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Help and support

I am looking for work or education opportunities

Details of free advice, support and training that is available to help you look for work, training or education and manage your circumstances.

  1. How can I get support to seek and apply for work?

    There is lots of different support to help you.

    Careers advice

    The National Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work.

    The service includes:

    • Job profiles
    • Skills health check
    • Finding a course
    • Help to get a job

    You can contact them through Web Chat or

    Careers helpline 0800 100 900

    Text messages: 07766 413 219

    Textphone: 0800 096 8336

    Monday to Sunday, 8am to 10pm

    If you have an idea of the career you wish to pursue but would like advice on the different options to help you or if want advice on how to change career please contact Skill Up

    Step Up Somerset provides guidance if you are searching for your next job opportunity, starting a new career, working on your employability skills or just beginning your journey in the world of work.

    CV Writing and Interview Skills

    Somerset Skills and Learning are currently offering free employability training in:

    • Finding and Applying for Jobs
    • Making a start with your CV
    • The Interview Stage

    Young Somerset runs focussed programmes which are designed to help young people gain skills to help them with their social and economic wellbeing and employability.

    Positive People is an organisation that offer support to anyone aged 18 who are not in work no matter what the reason. They can help you build your confidence and skills they are currently hosting a Virtual Job Club on Zoom every Wednesday 10am-12pm. Providing support and advice on online job searching, creating and updating your CV, managing your CV online.

    The National Careers Service provide a free How to write a CV guide and Interview Advice.

    A number of recruitment agencies provide free advice, support and tools, a couple of examples are provided below. South Somerset District Council is not endorsing these providers, many other recruitment agencies also provide free information on their websites too.

    Reed

    Monster

    If you wish to talk to someone about your next steps into employment please e-mail redundancyhelp@southsomerset.gov.uk and a member of the support team will get back to you in 5 working days, please provide your name and contact details.

    Searching for Jobs

    Useful websites:

    Somersetjobs.co.uk promotes job vacancies across Somerset with specific search criteria, it also has an events calendar where you can find out about recruitment events or job and careers fairs.

    Step Up Somerset provides guidance if you are searching for your next job opportunity, starting a new career, working on your employability skills or just beginning your journey in the world of work.

    Job Help provides a wide range of job search help and advice, including information about working in critical sectors and the latest vacancies and Job Search a free tool to help you search for job opportunities.

    Local Job Clubs:

    The Covid-19 pandemic has temporarily resulted in the majority of local Job Club provision having to close, please see find the latest information using the links below.  Positive People are providing a Virtual Job Club on Zoom every Wednesday 10am-12pm. Providing support and advice on online job searching, creating and updating your CV, managing your CV online.

    Yeovil 4 Work, not exclusive to Yeovil residents

    Martock Job Club, not exclusive to Martock residents but there is a catchment area, the link provides full details.

    Wincanton Balsam Centre Job

    Chard Young Peoples Centre, Essex Close, Chard Currently open to just Yarlington residents. Visit http://www.inspired2achieve.net/ for details.

    Local Employment Agencies:

    The list below provides contact information for some local Employment Agencies.

    South Somerset District Council is not endorsing these providers, many other Employment Agencies also operate across the district.

    Local Employment Agencies

  2. Where can I get advice and support to start a new business?

    Heart of the South West Growth Hub 

    Government Guidance - Starting your own business

    TDA Business - starting a business

    The Prince’s Trust works with 18 to 30-year-olds living in the UK providing support for starting business.

  3. Who can help me to find a training placement?

    There is a growing number of work based learning programmes, each providing something slightly different

    Apprenticeships – age 16 and over

    An Apprenticeship provides on the job training and a salary. If you’re 16 or over, you can be an apprentice as long as you live in England and are not in full-time education.

    Depending on the level, apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete. For more information about the apprenticeship programme use this guide, if you would like to find an apprenticeship you can use this tool.

    You may also like to contact Skill Up an Apprenticeship and Skills Advisory Service who can advise you on options and local apprenticeship opportunities.

    Please see the following local apprenticeship providers, who can also provide specialist support:

    Somerset Skills and Learning

    Yeovil College

    Traineeships – age 16-25

    A Traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work placement. It can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year (although most will last for less than 6 months).

    Traineeships help 16 to 24 year olds - or 25 year olds with an education, health and care (EHC) plan - get ready for an apprenticeship or job if they don’t have the appropriate skills or experience.

    To find out more use this guide, if you would like to find a traineeship you can use this tool.

    You may also like to contact Skill Up a local advisory service who can advise you on options and local traineeship opportunities.

    Please see the following local traineeship providers, who can also provide specialist support:

    Somerset Skills and Learning

  4. Can I get help to claim benefits?

    Citizens Advice provides helpful information on applying for benefits.

    Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are available to help to pay your rent and reduce your Council Tax payments, please use the link for help on how to apply for these.

    Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It's paid monthly. You may be able to get it if you're on a low income, out of work or you cannot work. This step by step guide explains how to claim Universal Credit. If you need to talk to someone please use the contact telephone and textphone numbers.

    If you are unable to complete an application form for Universal Credit, Citizens Advice South Somerset can help you.

  5. How can I find information about local voluntary work?

    Volunteering can provide you with the opportunity to help people and give something back to the local community. Volunteering can also provide you with new knowledge and skills to help you get into work or transfer to a new career.

    To learn more about volunteering and the options that are available please use the links below:

    SPARK Somerset 

    Government giodance - Volunteer

    Do It

  6. Who can help me find out more about further education?

    Skill Up a local advisory service who provide free training advice

    This tool will help you find out what courses and qualifications are available at schools, colleges and sixth forms in your area.

