Businesses all over the country continue to deal with the impact of the recession … and employers need all the support they can get to continue to recruit suitable candidates for their companies. Jobcentre Plus is on hand with a raft of services to make ongoing recruitment easier, and to help ensure employers receive good quality and appropriately skilled candidates.
The recruitment subsidy, introduced in April this year, is a £1,000 payment available to employers when they recruit a person who has been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for six months or more.
The payment is available regardless of how many or how few people a company takes on and there may also be a related in-work training subsidy of up to £1,500 to ensure the employee recruited has the necessary skills for the job.
Jobcentre Plus also offers a range of services to help businesses fill their vacancies, and to help people return to and remain in work. The services provided are tailored to the needs of the specific employer, and include advising on the local labour market, planning for recruitment and the sifting or matching of appropriate candidates.
Local Employment Partnerships (LEPs)
Longer-term relationships with Jobcentre Plus can be forged through LEPs, where government and employers work together to tap into the potential of local communities. These partnerships lead to effective recruitment and can also bolster communities, resulting in better business relationships for the employer. A significant number of employers across the country have already signed up to LEPs, with the aim of opening up job opportunities to disadvantaged jobseekers – a source of talent and potential that often remains untapped.
Work Trials offer employers a risk-free way of trying out a potential employee for up to 30 days at no cost to the business. The jobseeker stays on their normal benefits during the trial – and also gets the opportunity to make sure the job is right for them, before accepting any job offer made.
Jobcentre Plus’s network of Disability Employment Advisers can help companies keen to recruit and retain people with disabilities and a range of practical support and funding is available. For example, the Access to Work programme can help with the extra costs of employing staff with a disability or health condition; and the Job Introduction Scheme can offer a grant of £75 a week to employers recruiting a disabled person, to help with wages and other costs during the first few weeks of work.
Employer Direct online is a free service from Jobcentre Plus that lets employers manage their own recruitment needs easily and conveniently. They can register their job vacancies and check, update or remove them at any time. Vacancies will appear on a recruitment website that receives more than two million visits a week, as well as on Jobcentre Plus’s national network of touch screen terminals.
Alternatively, vacancies can be placed by phoning Employer Direct on 0845 601 2001 (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 4pm Saturday). Within ten minutes an employer’s vacancies could be on line and accessible to millions of potential applicants.
Jobcentre Plus operates a Rapid Response Service (RRS) for employers so that, if the worst happens and a company is forced to consider redundancies, there is help on hand to co-ordinate a tailored package of services to best support the employees affected. RRS help is available to jobseekers from the point when they are under threat of redundancy, up to 13 weeks after they lose their job.
Retaining the right people.
Employers who retain their staff and develop their workforce are best placed to respond to economic recovery. Research shows that employers who don’t invest in training are two and a half times more likely to fail. Jobcentre Plus staff can give advice on how to access support and funding. In England the Train to Gain service, delivered by the Learning and Skills Council, offers employers of all sizes the chance to access high-quality vocational skills training – and funding of up to 100% of the cost may be available.
For more information about Jobcentre Plus services to employers, contact Komal Badhan at Handsworth Jobcentre Plus on 0121 507 8235 or log on to www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk/employers