The National Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work opportunities. The service offers confidential and impartial advice. This is supported by qualified careers advisers.
How we can help you
We know that everyone has the ability and potential to develop and grow in their lives and careers. We also understand that sometimes things get in the way and can hold you back.
The National Careers Service website aims to:
- help you with careers decisions and planning
- support you in reviewing your skills and abilities and develop new goals
- motivate you to implement your plan of action
- enable you to make the best use of high quality career related tools.
Have you been made redundant and are unsure of your next move? Are you returning to work from time out? We can help.
Perhaps you have just finished college or university and are considering your next move. You might be unhappy in your current job and ready for a change, but not sure what. You might have been out of work for a while and looking for job hunting tips.
Whatever your situation, whatever your barriers, we’re here to help you overcome them and reach your potential.
We also realise that jobs these days need more skills and qualifications. This means making the right decisions about your learning and development is more important than ever. We’re here to help you build on your strengths, improve your weaker areas, and help you find a job or career that suits your skills and personality.
Our website has all the career tools you need to make the right choices about your future. Read on and see which might be most useful for you. You can permanently store your results and records from all of these tools in a Lifelong Learning Account. Registration is free and only takes a few minutes. You need to be aged 13 or over to open a Lifelong Learning Account.
Whether you know which course you want to do or you want to browse around for ideas, our Courses and learning section has tools and information for you. You can search through thousands of courses on our Course search. You can also find out which types of learning might suit you best, from Apprenticeships to flexible learning.
If you’ve found the course you want to do, you might want to know if you qualify for can get financial help. This could be for costs such as course fees, travel, equipment and day-to-day living costs. You can find out more about money issues in our funding advice section.
If you want to find out more about your strengths and personality type, and how they might help you perform well in certain types of jobs, try our Skills Health Check Tool. These are a set of online quizzes. They help you to work out what you're good at, what you like doing and how you like working. They can take a few hours to complete, but you don’t have to do it all at once. You can save where you’re up to and come back to it. At the end of the Skills Health Check you’ll get a report summarising your results. This also includes suggestions on job areas that might suit you - then you can browse through job profiles in that area.
Do you know which job you’re aiming for? Are you still deciding? Having a plan will help you to get there. Our Action Plan Tool will help you create a step-by-step approach to keep you on track and working towards your goal.
A professional CV that’s well presented, sells your skills and achievements in a persuasive way, and targeted at the right employers, could be the difference between getting interviews and getting passed over. Our CV Builder and CV and covering letter advice sections can help you. They have useful advice whether you’re writing your first CV or making the final tweaks to an existing one. In order to use the CV Builder you need to open a Lifelong Learning Account (please see above). You need to be aged 13 or over to open a Lifelong Learning Account.
If you want a way of keeping track of your learning, a Learning Record is where you can store details of courses you’ve done. This could be useful when you’re job hunting. It will clearly show employers the skills and knowledge you’ve got.
If it's financial help for your learning that you’re looking for, the Your Funding Information section can help. Here you can keep track of what contributions the government has made towards your learning. You can also view how much you’ve put towards it, and you can save details of any funding searches you’ve done.
Remember, you can permanently store your results and records from all of these tools in a Lifelong Learning Account. Registration is free and only takes a few minutes. You need to be aged 13 or over to open a Lifelong Learning Account.
Information and advice
We’ve got almost 800 job profiles. Each of these describes the essential information about each job, including:
- what the work is like
- what the typical hours are
- how much you usually get paid
- which qualifications you need to get in and to get on
- who the main types of employers are
- links for further information.
They’re organised into ‘job families’, which are different industry areas. So if you want to get into a particular industry, you can have a browse around the job profiles in that family. If you’ve got a particular job in mind, you can find it by either using our job profile search. You can also search through the relevant job family.
But even if you haven’t got a particular job in mind, it can be useful just to browse around the job profiles. This can give you career ideas. On each profile we put related careers. This means that if one job interests you but isn’t quite ideal, you can see if a similar job might suit you more.
