Motorway at night


Staffing solutions for your business

We all know that many businesses throughout the county are struggling more than ever to recruit and retain the staff.

This isn’t a problem with one simple solution, and the mix of solutions will differ between businesses. While the lobbying continues around measures such as changing visa rules, we’ve pulled together some more immediate practical ideas you may find helpful.

We’re setting up a specific area in where we’ll also include information and links, and continue to refresh that. So if anyone has other ideas to add to the list then please let us know and we’ll add them too.


It might seem obvious but it’s easy to forget that the Jobcentre is there to help people into jobs and can help you as an employer find the staff you’re looking for. This includes a free vacancy advertising service, work trials, sector based academy programmes and more. See


You can also get help to recruit through Inspira, based in Penrith and operating countywide (and beyond), or email Inspira is an expert in employability skills, working with young people and adults to help get local people into work, improve their skills and open up new opportunities for disadvantaged people.

Disability Confident

Disability Confident is creating a movement of change, encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people. If you’re not maximising opportunities for people with disabilities to join your organisation and progress, you could be really missing out. The scheme was developed by employers and disabled people’s representatives to make it rigorous but easily accessible, particularly for smaller businesses. Find out more here and here

While we’d really encourage you to look at becoming a Disability Confident Employer – it really isn’t onerous – you don’t need to do so to do more to employ disabled people. Whether you go for accreditation or not, there’s help available through the Jobcentre.

Access to Work

Access to Work (available through Jobcentres) is a publicly funded employment support grant scheme that aims to support disabled people start or stay in work. It can provide practical and financial support for people who have a disability or long term physical or mental health condition. Support can be provided where someone needs support or adaptations beyond reasonable adjustments. An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support to enable your employee to start or stay in work, or to support you if you are self-employed. Find out more here

Triple A/National Autism Society

Many autistic people have a variety of, sometimes exceptional, skills that enable them to thrive in roles ranging from sales assistant to computer programme, and journalist to statistician, to name just a few. Autistic employees may need some, often simple, support within the workplace. As well as their individual strengths and talents, autistic candidates often demonstrate above average skills in some or all of the following areas:

  • High levels of concentration
  • Reliability, conscientiousness and persistence
  • Accuracy, close attention to detail and the ability to identify errors
  • Technical ability, such as in IT
  • Detailed factual knowledge and an excellent memory.

This means an autistic person may well be better at a particular job than someone who is not autistic. By gaining an understanding of autism, you can open up new possibilities for your organisation. Find out more at or contact

You may also want to attend Triple A’s Workforce Inclusion Hybrid Conference on Tuesday 28th September 2021 – 9.30am – 3.30pm to find out more about Triple A’s UK/US collaboration to create meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with autism and other disabilities in Cumbria and hear first hand from some of the world’s leading authorities on workplace inclusion. You can attend in person or virtually. Contact or 07554 370 823.

Service Leavers

You may have seen communications from us encouraging you to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant With thousands of skilled people leaving the forces every year this is something that’s well worth considering, not least to access the Career Transition Partnership’s Rightjob online vacancy database and other recruitment support. The CTP provide a personalised, no cost service to employers, regardless of size throughout the UK and overseas.

Leavers include engineers, technicians, trainers, administrators, IT managers, drivers, chefs, nurses, pilots, operations managers, facilities managers, project managers and communications experts.

Find out more about the benefits of recruiting ex-services personnel at

You can find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant here You may also wish to contact Vicky Doran, MOD Regional Employer Engagement Director, or the CTP Employer Relationship Manager, NE & Cumbria, Emma Wilkinson,

And don’t forget if you can get NIC relief if you employ a service veteran.


Under DWP’s Restart scheme providers will work with employers, local government and other partners to deliver tailored support for individuals to get them into work. You can find out more at

Ex-offenders and Prisoners

While this may not seem the most appealing route, employers such as Halfords, Pret a Manger, Greene King, M&S and Timpsons – as well as smaller employers – are finding this really works for them. Find out more at

Universities, colleges and schools

It can be well worth engaging actively with universities, schools and colleges.

Lancaster University, for example, offer a range of services,

A targeted advertisement costs £50 plus VAT and consists of your vacancy being published on the Employment and Recruitment Service (ERS)  website and a targeted mailshot being sent to their database of over 15,000 students and graduates of Lancaster. They will also undertake internal promotion by highlighting the position to their internal network too as well as featuring it on their well followed social media channels.

There is also a free un-managed service, Target Connect, which gets an advert up and out locally and nationally to graduates from the range of universities:

The University of Cumbria also offer a range of recruitment services to employers

Similar support is available from other universities. Obviously it’s worth thinking about which universities and colleges offer courses relevant to what you’re looking for. Don’t forget school leavers, both GSCE and A Level, or indeed those leaving after their first year of six form or even in the early weeks and months having discovered it’s not for them. And consider too the opportunities for placements, projects, visits and more – helping you build those links with potential employees while they’re still studying.

If you have difficulty contacting any of the above please do let us know and we’ll do our best to link you in effectively. And if you have or do use them successfully then please let us know, in particular if you’d be happy to promote that success with us.

Good luck with your recruitment!