Retraining after redundancy

If you’ve recently been made redundant it can be a huge blow, but with the right support it can also be a great opportunity.

Finding out you’ve been made redundant can really throw you for a loop.

A friend of mine got made redundant recently and it was very stressful financially. What she didn’t expect though was how much it knocked her confidence too.

The good news is she’s sorted now and it actually gave her a chance to find something she enjoys more.

Redundancy is never going to be an ideal situation but with the right help it can also be an opportunity – here’s how.

The road after redundancy

It might not feel like it right now, but redundancy could be the first step on a road to something better.

Firstly, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a step back and take a look at the bigger picture. Maybe there’s a project you’ve been thinking about or a career change you haven’t had the time to look into. Well hello big picture, because the time is now!

This can mean different things to different people. For a lot of people, it might be revamping their skill set.

There are lots of courses out there – many of which are online or subsidised – and some are even free. For example, free online coding courses can help you get tech skills, which can really set you apart in an interview no matter where you work.

If you’ve got a cracking business idea you could do some research to see if it’s actually got legs. We’ve even part-funded a pop-up business school in Oldham, so get some advice and take the plunge.

It can be a good time to build your confidence in new areas too. Volunteering can be great for this, and just getting new skills will give you a boost. Even taking time to learn a new hobby can help.

When it comes to training, apprenticeships are a great idea. You’re paid while you learn and get hands-on experience. They aren’t just for recent graduates either.

Part-time or full-time training can also help you get skilled up. If you’re thinking ‘yeah that’s great but I’ve got bills to pay’ then there is financial support out there, which leads us nicely onto our next section…

Extra support

It might feel like you’re stuck in limbo without a safety net but that’s not true. As soon as you’ve been made redundant, step one is to start looking at any benefits you’re entitled to.

If you sign up for an apprenticeship or study course you might also be able to get some support, such as money towards childcare.

You might even be able to get a jump on the job hunt if you’ve worked for your employer for two years at the end of your notice period. Lots of people don’t know this, but you’re entitled to time off to apply for jobs or go on training.

You can take this at any time during normal working hours. Your employer can’t ask you to rearrange your work hours to make up the time off, so it’s a great opportunity to get started looking for your dream job.

Redundancy checklist

When you get your final pay, it’s important to check it straight away to make sure you’ve got the right amount.

Keep a beady eye out for:

  • Any redundancy pay you’re entitled to, or make sure you’ve been told when to expect it
  • Your last wages/salary
  • Any ‘pay in lieu’ if you’re not working your full notice
  • Holiday pay, if you’re owed any
  • Any bonuses, commission or expenses you’re entitled to
Places to get help

If you’re unsure about any of this, Onward customers can get in touch with our Social Investment team for support. If you’re not an Onward customer, Citizens Advice is a great first place to get free advice.

Get some back-up as early as possible in case you end up going to an employment tribunal to get the money you’re owed.

Some places do great social initiatives too, which are worth looking out for. For example, Timpson offers free dry cleaning if you’re unemployed and need an outfit cleaned for an interview. The service is available in all its supermarket branches and selected high street shops.

How we can help

We’re also on-hand to support any of our customers wanting to retrain or with careers support more generally.

Our Works4Me programme helps enhance your skills or confidence through training or volunteering.

Our dedicated specialists can help you onto your career path and find your dream job with:

  • Training courses
  • CV writing & job applications
  • Job searches & interview practice
  • Work experience & volunteering opportunities
  • Career development

In some cases we can also provide support with childcare and travel expenses. Terms and conditions apply so best to get in touch with our Social Investment team for more information.

We’ve also teamed up with Tameside Council to provide a work and skills coaching service to local people living in Hattersley. More than 60 people have been supported into work over the past two years, with many more accessing our free training and skills development opportunities.

To speak to our dedicated Work and Skills Coach, please contact Matthew or call 0161 366 3968.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you on your career path

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