WORK Based Learning Questions Answered

Q

What is Work Based Leaning for Self Employment?

This is one option for people (aged 25+) who have been unemployed for 6 months or more.It allows you to set up a business of your own and to operate it for a 3 month period under 'test trading' conditions while remaining on benefits. There are also additional benefits (approximately £10.00 per week) payable during this period.

In order to enter WBLA it is usually necessary to attend a training programme, prior to starting to trade. In addition you will need to produce a business plan and set up a bank account with a 'joint mandate' - in other words the training provider will have to countersign all cheques for the 3 month period.

This is because the intention is that you live off the benefits and build a balance in your account of the profit made in the business during the 3 month period. At the end of the 6 months you have a choice - either go into business full time and leave the benefits system or remain on benefits and shut down the business - either way the profit in the account is yours.

It is, in effect, a no-risk start up situation that many have used to develop successful businesses. In addition princes trust is an option, if you are aged below 31, for funding and they do look favourably on WBLA Clients (click here for more information). If you are over 50 then PRIME is a possibility for funding and support (click here for more information)and if you are ex-forces then the British Legion do offer Business Start Up Loans (click here for more information)

There is, however the otpion of starting your business and claiming Working Tax Credit (if you have dependent children or a disability) and this may be worth considering as an alternative to WBLA (click here for more information)

Q

What is the next step?

Contact your local job centre for further information - they will refer you to the local organisation that has been contracted to carry out the Self Employed option. You may want to visit the WBLA web site for further information - click here