Jobcentre Plus is part of the Department for Work and Pensions. In April 2002, it replaced the Employment Service, which ran Jobcentres, and those parts of the Benefits Agency which provided services to people of working age through social security offices. (By ‘working age’ it means people between the ages of 18 and 65.)
The Jobcentre Plus network is made up of Jobcentre Plus offices, Jobcentres and social security offices. Jobcentre Plus aims to help:
• more people into paid work
• employers fill their vacancies, and
• give people of working age the help and support which they are entitled to if they cannot work. For more information about Job Centre Plus’ services click here
Over the next year, Job Centre Plus will be introducing offices across Great Britain in place of Jobcentres and social security offices. By the end of 2006, the Jobcentre Plus network will be complete and there will be an office in all large towns and cities. People of working age, when they claim a working age benefit will be given the name of a personal adviser. They will be the main contact to help them look for work or answer any other questions they may have.
If you scroll down this page you will find some information about some of the services Job Centre Plus offers.
Services for employers
Employer Account Teams (01708 774123) will deliver tailored recruitment services for employers with ten or more vacancies including sifting, testing and support for interviewing candidates (at external or employer’s premises).
• Interview facilities, reception and refreshments
• Pre-booking appointments
• Issuing application forms
• Employer exit surveys
• Submit vacancy details to us through Employer Direct (0845 601 2001) or through our local Vacancy Service Managers (VSM) [in Walthamstow Jaz Panesar (020 8210 3078) and Joe Mumford (020 8210 3079) or Angela Spearing in Leytonstone 020 8988 5357)]
• Vacancies displayed on all Jobcentre Plus systems within 4 hours (internal systems for our advisers, Worktrain, Jobseeker Direct, jobpoints)
• Written contact from VSM within 24 hours
• Phone contact with 48 hours to check accuracy and resolve any problems with the vacancy
• Advisers will submit suitable clients to the vacancy using employers sift criteria
Jobcentre Plus works with a wide-range of partners to help develop local solutions for people who face barriers to work.
Increasing focus on “harder to reach” groups including Lone Parents, people claiming Incapacity Benefit or who have a sickness or disability, and people living in particular estates or parts of wards.
Developing outreach services to help our engagement with people – through community centres, GP’s surgeries and clinics.
Identifying existing services in the community so that we can make all our advisers aware and help with referrals.
Identifying opportunities where communities will change through redevelopment, regeneration (eg Thames Gateway, ULV, LLV, Stratford City, Olympics, local regeneration) and ensuring that Jobcentre Plus responds by contributing to the development of borough based employment plans
Looking for work
If you are claiming benefit our local advisers will help you find work. In addition, Jobseeker Direct (0845 6060 234) is a quick and easy phone service to help you find a temporary or permanent, full-time or part-time job. We can tell you about vacancies in your local area and beyond. If you’re interested in a job, we can tell you how to apply, send you an application form and, wherever possible, ring the employer to arrange an interview.
Working age benefits
Working age benefits are:
• Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Income Support
• Incapacity Benefit
• Severe Disablement Allowance
• Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
• Carer’s Allowance
• Maternity Allowance, and
• Bereavement Benefits.
How to claim
To make a claim for a working age benefit phone 0845 600 1304. Calls are charged at the rate of a local call. Call charges may be different if you call from a mobile phone. If you are claiming any benefit other than Maternity Allowance or Bereavement Benefits, we will take some details and arrange a work focused interview at your local office with your personal adviser. They are your main contact to help you look for work, or deal with any other questions you may have.
Helping people into work
Programme Centres provide a range of help, support and advice on searching for a job and
getting training. They also offer practical help to get you a job. This could include helping you to:
• develop a CV
• prepare for an interview
• apply for jobs, and
• get access to free stamps, newspapers and stationery.
Becoming self-employed may allow you to make a living doing something you’ve always
wanted to do. If you are successful, you will be able to develop the skills you want and need.
And you will get a real sense of achievement, and maybe become an employer yourself.
Work Based Learning for Adults
Work Based Learning for Adults (WBLA) can help you improve your chances of finding and keeping a job in all sorts of different ways. They can help you to:
• update your skills or gain new ones
• gain valuable qualifications
• increase the range of jobs you can apply for, and
• show potential employers how committed you are.
Basic skills training
Basic skills training can help you if you need to improve your reading, writing or maths skills, or
if English is not your first language.
New Deal aims to give you the best possible chance of finding the job you want. With the
help of local businesses, New Deal gives you the support, training, education and work
experience you need to find lasting, worthwhile employment. You will have a New Deal Personal Adviser to give you advice and guidance.
New Deal is for you if you:
• are between 18 and 24 and have been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for over
• are 25 or over and have been claiming JSA for 18 out of the last 21 months
• are 50 or over and have been out of work for six months or more
• are a lone parent
• have a disability or
• are the partner of someone who has been claiming a working age Jobcentre Plus benefit on your behalf for six months or more.
Tax credits are designed to make work pay. There are two types of tax credit – Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. You may be entitled to one or both of the tax credits, which are paid by the Inland Revenue. For more details, ring the Tax Credits Helpline on 0845 300 3900. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech difficulties, call the textphone on 0845 300 3909.
Lines are open between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week.
Services for people with disabilities
Disability Employment Advisers
Disability Employment Advisers (DEAs) provide specialist support to help disabled people to find and keep a job. They can also provide advice and support to people already in work who are worried they may lose their job for a reason associated with a health condition or disability.
DEAs can provide a range of support, advice and information, including:
• help to find the right job for you
• advice and support in looking for a job
• advice and information on training opportunities
• advice and information on keeping your job
• information on WorkPath programmes and
• information on the Disability Symbol (a symbol that allows employers to show their commitment to employing, training, keeping and promoting disabled people).
WorkPath programmes are designed to help disabled people who want to find jobs or stay in
work. We have designed each programme to help you overcome, or remove, the barriers you
face when looking for a job or when you are already in a job. The three WorkPath programmes are Access to Work, Work Preparation and WORKSTEP. They offer very practical support to tackle specific areas where you, or your employer, may need help, and so help you to achieve your potential and get the most out of your job.
WORKSTEP provides tailored support for disabled people who have more complicated barriers to getting and keeping a job. It provides a wide range of opportunities for supported jobs with mainstream employers, or in supported factories and businesses. By helping you to develop and improve your job skills, we can give you the opportunity to move into employment. Or, we will provide long-term support if this is the right option for you. WORKSTEP also offers practical help to employers so they are encouraged to develop their disabled employees.
New Deal for Disabled People
New Deal for Disabled People (NDDP) is a voluntary scheme for people getting a benefit in
connection with a disability or their health, but need some help and support along the way.
You are supported into work by a network of Job Brokers.
Working Tax Credit (disability element)
The Working Tax Credit can provide an extra amount to support workers who have a
disability. See page 20 for more information about Working Tax Credit.You can get the extra amount of Working Tax Credit if you:
• are employed or self-employed
• work an average of at least 16 hours a week,and
• have a disability which puts you at a disadvantage in getting a job.
Thinking about starting work or have been offered a job?
If you are thinking of starting work or have been offered a job, you may be worried about making
ends meet until your first wage packet, or maybe you’re not sure if it is the job for you. Before you find a job or accept a job offer, you can ask for an interview with your personal adviser. At that interview you can ask for a Better Off Calculation. This will give you an estimate of how you could be better off (for example, by getting certain benefits).
A Work Trial is a trial in an actual job with an employer. It gives you the chance to try out a
job vacancy for up to 15 working days and show the employer that you are the right person
to fill the vacancy. This is a voluntary programme. It is for you if you want to prove your ability to do the job. It is also useful if you are not sure about whether it is the job for you. Your benefits will not be affected if you want to leave the Work Trial early or you turn down any job offered at the end of the trial.
Employment on Trial is very similar to Work Trial. It gives people who have been out of work the opportunity to try out a job. If it does not work out, you may not lose your benefit if you choose to leave the job and claim Jobseeker’s Allowance again. Employment on Trial is for you if you are worried about trying a job because you think your benefit might be affected if it doesn’t work out.
To qualify for Employment on Trial, you must not:
• have worked during any of the 13 weeks before the day the job started, or
• be a full-time student or in relevant education at any time during this period.
You must stay in the job for more than four weeks, but no more than 12 weeks from the date the work began. The work must be at least 16 hours a week.
The Back to Work Bonus scheme ended on 25 October 2004. If you are receiving Income
Support (IS) or Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), and built up a bonus before this date, you may
still be able to claim the bonus but you will not be able to add to it. Your bonus will be protected until 28 January 2005. If you have not met the conditions for receiving your bonus by this date you will lose it.
A Job Grant is a tax-free payment you can get if you are taking up full-time work of at least 16
hours a week. The amount you get will be:
• £100 if you do not have a child or children, or
• £250 if you have a child or children.
You may be able to get a Job Grant if your partner is starting work and, as a result, your
benefit will end. If you have been getting help with your mortgage or housing costs, when you start work you may get Mortgage Interest Run-on to carry on helping for an extra four weeks.
If you or your partner were getting help with your mortgage or home loan when either of you
moved into full-time work and stopped getting benefit, 52-week benefit linking may be able
to help. This helps you keep certain benefits for a while.
For more detailed information on all these services, visit Jobcentre Plus’ new look offices in Leytonstone (1 – 3 Lemna Road, E11 1ZW) and in Walthamstow (7 – 13 Westbury Road, E17 3RH) or go to www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk