Getting Into Work - UK and Multiple Nation Wide Schemes

Looking for work or working? See what help may be available to you through national and local employment services and schemes.

Last reviewed 08 September 2023

UK and Multiple Nation Wide Schemes

This guide has the following information:

Finding a job and employment advice

The following websites contain information, advice and resources on employment, finding a job and improving your skills:

Help to get into Work - Jobcentre Schemes (UK Wide)

Flexible Support Fund

The Flexible Support Fund is available across the UK through your local Jobcentre Plus adviser or work coach and may be able to help you with extra costs associated with getting into and starting work. It is a discretionary fund and your local Jobcentre Plus adviser decides if you can get it. If you get any financial help under the Flexible Support Fund, you don't have to pay it back. 

Who can get the Flexible Support Fund?

The Flexible Support Fund is discretionary and you do not have an automatic right to it if you qualify. It depends on your local Jobcentre Plus adviser.

It is available to anyone who receives help from the Jobcentre and is claiming a qualifying benefit:

The Flexible Support Fund can also support anyone eligible for Work Preparation Support, such as lone parents, partners and carers.

Advisers may also be able to use the Flexible Support Fund to support other people that are not in employment in certain circumstances. 

In Northern Ireland, it is known as the Adviser Discretionary Fund and has slightly different rules. Speak to your work coach to find out about it.

What costs can it help with?

The Flexible Support Fund aims to help with extra costs associated with finding a job, such as: 

  • Travel expenses to attend an interview
  • Tools and clothing/uniforms to start work

There is no set amount of money you can be given. It depends on your situation, circumstances and needs.

The Flexible Support Fund is unlikely to fund anything you have already paid for.

Childcare costs

Universal Credit doesn't cover upfront costs of childcare. You will need to pay for the first month. If you cannot pay that upfront cost, you may be able to get help with the first month of childcare costs from the Flexible Support Fund. You can find more information in our guide Help with Childcare Costs when Starting Work or Looking for Work.

How do I apply for help from the Flexible Support Fund?

Ask your local Jobcentre Plus adviser how you apply.

You will need to tell them what you need the money for and give evidence that you cannot pay for the items yourself.


Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study. Almost anyone over the age of 16 can apply for an apprenticeship to build a new career.

For general information, see Gov.UK: Become an Apprentice

Read our guide to Apprenticeships and Benefits

Tax issues

Starting a new job can be daunting, especially in sectors where pay, tax or benefits can be more complicated than usual. 

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) is a charity that helps people on low incomes with tax and benefits issues. Its website has general information related to employment and self-employment as well as support for people in specific jobs or situations.

Young People

The Prince's Trust

The Prince's Trust is a UK charity that helps young people aged between 11-30 years, whatever their background, to achieve their potential by offering free courses, grants and mentoring opportunities to inspire them to build their confidence, find jobs, start a career or develop a business idea.

Older People

Armed Forces Service Leavers and Veterans

Some Armed Forces charities offer employment support. See Help from Charitable Funds for more information.

See also Your Situation: Armed Forces personnel and veterans


Check what benefits you may be able to claim while looking for work and when you are in work.

You can use our Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement.

Depending on your situation, you may also find the following Your Situation sections useful:


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