work placement where you’ll pick up the skills you need to succeed in the workplace. As your earnings (up to 25 hours a week at the National Minimum Wage) are paid for by the government, there’s a strong incentive for employers. Companies of any size can sign up, and firms like Domino’s and Tesco are already on board.

Employers are also allowed to top up wages. So as well as the chance of a permanent job at the end, there’s an added incentive for the employee to get the most out of the opportunity. For other government job schemes click here.

Need to know: You must be aged 16-24 and be claiming Universal Credit.

Be your own boss

If you’re more interested in striking out alone than becoming an employee, a New Enterprise Allowance could be the way to go. People who are unemployed and/or claiming benefits can receive financial help to turn your dream into your livelihood.

The first thing you need to do is draft a business plan, which will be assessed by your JobCentre Plus work coach. If you’re successful you’ll be eligible for payments of up to £1,274 over six months. You’ll also get a startup loan and, crucially, advice from a mentor to help you take your new business in the right direction.

Need to know: NEA is available across Britain and has got nearly 150,000 business off the ground since 2011.

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