Text size: larger | smaller | reset

supporting welfare to work providers

Work placements and tasters

Section image for Engaging with employers - miniature plastic man and woman walking around cog shaped shadows on the ground towards an employer

Engaging employers through work placements and tasters before the actual job placement process brings benefits for your organisation, your 50+ customers and to employers themselves.

Benefits for your organisation

Learning about the most current recruitment practices in different sectors.

Benefits for your 50+ customer

  • Resolving their fears about their ability to get back into a work routine
  • Having the chance to prove themselves
  • Demonstrating they can balance work with other commitments.

Benefits for employers

  • Increasing their awareness of 50+ workers attributes and potentials
  • Gaining first-hand knowledge of prospective employees without making a commitment
  • Ability to trial potential candidates before offering a job.

Case study: work tasters (Bootstrap Enterprises)

Simon suffers from arthritis. He lives with his elderly father in a mutual caring relationship. After a long career in unskilled work, Simon had been drifting between jobs for a couple of years after a brief foray into a high-pressure catering trade job. His confidence was low although he did have strong motivation to get work as he felt that, as the youngest child, his caring responsibilities had been largely dumped on him by his siblings.

The Bootstrap adviser encouraged Simon to get a Better Off Calculation and he discovered that, with having turned 50, he could afford to take part-time work and spend time caring for his father.

Simon then needed to focus on what sort of jobs to apply for. The adviser worked with him to re-build his CV, emphasising his extensive experience and his loyalty to his earlier employers. The CV was sharpened up to a single page of A4 and also drew on Simon's voluntary experience as Chair of a local residents' association. Simon had left school without qualifications so the CV put the emphasis on people skills and life experience. This process gave a big boost to Simon's confidence as he could start to see how his skills might be relevant to many different jobs.

Simon discussed the option of a work trial or placement with his adviser and agreed it might be appropriate to allow him to change career direction. They worked closely together over a number of weeks, job-searching and making applications. Simon was fairly confident on the computer so his adviser gave him several website addresses to keep searching. The adviser also recommended that Simon keep a file with all the applications and contact details to hand, so that he would know how to respond if anyone phoned him back. This approach is particularly good for older people who may find it difficult to remember details, and Simon was finding up to six vacancies a week that were suitable for him to apply for.

After a mock interview refresher with his adviser and several real interviews, Simon spotted a cleaning job that came as a work taster with training before the successful candidate would be offered a permanent job. It sounded exactly right! He was able to prove himself in the role and to obtain four modules in Health & Safety before beginning work with hours that still enabled him to spend much of his time caring for his father.


This site is for help and information only. It is not meant as an authoritative guide. It is not meant as an authoritative statement of the law, and future changes in the law and other programmes and initiatives could make it less accurate at times. TAEN, the Department for Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund take no responsibility for your use of the information. You should always take professional advice on any specific legal or financial matter.