Employment Support

Check out the range of resources and support to help you through redundancy and business owners to support employees.

Regrettably, we are seeing the current situation with coronavirus affect employment in this region. To help people facing this situation, we’ve collated national, local and regional employment resources to help.

Job Help - https://jobhelp.dwp.gov.uk/

Information on what types of roles are good to apply for right now, also hints and tips on applying for jobs.

Find a Job - https://findajob.dwp.gov.uk/

For people seeking a full or part-time job or even some temporary work during the coronavirus emergency.

National Careers Service - https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/

For those who have lost a job, been made redundant or are concerned about reduced hours, to help those to get back into work and training.

Independent, impartial and professional advice on careers, skills, and the labour market from careers coaches to support application for jobs.

In Milton Keynes, Adviza also offer a Regional Redeployment Service for individuals who have lost their jobs or whose jobs have been affected by COVID-19 at https://www.adviza.org.uk/services/national-careers-service/regional-redeployment-service/

Promoting local vacancies and to support people to get back into work. Employers the chance to post current opportunities on their social media which the National Careers Service will promote on their channels during #JobsHour.

  • Northamptonshire - Follow on Twitter @CareersEMids
  • Bedfordshire & Luton - Follow on Twitter @CareersEEBucks
  • Milton Keynes - Follow on Twitter @CareersSE

Serco - www.serco-ssw.com

Skills Support for Redundancy offers funded training to support individuals who are facing redundancy in small and medium sized businesses.

This can include vocational or career progression training such as gaining a relevant accreditation, as well as providing employability skills training such as interview techniques and functional skills qualifications.

Skills Support for Redundancy is delivered by Serco and co-financed by the Education & Skills Funding Agency and European Social Fund. Contact at [email protected]

TCHC - https://www.tchc.net/individual/get-into-work/skills-support-for-the-unemployed

Skills Support for the Unemployed offers a flexible programme of employability and skills training, tailored to a person’s needs. It is for people who are out of work and helps overcome the challenges faced when looking for employment or an Apprenticeship.

There are a variety of programmes to help specific groups including, long-term, over 50s, lone parents, ex-offenders and those with wellbeing issues.

The Skills Toolkit

The online platform gives people access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects. Since the launch a month ago tens of thousands have started its digital and numeracy courses.

Local Further Education Colleges

Broad variety of qualifications, including vocational courses, apprenticeships, higher education, professional certificates as well as employability skills and community training.

Barnfield College
Bedford College
Central Bedfordshire College
Milton Keynes College
Moulton College
Northampton College
Tresham College

Local Universities

A diverse range of courses and qualifications at higher levels including degrees, Higher National Diplomas (HNDs), foundation degrees and masters.

University of Bedfordshire
Cranfield University
University of Northampton

The Open University

A huge variety of distance learning and online courses available on the Open University website.
OpenLearn – over 100 free courses and videos.

Online Training Resources

The SEMLEP Growth Hub has compiled a list of online training and development resources available on the Training at Work Online Courses page. 

Local Authorities 

Luton Borough Council: Skills and qualifications that can help develop your career.

Luton Adult Learning

Passport to Employment

The Passport to Employment Team is delivering a series of workshops to assist you on your journey back into employment. Their series of employability workshops will help you design an outstanding CV, prepare for interviews and help you improve your confidence. Their classes are delivered by our highly skilled tutors who will support and guide you throughout these workshops.


Luton Adult Learning has strong links with Luton Council's Volunteering Team and many who have completed Passport to Employment have gone on to volunteer, where they are able to gain a wealth of work-based experience and make useful contacts.

SEMLEP Growth Hub - https://www.semlepgrowthhub.com/coronavirus/

Information and links to the latest developments on business support from the UK Government.

SEMLEP’s Growth Hub Business Support team is ready to help and can be contacted directly offering a free service.

Phone: 0300 01234 35
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://www.semlepgrowthhub.com/contact-us/

Sector-Based Work Academy Programme

The sector-based work academy programme (SWAP) can support you to create a skilled workforce for your business.

These provide a short period of pre-employment training, work experience and in some instances guaranteed job interview to support people into work via a specific job role or job sector opportunity. These are delivered regularly across a range of job sectors, such as Hospitality, Security, Construction, Business Administration, Social & Adult Care etc. DWP can even provide reasonable travel costs.


FastTrack JobMatch

Fast Track Job Match is a local, personal package of support to meet personal and business needs around skills and employability

The service is available to residents across the whole of North Northamptonshire (Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire).

Through our personal service and trusted local partners we offer a bespoke 1-to-1 mix of virtual resources and employment and skills support to help individuals and businesses responding to the challenges of the pandemic.

FTJM is a service for you, your friends and family who need to access advice to make the best choices in finding a new job, training and support, whether you are changing jobs, or thinking about taking your career in a new direction. From school leavers to anyone thinking of a career change, get in touch to find out how we can help.

