The Restart Scheme and what it means for jobseekers

Written by EFP Editor
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Wondering what the Restart Scheme is and what it means for jobseekers? Take a look at our helpful guide for jobseekers and employers.

How does the Restart Scheme work if you’re looking for employment?

This week the chancellor announced the governments £2.9bn package of support to help jobseekers find work and tackle the UK’s growing unemployment crisis as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government Restart Scheme aims to provide coronavirus help for over a million unemployed people over the next three years through training courses and local partnerships. It will be aimed at older workers in particular, but open to anyone who has been out of work for over 12 months.

For jobseekers, it will give you access to regular, intensive support that will be tailored to your individual needs. Further details of how this support will be implemented are yet to be announced, but it will certainly help tackle the projected surge in UK unemployment coronavirus will cause over the coming winter and into next year.

The government has also announced that to support the scheme, the Treasury will provide an additional £1.4bn to increase the capacity of local Jobcentre Plus and expand upon the support it already provides to local communities. It is looking to recruit over 13,500 work coaches to work on the frontline to advise and support the unemployed finding employment.

Also, as part of the package, the National Living Wage will increase by 2.2 per cent to £8.91 per hours from April 2021, benefiting around two million of the lowest-paid workers.

Making the most out of the Restart Scheme as a jobseeker

As a jobseeker, there are multiple retraining opportunities you can access when looking to start a new career and can help with basic skills such as CV writing and interview preparation. If you have been out of work more than a year, the Restart Scheme will build upon existing support already offered by jobcentre work coaches.

Having a good relationship with your work coach will be vital to making the most of the Restart Scheme. Ask for their advice, use their knowledge and experience with approaching employers and make use of opportunities they will provide to retrain and build upon your skillset.

Continued financial support is also available for jobseekers. For example, you can apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work. You can also apply for Universal Credit or Jobseekers Allowance to support you whilst looking for work.

  • An extension to the Apprenticeship hiring incentive scheme as part of governments the Plan For Jobs, which will now run until the end of March 2021

  • Billions of government spending provided to create new infrastructure projects that will create and protect hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country.

  • The Kickstart Scheme will have an additional £2bn invested to create hundreds of thousands of new work placements for 16-24 year olds at risk of long-term unemployment

  • £200m for other support measures for jobseekers announced through additional support measures


Keep checking back for updates on the Restart Scheme as the chancellor announces further information and how it will support you with finding work.

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