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   Broad Oak signs up to Local Employment Partnership
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   September 2009

Broad Oak signs up to Local Employment Partnership

As unemployment rises, the DWP has taken welcome steps to support the influx of recently made redundant customers. It has increased its staffing and streamlined benefit processes, but what exactly is it doing to help people back into work?

If local employers were encouraged and equipped to proactively support the job hunter activity of unemployed people, such a scheme would be a shot in the arm for jobseekers and employers. Well, the scheme exists and is known as LEP or Local Employment Partnerships. Recruitment agencies are now being encouraged to make their employer clients aware of LEP and other the government funded incentives, such Work Trials and the Recruitment Subsidy, which can help them to recruit the right person for the job, and help those who have been unemployed for 6 months or more to find work.

With effect from August 2009, Broad Oak Solutions has been formally signed up to offer its clients LEP funding and other benefits, enabling us to help local candidates and local employers in new and important ways. If you are a local employer, talk to us about how this association between us and the UK government could benefit you. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to lose your job because of redundancy, working with Broad Oak Solutions will give you a definite advantage in the race to get that new job. Once again, Broad Oak proves it’s commitment to the local community and its ability to directly benefit its candidates and clients.

Local Employer Partnerships
Local Employment Partnerships are a major innovation in the way that Jobcentre Plus works with employers. They are a simple deal between Jobcentre Plus and employers:

• Jobcentre Plus gets long term jobseekers ready for work, and
• Employers with vacancies agree to give these long term jobseekers a fair shot at the jobs. This might include Guaranteed Interviews if they reach a certain standard, Work Placements or Work Trials.

Work Trials
Work Trials are a Jobcentre Plus initiative – the customer gets to do the job for a few weeks to see if it is something they would like to do more permanently, without losing any of their benefits. The advantage to the employer is that they get to see if the person is suitable for the job without having to pay them or employ them on a formal contract.

The Recruitment Subsidy
This is a cash payment to employers who recruit and train a long-term unemployed person - up to £2,500 per person (£500 when the employee starts, £500 after 6 months and a further £1500 to cover any training they may need)

Interview Preparation – the key to success!

The challenge of securing that new job or returning back to the paid employment has never been greater. With high quality candidates flooding the market as a consequence of company failures and uncertainty, the competition for any vacancy is hotter than ever before. Employers desperate to survive the grips of the recession must field the very team in order to maintain or achieve a competitive advantage in their chosen markets. This translates into a policy of only taking a perfect candidate and with supply exceeding demand, the bar for success at interview has gone up several notches. Flooded with applicants, employers can really be picky and even suitable candidates can lose out if one candidate manages to perform even marginally better at interview.

So what can the candidate do to increase their chances of being offered the job? Firstly, the transferable skills argument is a mute point in a market where employers can take on candidates who already know their onions. I’d advise that candidates only apply for roles that they know they have direct experience to offer – less is more. Focus your efforts on probable interview opportunities not long shots. If you secure an interview, follow these simple points to make sure it’s your name on the offer letter and not somebody else’s;

• Research the company – what can you find about the employer ? If you can’t be bothered to investigate them, why should they investigate or invest in you?
• Plan how you will relate your career to what the employer is looking for. Don’t unload your complete history and hope that the interviewer can find ways to link your experience with the tick list!
• Anticipate the Killer Questions. What do you think the interviewer will come looking for and what aspects of your experience or skills do you expect to be grilled on?
• Rapport – establish a pleasant tone and “feel” between you and the interviewer. Resist the need to Mr or Mrs Nice or Mr or Mrs Serious. Be you!
• Remember what an interview really is. The employer just wants to find out if you can do the job and how much you want it. Your role is to offer evidence in support of both points. Keep it simple
• Above all, make sure you remember the 3 P’s . Polite, Prepared and Positive.
• Seek feedback and kick any doubts about your suitability into touch – leave the meeting with a positive statement that you enjoyed the encounter and want the job!

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