Getting the homeless back to work
About Homelessness: Facts And Figures
It is very difficult to quantify the number of homeless people in the United Kingdom, because many homeless people are under the radar. Local councils also use a range of different methods for counting homelessness in their local area. It is estimated that around 4000 – 5000 people sleep rough every night in the UK.
It is thought that around 100,000 families in Wales, England and Scotland can be classified as homeless (without a fixed address) or threatened with homelessness.
The Government’s Flagship Work Programme
The government developed the Work Programme in 2011 to help to get long term unemployed people back into the workforce. The programme aimed to encourage public and private bodies in each region of the UK to work with long term unemployed people. Those in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance who were over the age of 25 were mandated to join the Programme if they were unemployed for over 12 months. Those aged between 18 and 24 were expected to join the programme after 9 month. As of February 2017, the Work Programme has been discontinued.
What If There Is No Address? – Addressing Housing Needs
Registering as a Jobseeker can be more difficult for people who have no fixed address, however it is not impossible.
If you do not have a permanent address, you should register as a Jobseeker over the phone. When you are asked to give your address, you can advise the call handler that you do not have a fixed address. They will then ask you if you would like to nominate an address at which to receive your post. It is possible to request to receive all of your postal correspondence to a Jobcentre of your choice.
Rather than sending you to the Jobcentre that is closest to your home address, you may be offered a choice about which Jobcentre you attend for interviews and check-ins. You can check at the Jobcentre to make sure that it is OK to receive employment correspondence at that address too. You should also register as homeless with your local council. They will advise you of whether you may be eligible to join the local housing register.
Problems Facing The Homeless Getting Employed?
People who have no fixed address can find it difficult to maintain basic hygiene. Without permanent access to washing and hygiene facilities, it can be difficult to keep clean. This can also have an effect on physical and mental health. This can make it harder to make a good impression at a job interview. It can also be difficult to maintain correspondence with potential employers.
People with no fixed address may be unsure about where to get their post sent to. They may also have difficulty keeping a mobile phone charged. Homeless people may also find it difficult to overcome the negative stereotypes which are associated with homelessness. These stereotypes can prevent an employer from considering an application properly.
How Can The Homeless Help Themselves Back To Work?
Homeless people need to take full advantage of the support networks that exist in the United Kingdom. It is a good idea for a homeless person to build a strong, positive relationship with their local council and Jobcentre. The local council may be able to offer additional advice about homelessness charities which operate in the local area, such as Shelter.
A homeless person is also advised to speak to Citizen’s Advice to gain additional support. There are plenty of initiatives which are designed to help to upskill homeless people and give them additional work experience.
What Are The Government Doing To Help The Homeless Back To Work?
The government has recently put forward a Homelessness Reduction Bill to try to reduce homelessness and support those who are considered to be homeless. As well as improving housing provisions for the homeless, the bill also aims to fund initiatives which support homeless people. These initiatives include schemes which are designed to help the homeless to find work. Many social housing organisations have also been given grants for their community strategies which promote work for all. Tackling the underlying causes of homelessness can help to improve the employment prospects of homeless and potentially homeless people.
Although finding work is much harder for homeless people, it is not impossible. By taking advantage of all the support that is available in the UK, it is much easier to find a suitable job role. Speak to an expert to begin your quest for employment.