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National Homeless Advice Service

Transition to work

Support can be provided by government, local authorities and partner organisations to help young people make the transition from education, training or unemployment to work.


Starting a new job may present new obstacles to young people:

  • it can take weeks to be paid wages, leaving the young person with no income
  • existing benefits such as housing benefit may be quickly removed, and in-work benefits may take longer to be paid
  • there may be costs involved with starting a new job, for example childcare, clothing, tools and transport
  • young people may lack the skills and confidence to look for or take up employment.

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Support into work

Through Jobcentre Plus, young people can participate in government employment schemes, some of which provide tailored support for claimants who need more help to find work, as well as support to overcome barriers that prevent them from finding and staying in work. Some employment schemes are mandatory for young people claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) while others are voluntary.

Support to prepare for, find and stay in work, includes:

  • training, guidance and work placement programmes
  • work experience, volunteering and job trialling schemes
  • help with starting own business
  • help combining work with looking after children or caring responsibilities
  • extra help for specific problems.

In some circumstances, young people may be able to keep getting some benefits once they start working.

Further information - Gov.uk: Help with moving from benefits to work

Example - Turn2Us - Looking for work

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Other support and advice

Local authorities and partner organisations can also provide training and practical support to help young people gain the skills and confidence they need to start a new job. This is especially important for young people who have been away from education or training for some period, or who have experienced disruption in education and employment due to homelessness.

Good Practice - Raven Housing Trust: East Surrey pathway to employment

Example - Action for Children - Education, employment and training

Training course and mentoring can provide young people either with soft skills or with skills that are directly relevant to particular jobs.

Example - Swan Foundation Boundary Community School - Employment skills project

Some organisations will also specialise in helping particular client groups such as young ex-offenders.

Example - St Giles Trust: Support for disadvantaged young people

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