Job market information
Our job market information section includes details about skills shortages, important industries in each region and what you can expect to earn in different job sectors. You can use the information to help you make decisions about your next career and training moves.
The details have been put together from research and reports from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, the Office for National Statistics and Local Enterprise Partnerships.
Job hunting advice
Are you on the lookout for a new job? In our get a job section you can find in-depth advice on:
- where to find vacancies
- filling in application forms
- writing a professional CV
- performing well in interviews
- getting work experience.
Advice on choosing a career
There’s lots to take into account when choosing your first job or changing career. After all, it’s a big step, and everyone has their own individual circumstances, skills and ambitions. In this section you’ll find guides on how to:
- make sure you’ve thought of all the important factors that go into career choice
- decide if you’re ready for a career change
- use your transferable skills
- get more job satisfaction.
Advice for your situation
We also have specific advice for people in certain situations or groups, including:
Real life stories
Read about how we were able to help people just like you to take the next step in their career and life. You could be the next success story.
Our Spotlight section has news about the job market, new qualifications and new careers resources. There are also job hunting tips and events where you can meet an adviser. You can find careers advice for different situations, and updates on the National Careers Service website.
Our expert advisers are knowledgeable, enthusiastic and provide independent help. They aim to empower you to make your own career and learning choices. Our advisers are trained to inspire and motivate you. They provide you with the information, advice and guidance you need to help you take control of your learning and working life.
Our advisers put you and your needs at the heart of the process. They help you make the best possible decisions.
We offer advice on learning and work issues, help you explore which careers would suit you best, provide tips on searching for a job and help you to improve your interview skills.
Your National Careers Service adviser can help you:
- develop your CV
- search and apply for jobs
- understand the job market
- search for courses and training schemes
- find funding to support any learning
- identify your key strengths and skills
- explore your career options
- choose training routes that fit your lifestyle
- develop an action plan - this can help you achieve your goals
- refer you to other useful organisations.
How to contact our advisers
The National Careers Service aims to give you the advice you need in the method you prefer. Whichever method you choose, you’ll get the same quality advice that puts your needs first.
National Careers Service advisers are at the end of a telephone line to help you. Whether you want some quick course information or an in-depth careers interview, we can help. The number to call is 0800 100 900. Mobile users don’t need to worry about charges for 0800 numbers. We will call you back for free (see below). Lines are open 8am – 10pm seven days a week.
Request a call back
If you’d like to chat to an adviser but it’s not convenient right now, you can request a call back at a time that suits you.
Post any careers question you like using our web form. It’s designed to make sure you include all the information our advisers need to answer your question over email. It’s not just a one-stop question and answer service – you’ll be invited to come back to ask more questions if you want to.
Forums and chat rooms
Our forums and chat rooms are places where we support each other and try to offer suggestions to other people’s careers questions. In our forums and chat rooms you’ll find many other learners and career changers just like yourself, plus helpful advice from our careers advisers.
So if you’ve got a careers question to ask and would welcome suggestions from like-minded people, and our advisers, these are the places to do it. You’ll also be very welcome if you haven’t got a question but you’ve got experience and knowledge to share with others. Together we can put our minds to any careers question!
If you’d like to chat right now in confidence via instant messaging, why not use our webchat? Advisers will try to answer your query as quickly as possible. This may take longer during busy times and if they need to do some research.
You can book an appointment to speak to a National Careers Service adviser in your local area. You'll need to be living in England and aged 19 or over (18 or over if you're a Jobcentre Plus customer). You’ll get advice on deciding which careers might be right for you, writing a CV, job hunting and choosing courses. You can also find out about your local jobs market. You book an appointment by calling 0800 100 900.
You can find out more about the ways of getting in touch on our Contact an adviser page.
Typetalk and minicom are available if you have a hearing impairment and wish to contact an adviser.
Advice in other languages
You can speak to an adviser in your own language using our translation service. Simply call 0800 100 900 and tell the adviser which language you would like translated.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
The National Careers Service offers advice about careers and skills in England. If you’re looking for information about courses or careers in other parts of the UK please visit: