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Jobcentre training support for carers

The Jobcentre may be able to help you if, as a carer, you wish to go on a training course or improve your learning in another way. This may be to help you prepare for a return to work or to update your skills in your current job.

Jobcentre Plus can help you look at your skills and find out about training and volunteering opportunities as well as job vacancies. You can also find out from the Jobcentre about financial support that you may be able to receive for things such as course fees and childcare costs. Support is often available once you're in work too.

Skills training

There are many different learning options for you as a carer; whether you're currently a carer and thinking of going back to work or your caring responsibilities have ended, refreshing or developing your skills can make a big difference to your confidence. It can also help you to find future employment. 

Speaking to your Jobcentre Plus advisor will help you to determine what skills you need to refresh or expand upon. The range of options available to you will depend on the field of work you want to go into.

You can find more information about education and learning at GOV.UK: education.

Work-focused support for carers

Through Jobcentre Plus you can access training and support, such as the work-focused support for carers initiative. This voluntary scheme aims to help you find suitable training that will give you the skills you need to secure paid work, find job vacancies and apply for jobs. Advisers will also be able to give you information about finding and paying for replacement care, as well as benefits advice. You can get more information about this by contacting your local Jobcentre.

Work Programme

The Work Programme is available through Jobcentre Plus and aims to help people return to work. It’s intended to be a simple, tailored scheme which will provide each participant with the support they need. It was launched in June 2011 and replaces previous schemes such as the Flexible New Deal and New Deal. The support that’s provided through the Work Programme can include work experience and training.

Support can be provided by the programme for up to two years. You’re required to take part in the scheme if you have been claiming Jobseekers' Allowance for nine months (if you’re aged 18-24) or 12 months (if you’re aged 25 or over). Some people claiming Employment and Support Allowance in the work-related activity group may also have to attend.

You can also ask to join the programme if you are claiming certain benefits or tax credits.

For more information about the Work Programme, contact Jobcentre Plus.

Courses, qualifications and funding

You will get help with the cost of tuition fees for a range of courses if you're receiving any of the following benefits:

You may also qualify if you're not working and are part of a couple with someone who gets one of the benefits or tax credits listed above.

The Skills Funding Agency would cover the cost of a course if you’re on one of the above benefits. However, you also need to check with the college before enrolling if your chosen course is funded by the Skills Funding Agency. If you don't qualify for free tuition, the college may run a discount scheme that you may be eligible for.

Learndirect offers a range of flexible courses that you can do at a local centre, from home or from work. Learndirect courses allow you to learn at your own pace whenever you want and wherever you are. You can find out more about which courses are offered and which are best suited to your needs by calling Learndirect on 0800 101 901.

If you need information, advice or guidance on courses, careers and funding, you can contact the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900. Help is available over the phone, online or face-to-face.


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Page last reviewed: 19/08/2013

Next review due: 19/08/2015

Call Carers Direct on 0300 123 1053

Confidential information and advice for carers.

Lines are open 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays), 11am to 4pm at weekends. Request a free call back or an interpreted call back in one of more than 170 languages including ربي, বাংলা, 中文, Français, ગુજરાતી, Polski, Português, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Soomaali, Español, Türkçe and .اردو.

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Find out more about the Carers Direct helpline.

Your rights as a carer

Find out what the law says about your rights if you're looking after an ill or disabled relative, friend or neighbour