Published: Thu 06 Apr 2017

Having worked in the welfare to work, training and youth sectors for many years I have personally supported over 1000 people into work and training. I have also worked with 100s of employers, I have listened to their wants and needs and matched candidates accordingly.

One thing that is always apparent is the question of what have they been doing whether that means in your employment or educational past or whilst you have been out of work and looking for employment.

Employers ALWAYS want to know your answers as an applicant and often dependant on what you say can determine whether you secure a job or not.

What is clear is that employers value a can do attitude, attendance and punctuality. These 3 building blocks are often hard to explain and quantify if you have not worked in a while or indeed not at all. So how can you improve your answer to ?What have you been doing? and demonstrate a can do attitude, punctuality and attendance. One very good way, it seems, is to improve yourself via training.

At a recent Jobs Fair in Oldham we asked employers some simple questions regarding training, qualifications and skills. Employers agreed unanimously that they would prefer to take on someone who had some recent training or a Level 1 or Level 2 qualification, rather than someone who had been job searching.

Although some may not like to admit it there can, unfortunately, be some stigma attached to claiming benefits. No matter how much of a good person the employer may be a small part of them may think that you have been lazy in your approach to finding work. Though this may be nothing further from the truth it is human nature to assume this if no proof has been given to the contrary. This can be some of the reason behind the question of what have you been doing?

The reason is that employers are looking for someone who wants to learn and constantly improve their skill sets, as they would expect if you were to work for them. As well as showing this, doing some for of training also showcases that you are keen, you have a willingness to learn, you have been punctual and attended a programme aimed at self-improvement. These are all aspects that you can discuss at interview to showcase your worth and determination that employers will love. You should also find yourself being more confident due to having more to talk about.

Another strong point is that training courses can often lead to employment opportunities due to the training being matched to job roles. Training providers often have strong links to local employers and are targeted to help you into employment so I ask?