Information Now

Looking For Work

Help is available if you’re looking for work for the first time, thinking about returning to work, or want to change your career.  It may be a long time since you went through the process of looking for a job, filling in application forms and attending interviews.

If you are new to work or out of work, whether it’s voluntarily or through redundancy, it can take time to find another job, regardless of your age. Preparing for employment can improve your chances of finding paid work.

There are lots of recruitment agencies, websites and careers advisers that can help you. You can look for a job or an apprenticeship and train while continuing in your current job. What you decide to do depends upon your circumstances, self-confidence, access to resources including digital resources and your interests. Many people change career several times or more during their working life so it is important to remember that your first choice may not be your final choice of job or career.

Employability support

Read our article on Support to prepare for employment for more details on local support available.

The National Careers Service provides careers advice and information to people of all ages. You can access free support online, over the telephone and face to face. They provide free resources including:

  • a profile builder
  • a skills assessment to help you to identify your skills, strengths and gaps
  • careers information including 800 job descriptions and salary expectations
  • advice for furloughed workers

Local job search support

Jobcentre Plus can help you to find a job, get back in to work, or set up your own business.

Connexions Personal Advisers can support those with a learning disability or difficulty to make positive choices about their future with information about college courses, apprenticeships, 6th form in schools, employment and a range of other options depending on their needs and interests.

Newcastle Futures offer a range of employability support for people in Newcastle. They offer, training, one to one and online support. Tyne Online for people who are confident and have basic IT skills

Newcastle City Learning- Learning Difficulties and Disabilities provision run a range of courses including employability, English, Maths and ESOL.

Northern Learning Trust help with advice, support and careers guidance.

Your Homes Newcastle support their customers to find employment. They work with partners to offer:

  • training
  • help with job searches
  • support with CV writing and job applications
  • interview preparation to develop your confidence
  • jobs, paid placements, and apprenticeships at YHN
  • regular jobs and training newsletter

Mental Health Matters runs two employment support projects for 18 + and adults across the City..

Wise Steps helps people in Tyne and Wear to change their lives through work. They provide one-to-one advice, training and support to help people make those first steps towards work.

JET (Jobs Education and Training) work with BAME (Black Asian Minority Ethnic) communities, asylum seekers, refugees and New Migrant communities to help them to find work, improve their skills and settle into life in Newcastle.  This is done through one to one support from an experienced, qualified advisor. The range of support available includes:

  • one to one support with your CV, job search, application forms and finding work experience or training opportunities
  • ESOL (English as a second language) classes to prepare you for work by teaching basic vocabulary, grammar, and real-life working scenarios language.
  • The National Careers Service which is available to all
  • The Wicker Chair Coffee House & Bistro  offer work placements as well as buffets for local events at very competitive prices
  • Wise Steps programme to help you improve your chances of finding a job by reducing barriers and improving confidence.
  • Integration support for people new to the UK. Women only integration sessions available


An interview is a conversation between an employer and you about your suitability for a job.  The employer asks you questions about your work experience, career, personality and life and you answer honestly with relevant information and insights that will help them select you.  There are several types of interview, depending on the job and sector:

  • One-to-one interview  The most common type. You are interviewed by just one person (usually the boss) and it’s a simple question and answer session.
  • Panel interview This is where you’re interviewed by more than one person at a time; expect two or more interviewers to be in the room with you.
  • Competency interview  The most advanced interview type. You’ll be tested on different situations e.g. ‘tell me about a time when you showed good teamwork’.

Interviews do not need to be scary or intimidating if you have done some research about the employer, you match their skills requirements and you want the job.  Practice your interview technique with friends, family or through one of the organisations in the Skills Hub.

Local help

Smart Works is a no-cost clothing, styling and coaching service for women who have been invited to a job interview. They offer a 1:1 coaching session with an experienced coach. Clients visit  for a two-hour appointment where they are styled by a dressing team. They take away a full outfit for their interview (theirs to keep).

Suitability supports unemployed men get back to work, by providing free suitable clothing for interviews, and one-to-one support to help them feel more confident to succeed.


An apprenticeship is a real job where you learn, gain experience and get paid. You’re an employee with a contract of employment and holiday leave. By the end of an apprenticeship, you’ll have the right skills and knowledge needed for your chosen career.

It can take between one and 6 years to complete an apprenticeship depending on which one you choose, what level it is and your previous experience. It’s funded from contributions made by the government and your employer.  Depending on the level, some apprenticeships may:

  • require previous qualifications such as an English or maths GCSE
  • give extra training in the English or maths skills needed so you’re at the right level

Apprenticeships are available on leaving school and throughout your employment journey. Gov.UK has a section on apprenticeships at any age and  help for over 50s.

Job vacancies 

Local and national newspapers carry job adverts, usually on a particular day of the week. Most newspapers also have a website on which job adverts will be updated more regularly.

