Work experience and volunteering

Contact Jobcentre Plus to find out about opportunities that can improve your chances of finding work, including work experience, volunteering and work trials.

You might be able to get help with costs like childcare and travel.

Work experience

If you’re getting Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Universal Credit, you can get work experience through Jobcentre Plus.

Work experience can last between 2 and 8 weeks, and you’ll normally be expected to work between 25 and 30 hours a week. You’ll carry on getting your JSA or Universal Credit payment as long as you continue to look for work.

You may also be able to get help from Jobcentre Plus for costs related to work experience, for example for travel or childcare.

Work Together (volunteering)

If you’re unemployed and looking for work, you can volunteer with a local organisation through the Work Together programme. Your Jobcentre Plus work coach will help you to find a volunteering opportunity.

Work trials

A work trial gives you the chance to try out a job and keep getting benefits. It can last up to 30 working days, and you might get offered a job at the end.

Work trials are voluntary, and your benefits will not be affected if you finish early or turn down a job you’re offered.

Your Jobcentre Plus can arrange a work trial for you, or you can ask them about how to do this yourself.

Employment on Trial

Employment on Trial allows you to leave a job and start claiming JSA again without this affecting your benefit (unless you’re sacked or leave because of misconduct).

You must have worked more than 16 hours a week for between 4 and 12 weeks before leaving the job.