In many ways, it’s now easier to search for work than ever – the internet means you don’t even have to leave the house to search for employment anywhere in the UK, even overseas.
Jobs are still hard to find in some parts of Wales, however, and you might benefit from some help, especially if you are trying to get back into work after a period of unemployment.
Starting your job hunt
All Welsh cities and most large towns have Jobcentre Plus offices, where you can get extra help to look for work, including writing your CV and interview practice. Use your postcode to find your local Jobcentre Plus.
Universal Jobmatch enables you to search thousands of jobs across the UK. You don’t have to register but if you do, you can post your CV, get help with cover letters and be matched to jobs which fit your qualifications, skills and interests.
Many recruitment agencies have high street offices where you can drop in for advice. Some deal with specific industries, professions or skills, for example, IT professionals, teachers, health and care workers, office staff, catering, etc. Remember, agencies often encourage applicants to register with them even when there is no immediate suitable vacancy, so do keep looking elsewhere.
Many trades journals, magazines and newspapers carry specialist recruitment advertisements.
Local jobs with small employers
Remember not all jobs are advertised widely so ask around. Independent shops, pubs and factories often put up notices in their windows so keep your eyes open.
Careers Wales offers free guidance about careers and training opportunities no matter what your age or situation.
Government employment schemes
Jobs Growth Wales provides unemployed young people aged between 16 and 24 to get proper six months’ work paid at or above the National Minimum Wage.
Communities for Work focuses on reducing the number of 16-24 year olds who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET). It also focuses on increasing the employability of economically inactive and long term unemployed adults who have complex barriers to employment living within the most deprived communities in Wales, who by the nature of their unemployment will have low skills, a work limiting health condition or disability, care or childcare responsibilities, will be over 54 years old, from a jobless household or from a Black, Minority, Ethnic group.
There is plenty of up-to-date and detailed advice about employment, training and work-related benefits on www.gov.uk.
Looking for work when you are disabled
Gov.uk has advice and information about support available to help people with a disability or long-term health condition find employment. Your local Jobcentre can help you find a job or gain new skills and tell you about disability-friendly employers in your area. Find your local Jobcentre Plus.
If you’re disabled or have a physical or mental health condition that makes it hard for you to do your job, you can:
- talk to your employer about changes they must make in your workplace
- get extra help from Access to Work, including mental health support.
Your employer must make certain changes (known as ‘reasonable adjustments’) to make sure you’re not substantially disadvantaged when doing your job. These could include changing your working hours or providing equipment to help you do your job.
You should talk to your employer about reasonable adjustments before you apply for Access to Work.
The British Legion’s CivvyStreet and Hire a Hero advertise jobs where the employers are specifically looking to employ former Armed Forces personnel. They can also help with careers advice and CV writing and job hunting ideas.
Age Cymru offers advice to older job hunters, including updating your CV, changing careers and using employment agencies.
It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you because of disability, age or because you are caring for someone. This includes indirect discrimination, for example, insisting on interviewing you in an upstairs room when you are a wheelchair user and there is no lift.
Remember, potential employers can only legally ask about your health or disability if:
- the job has certain necessary requirements that couldn’t be met with reasonable adjustments
- they are asking so they can arrange help for you at an interview (or selection process)
- their intention is to recruit a disabled person.
For more information on your rights, visit www.gov.uk.
Citizens Advice website also has a good section about Disability Discrimination.
If you think you have been discriminated against because of your age, health or disability or caring responsibilities, contact ACAS for advice.