The internet is a good way of getting details of many vacancies. If you’re not online at home, you can use the internet for free at your local library and Community Hive. There is free WIFI available in Newcastle. Find out more about Computer support and IT classes available in Newcastle.

You can use these websites below to search for a particular type of job in locations local to you. You can specify things like range of salary and whether you want to work full or part-time:

  • for government jobs
  • NHS Jobs
  • North East Jobs
  • Fish4jobs
  • VONNE has voluntary sector vacancies across the North East.
  • Department for Work and Pension seasonal jobs portal features summer, seasonal and temporary roles for jobseekers of all ages
  • Skills Hub is a new platform for job seekers and employers. Vacancies are wide ranging and include: front of house and waiting staff at some of the region’s leading bars and restaurants, chef opportunities and kitchen assistants to hoteliers, as well as receptionists at well-established accommodation brands in the city.
  • Guardian jobs in the North East
  • Adzuna
  • Monster
  • Careershifters use their online tool to discover new career options to move into fulfilling work
  • Skilled People (partnered with Restless) search for jobs for people over the age of 50
  • LinkedIn online networking for professionals. You can search job vacancies, post your CV and upload a personal skills and experience profile. Potential employers may find you based on your skills.

It is worth remembering that 73% of employers do not advertise vacancies externally. They advertise internally by using existing staff or people who have used a speculative approach and the employer has kept them on file. Try sending your profile with a covering letter to employers that you have an interest in working for, even if they are not currently advertising a vacancy.

You should also use your personal network. Amongst your friends and relatives there will be a vast range of knowledge about sectors and work opportunities.

Improving your job prospects

If you’re unemployed or thinking about a change of career, it’s a good time to think about the skills you have to offer and if you need some extra training for the job you want.

Create and keep your online profiles up to date

Most jobs are advertised online, so your online presence is important. Check any existing public social media accounts that you have and make sure they represent you well to potential employers. You may have profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, YouTube, Blogs, LinkedIn and other sites.

When applying for jobs online, you will need to create an account and upload a personal profile, skills statement or CV which can make it quicker to apply for more jobs in the future. This may be on a job website such as North East Jobs, a recruitment agency or Social Media such as LinkedIn. Think about your skills, abilities and experience and include this in your profile. When you have some prepared profile statements you can use them regularly in other job applications. Don’t forget to tailoring your skills and experience to each job application to show you are best suited to that job. You could ask a former boss, colleague or friend what they would say were your strengths and weaknesses to get you started.

Most employers will send you an application form or direct you to an online form rather than asking you to send them your CV with a covering letter. You will be given a person specification with essential skills, knowledge, abilities and personality traits that the employer is looking for.  You will need to be able to answer this in writing. If you’re invited for an interview you’ll be asked to give more details.

Improving your skills, education and training

If you are looking for work and you feel that your skills need updating or that you would benefit from learning new ones, there are several ways to do this. Adult education courses, specific work training, and volunteering are all ways of improving your job prospects. Read our article on Support to prepare for employment to find out more about local support.

Newcastle City Learning run courses and qualifications for people over 25. They offer a range of qualifications, community involvement and work experience including:

  • Cookery
  • Life skills for people over 25 with a learning difficulty and/or disability
  • Computers, digital skills and ICT
  • Independent living in the home and the community
  • Employability
  • Maths and English
  • English as a second language (ESOL)
  • Art and drama
  • Health & Social Care Academy a 4 week course to try out and prepare for a career in care work

The Skills Toolkit has free digital and numeracy courses.

Lifelong Learning

You’re never too old to study, whether it’s purely for enjoyment or to learn new skills to help you to get into work. Organisations in Newcastle provide learning opportunities from basic English and maths to information technology and business management courses. Many of these courses are free and either online or face to face. Find out more in our articles on:


If you are looking to get back into paid work or maybe to change your career, volunteering is an excellent way to gain valuable skills and experience in your chosen field. See our section on Volunteering for further information and useful contacts.

Financial and practical support available to unemployed people

Support for carers

If you are looking after someone and want to combine paid work with your caring responsibilities, there is a variety of help available.

Support for parents

You can get help paying for childcare if it’s provided by a:

  • registered childminder, nanny, play scheme, nursery or club
  • childminder or nanny with a registered childminder agency or childcare agency
  • registered school
  • home care worker working for a registered home care agency

You an also get support if you have:

Problems at work

If you are having problems in your current job, at risk of redundancy or feel that you are being discriminated against, you may find these pages on InformationNOW useful:

Recruitment Scams

JobsAware can help you spot a scam.  You should be wary of potential employers that ask you to pay for training or a DBS up front. They offer advice and support and you can report a scam.

Last updated: December 6, 2021