A new campaign showcasing how Work Coaches are helping jobseekers back into work through a government website has been launched by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The campaign aims to increase usage of the JobHelp website, as well as raising awareness and increasing uptake of the Work Coach support, government skills, employment and support programmes and training courses available to those eligible.
DWP’s ‘jobs army’ of Work Coaches, including 13,500 additional recruits taken on since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, are using online resource JobHelp to tackle unemployment in the UK.
The JobHelp website opens up the expertise of DWP Work Coaches to jobseekers who are unable to claim Universal Credit (UC), while offering UC customers an online resource to refer back to throughout their job search.
Large parts of the economy temporarily shut during the pandemic as lockdowns were deployed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Under-25s have been disproportionately impacted, partly as they are more likely to work in sectors such retail, hospitality and leisure, which have been badly hit. Young people made up 57% of the fall in employment in the past year, with young Black Brits particularly vulnerable to losing jobs.
Between October and December 2020, 41.6% of black people aged 16-24 were unemployed – the highest rate since the last financial crisis. Heading into the pandemic, one in four Black young people in this age group was unemployed.
This includes 24-year-old Thanda Nomvete from North London, who after being unemployed for over a year, turned to his local Jobcentre Plus for help. “During COVID-19, the job market became extremely competitive and it was hard to find a role that I really wanted,” he says. Unable to meet people in person, it was particularly tough for Thanda to widen his network and make new connections.
That’s when Thanda’s DWP Work Coach Bola introduced him to the JobHelp website, which provided him with the latest information to find opportunities in a wide range of sectors, including the NHS, adult social care, retail, food production and logistics. From guidance articles to online tools, JobHelp helped Thanda access useful resources to help him with his job search and successfully find a new role.
Thanda’s Work Coach Bola was aware of the different barriers job seekers like Thanda face. “Many young Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people are sensitive to being targeted because of their ethnicity,” she says. “They feel singled-out, so it’s important to listen to them in order to be able to properly support them.” To help overcome such barriers, Bola helps young job seekers with their CVs, interview techniques and confidence building, and makes an effort to check in on their mental health and well-being.
Packed with tips on everything from how to craft a perfect CV to perfecting video interviewing skills, the JobHelp website is a good place for jobseekers to start their job search, particularly as the economy starts to pick up.
“As restrictions ease, organisations across the country will increasingly be looking for new people to join them. If you’re applying for work, the JobHelp website can help you find these vacancies and support you with every stage of your application,” says Mims Davies MP, Minister for Employment. “We know this has been a challenging time, but we are serious about supporting Britain’s workforce as we build back better.”
For more information about JobHelp, visit https://gov.uk/jobhelp