The employment related services sector delivers services to help improve the employability of the nation's jobseekers or future jobseekers, plus those who wish to progress in work.
Organisations delivering services are sometimes called providers and include large multinational companies, small specialist organisations, local authorities, housing associations, health institutions and others. The industry is diverse and providers may be from the private, voluntary, social enterprise or public sectors. Approximately 20,000 people work in the sector.
The sector is funded from a range of sources, including central government, local authorities, European money and organisation's own funds. One of the biggest purchasers of employment services is the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the biggest scheme of which is Work Programme. Other national schemes include the Youth Contract, ESF Families with Multiple Problems contract and Work Choice. These current set of contracts build on predecessor schemes contracted by previous governments such as the Future Jobs Fund and the Flexible New Deal.
Providers deliver a wide range of services targeted at helping individuals overcome their barriers to employment. These include, but are not limited to:
Careers advice and guidance
CV and jobsearch support
Sourcing job vacancies with employers
Advice and support for job interviews
Work experience and placements
Training and skills support
Housing and benefits advice
Business start-up advice
Many providers of services in the sector specialise in a particular group of jobseekers, such as young people leaving school or those not in employment, eduction or training, jobseekers with disabilities or health conditions, homeless jobseekers or those with an offending history.