Phone: 07881 234890
Email:  [email protected]
Website: recoverythroughenterprise.co.uk/fasttrack-jobmatch/

Employer Help - https://employerhelp.dwp.gov.uk/

This site offers a range of advice to help businesses overcome challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether needing to expand rapidly, or making redundancies, advice is provided on the next steps and the best ways to support staff.

Virtual Jobs Fairs

Promoting local vacancies, employers the chance to post current opportunities on their social media which the National Careers Service will promote on their channels during #JobsHour

  • Northamptonshire          Follow on Twitter @CareersEMids
  • Bedfordshire & Luton Follow on Twitter @CareersEEBucks
  • Milton Keynes             Follow on Twitter @CareersSE

Serco - www.serco-ssw.com

Skills Support for Redundancy offers funded training to support businesses who are facing making redundancies.

Now available through distance learning, this can include vocational or career progression training such as gaining a relevant NVQ or accredited Leadership and Management qualification, as well as to provide employability skills training such as interview techniques and functional skills qualifications if needed.

Funded training, qualifications and networking is available to any small to medium sized business in the area facing difficult decisions.

Skills Support for Redundancy is delivered by Serco and co-financed by the Education & Skills Funding Agency and European Social Fund. Contact at [email protected]

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment.

Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.

Further funding is available for training and support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future.

The Kickstart Scheme

The job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs. They must not:

  • replace existing or planned vacancies
  • cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

The roles applied for must be:

  • a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
  • paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
  • should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement

All applications should include how help will be given to the participants to develop their skills and experience with:

  • support to look for long-term work
  • support with CV and interview preparation
  • training to develop their skills, such as teamwork, organisation and communications as part of the role

Guidance on making an application is available on the GOV.UK website.

How to get involved

Employers from all industries and across the private, public and voluntary sectors can get involved.

  1. The information you need to apply is available on the GOV.UK website.
  2. There is no minimum number of jobs an employer can apply for. Employers can apply directly to the scheme or partner with an approved Gateway.
  3. Once the application is accepted it will be sent to the local Jobcentre where a Work Coach will select a number of suitable young people who are at risk of long-term unemployment and ready for work.
  4. Employers interview applicants and select the best candidate for the


Local Kickstart Scheme contacts can be found on the Kickstart Scheme Employer Contacts webpage, on GOV.UK.

Adviza - https://www.adviza.org.uk/services/national-careers-service/regional-redeployment-service/

For businesses in Milton Keynes, the Regional Redeployment Service supports employers needing to make redundancies and those looking to recruit due to the impact of COVID-19.

Apprenticeships can develop the skills and train people in almost all business types and sectors, at all levels; from Intermediate to Masters; for all ages from 16; for both new recruits and existing employees.

In 2016/17, over 16,000 people across the South East Midlands area participated in apprenticeships. Evidence from the National Apprenticeship Service, show the benefits to businesses to be:

  • Apprentices boost productivity on average by £214 per week
  • 87% of employers were satisfied with their apprenticeship programme
  • 75% of businesses reported an improvement in the quality of their product or service by having an apprentice

In May 2017, the Government changed apprenticeship funding. An Apprenticeship Levy is applied to all UK employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3m. If this applies to your business, estimate your apprenticeship funding.

Support for Larger Business Support Levy payers

Support for Small and Medium Business Support (non-levy payers)

  • Get in touch: Our team of Business Advisers who can provide free guidance to SME employers interested in taking on an apprentice.
  • SMEs can also register with Apprentice Makers to see case studies and connect with other businesses to learn from their experiences:
  • We can also put you in touch with Apprentice Ambassadors from businesses who can talk to you about their experiences and best practice.

Want to find out more? View SEMLEP's Apprenticeship Guide.

Supporting Careers in Construction, Engineering and Building Services

The Construction Leadership Council’s Talent Retention Scheme (CLC TRS) is available to help individuals showcase their experience and expertise and help businesses find the skills they need.


If your business is looking to:

  • get to know and work with a young person to see if they’re right for an apprenticeship or job in your business
  • prepare a young person age 16-24 (25 with an EHCP for special educational needs) for a specific apprenticeship or employment roles in your business
  • give your current employees direct experience in training and mentoring
  • find more flexible ways to offer a work placement

traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work placement. The full programme can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year, though most traineeships last for less than 6 months.

Your business needs to be able to offer at least 70 hours of safe, meaningful, and high-quality work experience.

The trainee will gain English, maths, digital and work-related qualifications which can lead them on to an apprenticeship, work, further education or a Kickstart placement.

Potential benefits to your business

  • allows you to design a programme that suits both the needs of your business and the needs of the trainee
  • can help you develop a loyal and talented workforce
  • allows you to help support young people into meaningful work
  • increase your capacity and productivity

Financial incentives

  • £1,000 per young person placement (up to 10 incentive payments per employer, per region) for employers offering traineeship work placements between 1 September 2020 and 31 July 2021.

Employer cost

No cost (it is optional whether you choose to pay the young person a wage and/or payment for expenses such as travel and subsistence).

More information about traineeships is available on the GOV.UK website.