Finding employment can be difficult, especially if you live in a rural part of Wales or in an area where the traditional industries have all but disappeared.
Job security is mostly a thing of the past, with many having no alternative but to settle for short-term and zero-hour contracts. Young people, in particular, can find it hard to enter the career of their choice, or to find any permanent full-time work at all.
While finding a job in the current economic environment may not be easy, there are certain things you can do to give yourself a better chance, like taking advantage of training opportunities or returning to education to get more qualifications.
Try not to get too hung up on what you really want to do. Careers Wales suggests you talk to others, don’t try to plan more than three to four years ahead and trust your instincts.
If you already have qualifications, skills or a profession, you may still benefit from some support with your job hunting.
When your circumstances change
Remaining in employment can be challenging when your circumstances change.
Perhaps you have taken on caring duties which affect your ability to work full-time, or you have a disability or long-term condition which makes it impossible for you to do your existing job.
New legislation puts a greater emphasis on a person’s well-being, including support to enable a person with care and support needs (and their carers) to work if they want to.
Veterans, too, may need support to ease themselves back into civilian life and employment.
If you are disabled with a care plan and you wish to return to work, you might consider using direct payments so you can employ a personal assistant to help you.
Support within the workplace
The Access to Work scheme pays for practical support to help people with physical or mental health conditions into work, to stay in work or move into self-employment (or start a business).
Dealing with discrimination
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against someone because they have a disability – this is the case whether you are a job-seeker or an existing employee.
More and more people are abandoning the traditional employee/employer role to work for themselves. If you plan to work for yourself , you must register as self-employed with the Inland Revenue. Contact Business Wales for more information.