    Information about getting help towards the costs of education if you are age 16-19 is available here and if you are over the age of 19 it is available here.

    Study Up provides advice on how to access the range of degrees, degree apprenticeships, professional qualifications, higher education and courses in Somerset

    Local Colleges:

    Somerset Skills and Learning  

    Yeovil College

    If you wish to talk to someone about your next steps into training please e-mail redundancyhelp@southsomerset.gov.uk and a member of the support team will get back to you in 5 working days, please provide your name and contact details.

  7. Where can I get help to use a computer and the internet?

    Somerset Libraries, provide free public access computers. This includes access to the internet, web-based email, recommended quality internet sites and Microsoft Office applications. Library members can use these computers for up to 2 hours each day. 

    There is also free Wi-Fi for you to use with your own devices at all Somerset Libraries more detailed information is available here

    Information about becoming a Somerset Library member is available here.

  8. How can I improve my IT knowledge and skills?

    Somerset Libraries provide free online digital skills courses, with support from library staff during set times.

    The current local offer is detailed below:

    Chard Library – Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am to 12 noon

    Langport Library – Thursday afternoons 2.30pm to 4.30pm

    South Petherton – By appointment only

    Wincanton Library – Monday mornings, 10am to 12 noon

    Yeovil Library – Monday afternoons, 2.30pm to 4.30pm and Wednesday mornings, 10am to 12.30pm

    Positive People provide a free digital toolkit and digital survival kit

    Learn My Way has free courses for you to learn digital skills to stay safe and connected.

    Future Learn are offering free digital skills courses for all levels.

    Barclays Bank provide a free Digital Eagles service and lots of free on-line resources including step-by-step videos to help you develop new skills and grow in confidence about all matter of on-line topics not just related to banking.

    The Heart of The South West Digital Skills Partnership is in partnership with Coursera to offer free help to learn critical skills to succeed in this digital era, find out more here

    Google Digital Garage is providing free digital training & tools to help your career or your business grow stronger.

  9. What support is there to help me gain new knowledge and learn new skills?

    Skill Up a local skills advisory service can help you identify the right training for you to help you get into work, change career or for personal development.

    Step Up provides links to free training, enhancing your skills and career options.

    The Heart of The South West Digital Skills Partnership is in partnership with Coursera to offer free help to learn critical skills to succeed in this digital era, find out more here

    Free Courses in England offer accredited programmes, which are designed to complement employers’ existing in-house training provision and improve each learner’s knowledge and skills by assessing their core competencies against national standards.

    Tech Nation Digital Business Academy, are offering free online business courses to help in the high-tech business sector.

    Information about getting help towards the costs of education if you are age 16-19 is available here and if you are over the age of 19 it is available here.

  10. Who can give me redundancy support and advice?

    Gov.uk have a redundancy rights guide and a redundancy pay calculator

    Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) offer support about your tight during redundancy, they also have a helpline for options advice not case specific legal advice tel:+443001231100  Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

    If you wish to talk to someone about your next steps into training or employment please e-mail redundancyhelp@southsomerset.gov.uk and a member of the support team will get back to you in 2 working days, please provide your name and contact details.

  11. What can I do if I am worried?

    If you’re worried about your next steps into training or employment, please e-mail redundancyhelp@southsomerset.gov.uk and a member of the support team will get back to you in 2 working days, please provide your name and contact details.

    It’s okay not to be okay, there may be times when you need some extra support to deal with a situation. It’s OK to ask for help. Please see below dedicated helpline services that are there to support you.

    Mindline Somerset - 01823 276 892 Confidential emotional support, information and guidance. Open 24/7.

    CALM Helpline for men - 0800 58 58 58 5pm – Midnight

    Samaritans - 116 123 Whatever your problems. Open 24/7

    Age UK Somerset - Friendly phone calls service - 01823 345 610 (Mon-Fri 9- 4pm)

    Young Somerset’s wellbeing service offers mental health and emotional support to young people aged up to 18 call 01278 722100 or E-mail admin@youngsomerset.org.uk

    Somerset Talking Therapies provides a wide range of support for people 18 and over. Call 0300 323 00 33 to book yourself in for an Emotional Health Check  with one of the team.

    Young Somerset virtual hubs - This is a safe online space designed for young people and parents/ guardians to find out about what services are available in your area.  Workshops every week providing professional advice and guidance on how to maintain positive wellbeing.

  12. Where can I get financial support and advice?

  13. Can I get help towards to cost of my rent?

    If you are struggling to pay your rent, contact your landlord so they are aware of your situation, you may be able to make a new payment schedule.

    View our Housing Benefit information

  14. Can I get any discount and support to reduce my Council Tax?

    Council Tax Support is to help households on low incomes. 

    Visit our Council Tax Support page

  15. Can I get help to manage money and debt?

    Citizens Advice South Somerset offer free help and support about managing money and debt.

    Phone: 03444889623 / 01935 421167.

    Email‎: ‎cab@southsomcab.org.uk

    The Money Advice Service was set up by the Government to provide free and impartial money advice

    Step Change provide debt advice and free debt management assistance

    Phone: 0800 138 1111

  16. What if I am struggling with living costs?

    The Citizens Advice offer advice about getting help with your living costs.

    If you’re struggling to pay your essential living costs and can’t afford your repayments, contact the Department of Work and Pensions Debt Management contact centre.

    Telephone: 0800 916 0647

    Textphone: 0800 916 0651

    Monday to Friday, 8am to 7.30pm

    Saturday, 9am to 4pm

    Calls to these numbers are free.

  17. How can I reduce my energy bills?

    The Energy Saving Trust offer free advice to reduce energy bills.

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