Advice workers give information and advice on issues such as legal and consumer rights, welfare benefits, housing and financial problems. Some workers may specialise in one particular area of work.
You could be:
- helping people to exercise their rights and be aware of obligations
- advising clients on what benefits and allowances they are entitled to
- advising on rights at work and issues such as redundancy or discrimination
- helping a client to work out a plan for paying off debts
- referring clients on for specialist help, such as legal advice
- dealing with other areas such as housing or family issues
- representing clients at employment tribunals or welfare benefit appeals
- filling out forms, making phone calls or writing letters on behalf of clients
- collecting statistics, writing reports and keeping client records.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
- where you work
- the size of the company or organisation you work for
- the demand for the job.
Advice workers or advisers can earn between £18,000 and £23,500 a year. Managers of advice projects or advice centres can earn from around £26,000 a year or more.
- Some advice organisations give advice on a single subject (such as money advice centres), while others give wide-ranging, general advice.
- You may work in a local authority department such as housing or social work, or with a voluntary body, such as a Citizens Advice, where you would deal with a wide range of issues.
- You work in an office, sometimes in a local community centre.
- You usually work regular hours, Monday to Friday, but you advice sessions may be offered in the evenings or at weekends.
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- You do not usually need formal qualifications, but some entrants do have qualifications in law, social work or community work.
- Relevant experience may be more important than qualifications.
- Many advice workers get a job after doing voluntary work as an adviser – most advice centres welcome volunteers.
- Some posts require you to obtain a satisfactory PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) check to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details.
You could work with a local authority department such as housing or social work, a private company, or with a voluntary body, such as Citizens Advice or local money advice centre.
Predicted Employment in Scotland
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What Does it Take?
You should be:
- IT literate
- responsible and reliable
- able to get on with a wide range of people
- non-judgemental and sensitive when dealing with clients’ problems
- confident, especially when representing clients at appeal hearings
- able to work under pressure
- able to understand and keep up to date with relevant laws and policies.
You should have:
- excellent written and spoken communication skills
- a good memory
- number skills to give money advice
- respect for confidentiality
- good admin and record keeping skills.
- Training is on the job.
- You may take short courses in administration, recording information and counselling skills.
- You may also be able to work towards relevant Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) such as Advice and Guidance at Levels 2 to 4.
- The Child Poverty Action Group runs a range of courses in Glasgow. These include a 5-day introduction to welfare rights and a number of one-day courses on specific benefits. They also offer training in negotiating skills and representing at appeal tribunals.
- With experience and further training, you may be able to become a co-ordinator, trainer or manager with an advisory project or an advice centre.
- You could also become self-employed as a trainer in the advice sector.
- You could specialise in areas covering debt and finance, patient care, housing, or alcohol and drug related problems.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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