Supporting your journey to employment

If you are unemployed or your employment has been affected by Coronavirus / COVID 19, this website can help you to find your way to the Information you need.

Please note: Due to COVID-19 (Corona Virus) there will be disruption and delays to face-to-face workshops and events, please keep an eye out on our social media channels and this website for virtual workshops and events. Some recruitment activity may be delayed.


Heart of the Southwest / National Support Devon Plymouth Somerset Torbay

Heart of the South West / National Support

Claiming Access to Work during the coronavirus outbreak for people in paid work

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, you can still get help from Access to Work if you have a disability or a physical or mental health condition that makes it hard for you to do your job and you need to work from home.

You cannot claim help from Access to Work if you are no longer working. If you already have an Access to Work award, you can start using it again when you start working.

If your support needs change what you need to do

If you have started to work from home, but your support needs are the same, you do not need to report this.

If the support you need changes, for example because you have started to work from home, you need to tell Access to Work.

You need to report any changes to your circumstances during and after the coronavirus outbreak as they may affect the amount of your award.

To report a change phone 0800 121 7479

Following your report

An Access to Work adviser will discuss working from home with you and your employer to understand what support is needed.

If they cannot identify the support you need, they will put you in touch with a workplace assessor. They will work with you and your employer to recommend how to overcome the barriers you face.

If you need extra support

If you need extra support but have reached, or have nearly reached, the maximum amount of your award, speak to your Access to Work adviser.

You can continue to get a grant of up to £60,700 a year. If you have not yet spent all the award, your adviser can work with you to agree how to spend the rest of the money.

Support workers or Job Coaches

You can continue to use your existing support worker or job coach while working from home.

If you need to cancel a support worker or job coach at short notice and are charged a fee, you may be able to claim that money.

Travel costs

Access to Work can only pay towards travel costs needed because of your disability or health condition.

If you are no longer travelling to work, you should not claim for any travel support. You can start receiving support towards travel when you start travelling to work again.

You do not need to get evidence to support your claim for travel expenses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Claiming for costs

You now have 9 months to claim for costs. This has increased from 6 months because of coronavirus.

If you cannot get your employer or your support worker/job coach to sign your claim for costs, you can ask them to send you an email instead. The email should confirm that the costs you are claiming are correct. You will need to print the email and post it to Access to Work with your claim.

If you cannot leave home or ask someone else to post your claim for costs, contact your Access to Work adviser and ask if you can send your claim by email. They will tell you what you need to do.

If you have a question about your payments phone the helpline number which is 0800 121 7479.


Access to Work will contact you 12 weeks before your support is due to end. If you would like your support to continue, you will need to apply to renew it.

If your award includes costs for a support worker or job coach and your circumstances have not changed, the award will be extended for 6 months because of coronavirus. You will still need to apply to renew your award.

Assessments for new applications

DWP is taking new applications for Access to Work grants.

DWP is prioritising making grants for new claims from critical workers and people due to start work within 4 weeks.

After you apply for Access to Work, an adviser will contact you to discuss what help you could get. You may need an assessment of your workplace to assess your needs.

If you need to have an assessment, it will be carried out by telephone during the coronavirus outbreak.

If you know what support you need, you do not need to have an assessment.

An Access to Work adviser will discuss the award with you and develop a tailored package of support.

Access to work factsheet


“Citizens Advice gives people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem.

Their network of charities offers confidential advice online, over the phone, and in-person, for free.”

Citizens Advice

The Construction Leadership Council’s Talent Retention Scheme (CLC TRS) TRS is an independent employer-led programme, originally initiated by former Secretary of State (BEIS), which is dedicated to supporting the attraction, development and retention of people and skills in UK construction, manufacturing, engineering and technology.


Potential candidates can showcase their skills, talent, expertise and experience to more than 400 employers in the construction industry, you can register your details and upload your CV today.

