About the sector

The employment related services sector delivers services to help improve the employability of the nation's jobseekers and future jobseekers, plus those who wish to progress in work.

Organisations delivering services are sometimes called providers and include large private businesses, large charities, small specialist organisations, local authorities, housing associations, health institutions and private sector organisations. The sector is diverse and providers may be from the private, voluntary, social enterprise or public sectors.

The sector is funded from a range of sources, including central government, local authorities, European Funding, the Big Lottery Fund, trusts, foundations and organisation's own funds.  One of the biggest purchasers of employment services is the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which funds schemes such as the Work and Health Programme, Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) and recently awarded Restart contracts across England and Wales, going live in June with the first referrals in July 2021.

More DWP commissioning is anticipated later in the year. There will also be pilots through the Community Renewal Fund and a UKSPF prospectus is expected later in the summer. Now, a wider range of funders are important to the sector, including the Scottish Government, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and the Big Lottery Fund.  

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 job search 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
  • In-work support

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, education or training (NEET), jobseekers with disabilities, health conditions or other barriers to gaining and maintaining decent work such as homeless jobseekers or those who have been in touch with the justice system. 

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