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Starting or looking for work - What schemes are available?

If you looking for work or starting a new job and are on a low income, there are a number of schemes that might help you.

What schemes are available?

Universal Jobmatch

Universal Jobmatch is a Government website to help people find jobs.

You can use it to:

  • Search for jobs

  • Create and upload your CV

  • Get email alerts about jobs

  • Apply for jobs online

  • Keep a record of your job search activity.

You can find Universal Jobmatch through the Gov.UK website (link opens in a new window)

To use some of the services you will need to register for a Government Gateway account.(link opens in a new window)

If you are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, a JobcentrePlus adviser may require you to register with Universal Jobmatch and you could be at risk of being sanctioned if you refuse. This means your Jobseeker's Allowance could be stopped or reduced for a period.

Employment on trial scheme

If you are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance you may be able to try out a job of 16 hours or more a week, and as long as you do the job for between four and twelve weeks you can return to Jobseeker's Allowance without it affecting your benefit if it doesn't work out. This doesn't apply if you are sacked or there has been misconduct.

New Enterprise Allowance

The New Enterprise Allowance programme is intended to help unemployed people start a business through business mentoring and a weekly allowance. You can claim it if you have been claiming JSA for 26 weeks or more and live in England, Scotland or Wales.

If you take part in the New Enterprise Allowance scheme, you will get access to a volunteer business mentor who will provide guidance and support as you develop your business plan and through the early months of trading. Once you show that you have a viable business with potential for growth, you will be able to access financial support. You may be able to get a weekly allowance paid for 26 weeks (up to a total of £1,274)

There is also the chance to apply for a loan of up to £1,000 to help with business start-up costs. 

See the GOV.UK website for more information on the New Enterprise Allowance (link opens in a new window)

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