If you’re an employer interested in securing the skills, talent and experience you need, then please  register your interest.  We’ll be in touch to take you through the process and once vetting is complete, you’ll be able to browse candidates and directly upload roles to the site.

Flyer for Candidates


Employers can register their interest in securing the skills, talent and experiences they need in the construction industry.

Flyer for Employers
Talent Retention Scheme - construction


Find a Job is the Government’s Job Search site

Find a job Website
Job Help

Jobcentre Plus is the part of the Department for Work and Pensions which delivers working-age support service in the United Kingdom.

Changes to benefits due to COVID 19 / Corona Virus
Find your nearest Job Centre
Contact Job Centre Plus


If you are thinking of becoming self-employed, the Heart of the South West Growth Hub are the first point of contact for businesses in the Heart of the South West LEP area wishing to develop and grow. Our service works in partnership with existing local and national business support services and will help businesses access the right support for them.

Heart of the South West Growth Hub


We all have mental health, and it is important to look after it. In this section we have compiled some resources to help you look after your mental health.

Rethink Mental Illness - Money, benefits and employment
NHS - Every Mind Matters
Mental Health Foundation - Finance, Housing and Unemployment worreis during corona virus

“Provide Information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work.”

Use their careers tools to help with career, training and work choices.

NCS - Explore Careers
NCS - Skills Assessment
Skills Toolkit - Find a Course
NCS - Help to get a job
National Careers Service

View recruitment agencies on our who to work for directory

The Department of Work and Pensions have produced factsheets providing information about redundancy support for both employers and employees.

Employee Redundancy

Being made redundant is challenging. But there is support and information available to help you find a new job, understand what benefits you can claim and provide you with useful sources of information.

Employee Redundancy Factsheet PDF

Employer Redundancy

Redundancies are challenging for everyone involved.

The Department of Work and Pensions ‘Rapid Response Service (RRS) provides support and useful information.

This is a redundancy service designed to give both employers and employees support and advice about things like:

• helping people facing redundancy to construct CVs and find jobs
• helping people identify their transferable skills and training needs
• providing training to help people develop vocational skills
• providing general information about benefits
• helping with costs like travel to work expenses

If you need to get in touch with Jobcentre Plus to discuss what redundancy support is available please email:

Employer Redundancy Factsheet PDF



With economic outlook changing at pace, you may be looking to upskill your workforce to avoid unemployment.

“Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a funded training programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized businesses in the Heart of the South West LEP area; Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay. They provide recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance your employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of your business and boost the local economy. SSW is co-financed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund.

Skills Support for the Workforce is all about progress. They can help you progress your career, education and business.”

Serco Skills Support

Serco also provides skills support for redundancy.

“Funded, tailored training to support individuals and businesses

Skills Support for Redundancy (SSR) is an initiative designed to support employers and individuals affected by redundancy. SSR is a  tailored service to meet your needs, offering a wide range of training support.  A dedicated Partnership Coordinator will work with you to identify the best sources of support and training to help you achieve your goals.

Co-financed by the Education & Skills Funding Agency and European Social Fund, this service is delivered by Serco.”

Serco redundancy Support


They have been providing tailored, small business advice in Devon for over 20 years.

They can help you with:


Business Information Point

Devon Carers  

“We enable unpaid carers to maintain their own health, wellbeing and independence; and to care safely, confidently and effectively. We provide carers with the information and advice they need in their caring role. We help carers find support in their community and from local community organisations. In everything we do we are led by carers, ensuring they have choice, control, and a voice as expert partners in care.”

Devon Carers


“We give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem.

Our network of charities offers confidential advice online, over the phone, and in-person, for free.”

