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Jobcentre Plus Support for Recruiters

The services and support that Jobcentre Plus branches provide can be an invaluable resource for employers and recruiters.

You can also get general advice from the Employer Services Line about recruitment and the special employment schemes for recruiting staff.

Recruitment Services from Jobcentre Plus

As an employer, the specialist support and range of recruitment services that you can get from Jobcentre Plus includes:

  • Recruitment advice and support for your businesses.
  • Work trials (e.g. programs used to try out potential recruits through a short period in work).
  • Advice on how to offer work experience and apprenticeships.
  • Information on other Jobcentre Plus employment schemes.

Tip: Employers can advertise a job through the ‘Find a job’ service (previously called Universal Jobmatch). This guide is also available in Welsh language (Cymraeg) via the GOV.UK website.

Jobcentre Plus Advice about Recruiting

The Employer Services Line is one of the first places to contact for expert advice when recruiting for a business.

Employer Services Line
Telephone: 0800 169 0178
Textphone: 0800 169 0172
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
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Their staff can put you in touch with ’employer advisors’ in your local area. Hence, an employer advisor can give you specific and practical advice about the local market, and:

  • Accessing Jobcentre Plus office facilities for recruitment (not available in all areas).
  • Developing pre-employment training (e.g. tutoring for a specific job).
  • Get advice and support for employers who need to make redundancies.
  • Modern ways of recruiting staff in new and fair ways (e.g. offering flexible working patterns).
  • Providing existing employees with opportunities to mentor people who want to work.
  • The importance of designing and using clear wording when advertising job vacancies.

Work Trials for Unemployed

If you can offer a short period of time in a job (e.g. to a jobseeker claiming benefits) you may be able to through a ‘work trial’. Work trials allow employers and applicants to see if the job is a good fit.

Employers must first interview the applicant for a specific role. So, you would not need to offer it to them if they were unsuitable.

Instead, the jobseeker would ‘volunteer’ to spend a given period on a work trial. So, they would not get paid a wage (per se) but they would continue getting their benefit entitlements while on the program.

Jobcentre Work Trial Eligibility

Jobcentre Plus will check the potential employee has volunteered for the trial and that it meets all the eligibility criteria. Thus, it must only be used for:

  • An employer and potential employee to decide whether they are suitable for the particular role.
  • A job where the jobseeker is the only person being considered for hire for at least sixteen (16) hours a week and for a period of at least thirteen (13) weeks.

The employer and the jobseeker must agree the length of the work trial before it starts, and it must also:

  • Finish once the employer considers the jobseeker is suitable for the role.
  • Last no more than five (5) days for jobs for less than six (6) months and last no more than thirty (30) days for jobs lasting six (6) months or longer.

Note: You may extend the work trial beyond 30 days in certain situations (e.g. where the jobseeker needs more time to adjust to being back in work) providing it’s agreed to before the work trial begins.

Carrying Out a Work Trial

The employer must get agreement to carry out a work trial from Jobcentre Plus before offering the program to a jobseeker. You can get further information from the Employer Services Line (see contact details above).

Apprenticeships and Work Experience


The National Apprenticeship Service can organise apprenticeships that combine practical training and periods of study (often following work experience programs).

Another section explains more about employing an apprentice and the funding available when training them. For example, you may get an apprenticeship grant if you are running a small or medium-sized business.

Note: Some of the procedures for offering apprenticeships differ in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Work Experience

Offering work experience to a young person can help them get a better chance of finding and securing work. As a result, employers can offer work experience programs to:

  • Anyone aged between 18 and 24.
  • Individuals aged 25 and older (but only people without any recent work history).

Contact the Employer Services Line to become a work experience host. The DWP produces further details about your responsibilities in a publication titled ‘Work experience: employer guide‘.

Jobcentre Plus Employment Schemes

New Enterprise Allowance

Jobcentre Plus claimants can get help with moving from benefits to work through mentoring and financial support (e.g. starting a business).

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have more information on becoming a New Enterprise Allowance mentor and details about organisations that match new businesses with mentors.

Sector-based Work Academies

A sector-based work academy can help employers provide jobseekers with work experience through sector-based training that culminates in a guaranteed job interview.

Note: The Jobcentre Plus office can help you get involved with sector-based work academies (only available in England and Scotland).

Jobcentre Plus Help and Support for Recruiters