Unemployment Benefits, Work Experience… and an Apprenticeship?Posted: 8th of May 2015 by Tom Clover
If you are currently unemployed and looking for work you could get some much-needed work experience via your local job centre. If you are aged 18-24, and have little or no real work history it might be worth considering doing some work experience to boost your CV. Typically, work experience lasts between 2 and 8 weeks and can be found in your local area with the help of your work coach at your jobcentre plus.
Of course, you may wonder why you would consider working for free when what you are actually after is a paid job, but some decent work experience can help make you more attractive to employers. It not only offers you the chance to learn some new skills and get someone to act as a reference for any jobs you are applying for, but also has the benefit of making you seem willing to work. It is hard to over-estimate the benefit of a can-do attitude when it comes to standing out from the crowd, and work experience shows exactly that. Plus, you will also gain some skills during your work experience, which could also help boost your confidence.
If you are currently claiming benefits, you can continue to do so while doing your work experience if you have been claiming for at least 13 weeks. We would advise that you check at the jobcentre first, but work experience can lead to employment or even an apprenticeship. Again, if this is the case, you must tell your advisor at the jobcentre so they are aware of any changes in your circumstances. If you are offered an apprenticeship during your work experience, you can have your work experience extended for up to 4 weeks while the paperwork is sorted out for your apprenticeship.
When it comes to finding work experience openings, you can either look for yourself (why not check the openings right here at Notgoingtouni.co.uk), or ask for help at your local jobcentre plus. Some work experience placements will require a formal application process, and maybe an interview too. While this may seem like a chore, it can help give you some experience of these processes and a chance to practice your interview technique too!
If you are claiming benefits you will need to continue attending any meetings and to sign on at the jobcentre. However, if you are asked to leave your work experience due to gross misconduct (such a stealing, violent behaviour, or verbal abuse) then you benefits will be sanctioned – meaning you won’t get any for a set amount of time.
Overall, work experience can provide a great opportunity to show that you are willing to work, get yourself seen, and also gain some skills that will help boost your employability while you continue looking for a paid job.
However, most importantly. If you are currently claiming benefits while you look for work, you should always make sure to check how or if your benefits may be affected by any period of work experience.
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