They offer advice on:

  • Benefits
  • Work
  • Debt and money
  • Consumer
  • Housing
  • Family
  • Law and courts
  • Immigration
  • Heath
  • And more


Citizens Advice

Community are a Trade Union

  • Provide members with access to a Learning Project offering lots of free courses.
  • Life change benefits for members, including potential access to funds.
  • Able to support members and non-members with to access training.
Community Trade Union

“Education and Training Skills (ETS) is a long-standing, highly successful South West based independent training provider and registered charity. We provide executive support services, bespoke accredited and non-accredited professional development courses, apprenticeship provision, vocational in house training and online distance learning. As a long-standing training provider we have the skills, knowledge and understanding to provide long term business and training solutions to companies of all sizes.”

During coronavirus, they are running twenty virtual sessions including:

  • Resilience
  • Positive coping strategies
  • CV writing
  • Preparing for interviews and interview techniques

See their Facebook page for more information.

Education and Training Skills Group

“Bringing ideas, imagination, information and knowledge to people’s lives and communities.”

Devon libraries are collaborative and innovative spaces, that as well as allowing you to borrow a book, can help you:

  • access a computer
  • with workshops on CV writing and interview skills
  • access digital innovation through their  FabLab  

During COVID 19 they can help you access ebooks, eAudio books and Online events.

Exeter Library
Libraries Unlimited

They can provide information on finding work in Devon, Universal Credit and much more.

Find you nearest Job Centre
Seeking work in Exeter, Northern and East Devon
Find a Job

Find information about Job and Work Clubs in Devon.

“The Axminster job Club (AJC) is a free voluntary service for local people who are searching for employment in the area.  It does not replace official national resources but provides a focus on local jobs and occupations.”

During coronavirus visit their Facebook page for information about employment and training in the area.

Keep an eye out for when they are able to reopen their job club sessions at ‘Pippins’, Lyme Road, Axminster.

Job Club sessions are normally held at 9 am on Thursday mornings.

Axminster Job Club

Exmouth’s Glenorchy Work Club offers support in all areas of searching for work.

At the Free work club, you will find a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where all are welcome. With a cup of tea or coffee on hand when you need it.

Help and advice is given on:

  • CV writing
  • interview techniques
  • job applications
  • vacancies.

The voluntary organisation has a part-time co-ordinator and is also supported by volunteers.

“In these difficult times, and while we are unable to see clients on a face to face basis, please have a look at our Facebook pages for jobs, and general help with all things regarding job searching. We hope to open as soon as is safe to do so, following any given government guidelines. When we do, we meet every Thursday from 9.15am to 12.15pm and are based in the middle of Exmouth. Please join us when able to do so”

Call: 01395 271998

Glenorchy Work Club Website
Glenorchy Work Club Facebook Page

Speak to Learn Devon to discuss opportunities for adult learning, qualifications and skills.

Learn Devon can put on almost  ANY COURSE for small groups of learners (6-8 people). For example, CV writing, Employability, Job search Skills, ‘Get that Job’! – Call for details.

Learn Devon is running a series of Online courses during coronavirus:

Employability courses

Wellbeing courses  

Learn Devon

Community Service Directory for Devon


They can:

Offer comprehensive careers training, information, advice and guidance inc. free online CV and employability courses.

Offer a full range of vocational and academic training opportunities, through a range of delivery models, including online, distance and blended learning.

Offer access to funding which can subsidies or potentially fully fund courses.

South Devon College


Plymouth’s new FREE one-stop-shop skills service

Working in city-wide partnership, Skills Launchpad Plymouth is the virtual single front door which aims to help our people equip themselves with the skills and confidence that they will need to play a part in our city’s future, supporting those who are facing redundancy through the new Adult Hub, and targeted support for our young people through the new Youth Hub.



They can:

Offer comprehensive careers training, information, advice and guidance inc. free online CV and employability courses.

Offer a full range of vocational and academic training opportunities, through a range of delivery models, including online, distance and blended learning.

Offer access to funding which can subsidies or potentially fully fund courses.

South Devon College

You can also contact us by emailing

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If you find any of the contact details on the site to be wrong, please contact us to let us know.