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supporting welfare to work providers

Working with Jobcentre Plus

Networking and referrals section image: Image depicting two small plastic men shaking hands with a large arrow on eth ground - concept to imply networking and referals

It is important to create and develop a strong positive working relationship with your local Jobcentre Plus office. Jobcentre Plus advisers are a critical first point of contact and the gateway to further support for many unemployed people over 50.

You need to be proactive in building an effective relationship with Jobcentre Plus. Here are some suggestions on how you might do it.

Building a relationship with Jobcentre Plus

  • Identify and form links with regional and local teams operating in your catchment area
  • Establish named contacts and agree channels of communication
  • Create a two-way flow of information, including providing feedback on the outcome of referrals
  • Provide Jobcentre Plus information and access to specialist Jobcentre Plus advisers to your own 50+ customers
  • Make regular visits to the local Jobcentre Plus offices to:
    • tell them what you can offer their 50+ customers. (Use case studies if possible to illustrate what you can provide)
    • speak to advisers at their regular team meetings. Be prepared to answer questions and discuss individual cases they are dealing with (where rules of confidentiality permit)
    • provide promotional literature about your own service
    • obtain updates on services available for your 50+ customers
    • hold customer interviews / sessions onsite, if space can be made available

This case study showing additional ways a provider has of working with Jobcentre Plus.

Case study: working with Jobcentre Plus (Kennedy Scott)

We invite Jobcentre Plus advisers to our office to sit in on one-to-one sessions (with the customer’s permission) and attend or take part in group sessions. This enables us to show we can work with the customers they refer to us.

We offer vacancies for our pre-employment courses via Jobcentre Plus. We run regular sessions for a large local food producer, a retail group and an event recruitment company. This helps Jobcentre Plus get customers moving into employment and to meet their own targets. Some of the posts we offer are especially suitable for 50+ customers and this is made clear when the vacancies are offered.

Jobcentre Plus sends us the Local Employment Partnerships vacancy lists every week and the daily vacancy sheets from the local Jobcentre Plus office. This two way co-operation has really helped to cement our relationship.

We work with mandated customers in several offices and the key here is knowing exactly what Jobcentre Plus wants us to deliver. We also need to understand the challenges these customers face when they are sent on a course they do not want to attend. 50+ customers often feel that they have been sent on courses of no relevance to them, that the adviser is too young to understand their issues, and that no-one wants them as they are too old. The way we sell the course to them at induction is key to their active participation in the event.

We keep all our staff up to date with the changes in the programmes and services Jobcentre Plus offers their customers and providers as these can change at short notice.

We do this by:

  • checking the Jobcentre Plus website
  • reading In Touch (the Jobcentre Plus electronic customer magazine) on their website
  • attending local provider meetings.

There are times when we manage to do this over a cup of coffee away from the office, which is even better.

50+ customers may be dealt with by any number of specialist advisers within Jobcentre Plus, so it is important to reach those dealing with:

  • people with a health requirement or disability (e.g. Pathways to Work, WorkPath)
  • referrals to the Access to Psychological Therapies programme
  • New Deal / Flexible New Deal
  • people who have been or are about to be made redundant (Rapid Response Team / React Wales)
  • job matching services.

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.