Redundancy can be a difficult and scary time, but it can also be an opportunity. On this page, we outline some advice about job hunting, and options for retraining, further education, and voluntary work.
There are lots of options for you to consider after redundancy.
You may want to search for a job in your current field, or retrain to gain a new set of skills to start a different career. You might take on voluntary work to fill some of your new found spare time and develop your skills. You may also take this opportunity to return to education.
There are national bodies that offer careers services, advice about gaining new skills or qualifications, and other opportunities.
- In England, the National Careers Service
- In Scotland, Skills Development Scotland
- In Wales, Careers Wales
- In Northern Ireland, NIDirect
Higher / Further Education
Gaining qualifications by returning to education is one way to obtain new skills and enter a different field of work.
Colleges and universities offer full-time, part-time, and distance study courses, so think about what you are interested in studying and what course of study might suit you.
Depending on your current field of work and the kind of work you want to do, retraining might be similar to studying, or it might be more like starting a new kind of job.
Grants and bursaries are available from Government, charities, and higher education institutions. These are like loans but they do not have to be paid back.
Finding a new job immediately after redundancy can be difficult. You will probably have more free time than usual and may want to keep busy. Perhaps you want to volunteer for a cause, or maybe you want to boost your CV.
When choosing to volunteer after redundancy, it’s important to consider the costs amd time associated with volunteering. You may need to balance your time with job hunting. There be associated financial costs like travel to get to and from your volunteering position. Some companies and charities that accept volunteers may pay for your expenses.
If you are claiming benefits like Job Seeker’s Allowance while volunteering, check with your advisor about accepting expenses as this may affect your allowance. Generally if you meet your benefits requirements – like attending interviews – you should still receive your benefits. You can also find free advice about your rights while volunteering from the GOV.UK volunteering page.
Job hunting can be a long and difficult process. Finding the right position for you can also be emotionally and physically tiring. It is important to take care of your emotional well being – read our advice on personal support here. Be prepared to commit to job hunting and remember that it might take some time.
A good place to start is updating your CV. A CV is a summary of your education, skills and experience. If you’ve been in the same job for a while you might not have updated your CV for a while. You may also have gained new skills or developed existing ones . If you need advice about building your CV, you can find advice on the National Careers Service website.
A good place for beginning your job hunt may be the Government-provided job search venues. Online you can look at Universal Jobmatch to search for suitable positions. In person, you can visit your local Jobcentre Plus.
After redundancy you may want to sign on for Job Seeker’s Allowance. Even if you don’t need the money, depending on your circumstances, this can prevent a gap from developing in your National Insurance record. You can claim for Job Seeker’s Allowance online or at your local Jobcentre Plus.