By Janice Henson, Director, placeability

Recruiting can sometimes be a time-consuming process, but it needn’t be complicated. For any SME, it is crucial to find someone who can do the job and contribute positively to your business. Sourcing staff with relevant qualifications and training could be a valuable addition to your recruitment strategy. Recruiting candidates that have undertaken Pre-Employment training (PET) is an avenue worth considering, in order to attract this wider talent.

Pre-Employment training is designed to prepare jobseekers to return to work or gain skills to embark on a new career journey and to assist them in securing future employment. It looks to address current skill shortages in the market by providing candidates with the relevant training to meet these industry requirements.

How does it work and what benefits will Pre-Employment training bring to your business?

Candidate process

From day one of unemployment, job seekers are eligible to sign up for Pre-Employment training through the Job Centre or a Welfare to Work provider. Candidates undertake a rigorous pre-screening process to ensure their suitability to a specific course or job role, after which successful candidates will join a PET course, ensuring the employer will access only the very best talent.

On-the-job training

Once selected, a candidate will undergo a 5-10 day training course, specific to a particular role requirement i.e. Health & Social Care, Warehouse & Storage, Customer Service or Facilities Management. Following the course, candidates will receive a recognised qualification, for example Highfield level II in Warehouse and Storage Principals, giving them a head start at interview stage.


Where possible, it is important to link a PET course to an existing job opportunity, working best where there are volume vacancies of 5 job opportunities or more. Candidates will be pre-screened to the employer’s requirements, therefore only those suitable for the role will reach interview stage, ultimately reducing the time spent by the employer at this stage in the recruitment process.

Benefits for all

Pre-Employment training has been proven to save employers time and money by working as a low-risk recruitment tool. Accessing candidates with a recognised qualification who are work-ready, ensures employers that they can access staff from the widest possible talent pool. Once in work, candidates have proven to be more productive and reliable, showing their commitment to the role from day one.

Choosing to engage with Pre-Employment training gives employers the chance to give back to the local community and have a positive social impact. Discovering new and exciting talent is essential for effective recruitment and with this cost-free opportunity available, the question isn't why would you introduce Pre-Employment training, but rather why wouldn’t you?