Plan for Jobs: skills, employment and support programmes for jobseekers

Information and guidance for those looking for a job

This page brings together guidance for jobs seekers so they can develop their skills, get advice on job applications, and search for opportunities. This is part of the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs to support, protect and create jobs across the UK.

Search and apply for jobs

Find a Job in England, Scotland or Wales through the government’s official job vacancy service that offers a simple and streamlined way for people to search for the latest jobs.

Find additional job opportunities through the Job Help website.

These resources can help you get guidance and support on applications, refining your CV and finding work:

  • the UK Government’s Job Help website for tips on applying for jobs
  • the National Careers Service available to anyone aged over 13 living in England for free and impartial information, advice and guidance to help with decisions about careers, learning and work

Find an apprenticeship

An apprenticeship combines practical training in a job with study. The UK Government is providing employers with a hiring incentive for each new apprentice they hire, with:

  • £2,000 available for every apprentice hired aged 16 to 24
  • £1,500 for those aged 25 and over

Find an apprenticeship in England, in Scotland, in Wales or in Northern Ireland

Kickstart scheme

Kickstart is a £2 billion fund which creates paid, 6-month work placements for over 200,000 young people who might be at risk of long-term unemployment. If you are 16 to 24 years old and on Universal Credit in England, Scotland or Wales, ask your Work Coach about getting a Kickstart placement.

Learn new skills

There are a number of different routes available to you to learn new skills.

Find a traineeship

Find a traineeship in England, a skills development programme for people of all ages that includes a work placement and gets you ready for an apprenticeship or job.

Learn online for free

Learn online for free with The Skills Toolkit, where you can access more than 70 high-quality courses in digital, numeracy and employability skills, packaged up with support from some of the country’s leading educational experts and employers.

Get your first Level 3 qualification

The UK Government is investing £2.5 billion in the National Skills Fund to help adults to gain the valuable skills they need to improve their job prospects.

As part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, from April 2021, any adult aged 24 and over who wants to achieve their first full Level 3 qualification (equivalent to a technical certificate or diploma, or 2 full A Levels) will be able to access almost 400 fully funded courses linking to jobs in sectors such as building and construction, health and social care, accounting, engineering, environmental conservation and more.

Take short, flexible courses

Skills Bootcamps offer flexible courses of just 12-16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific digital and technical skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. These are currently available in six regions but will expand further in 2021.

Find sector-based work experience

Contact your local Jobcentre Plus to see if you are eligible for a placement through the sector-based work academy programme. This programme offers pre-employment training, a work experience placement and a guaranteed job interview to all those who complete the first two elements.

If you have been made redundant or unemployed, or do not have any work

If you have been made redundant or unemployed, or do not have any work, these resources might help you.

The Job Entry Targeted Support Scheme

The Job Entry Targeted Support scheme is providing six months of personalised support for people who have been unable to find work within the first 3 months of unemployment.

Restart scheme

The new £2.9 billion Restart scheme will go live from Summer 2021 and provide 12 months of tailored support for those out of work for at least 12 months. This page will be updated when more information is available.

Get support from a work coach

The UK Government is doubling the number of work coaches available to help people get back into to work. Work coaches use their experience of the jobs market to help you find opportunities that match your skills, which could include types of work you’ve never considered before. Get support from your work coach.

Get financial help if your employment is affected by coronavirus

If you’ve lost your job during the coronavirus outbreak or are at risk of redundancy, the Employment and Benefits Support site tells you what financial help you can get.

It also has all the latest information on what you need to know about claiming benefits during coronavirus crisis, including information on:

Published 26 January 2021