jargon400Making things simple...

The employment industry is filled with acronyms and terminology that can be daunting.

At Workpays, we believe in making things simple, so here’s a glossary to look up any words you may not understand.  The jargon buster can be searched by clicking on one of the letters below or browsing all terms.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, you may want to check out the FAQs page or contact us using the CONTACT FORM.


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These are the achievements you have had throughout your life — including work, job, and personal successes. These key points help an employer to decide on your suitability for a job.


An apprenticeship gives you hands on experience, a salary and the opportunity to gain qualifications while you work - even a degree. All of this with some high quality, prestigious companies in loads of different industries.

Background Check

Used by employers to verify the accuracy of the information you provide on your resume or job application.  Remember that your online presence, including Social Media can say a lot about you.

Community volunteering

Any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone (individuals or groups) other than, or in addition to, close relatives. Volunteering is a choice freely made by each individual.

Cover Letter

A short letter sent along with your CVwhen you apply for jobs. This may be submitted as an email or as an attachment, rather than a letter.  It normally includes a brief explanation of why you are applying and an outline of your suitability for the job.

CV (Curriculum Vitae)

A CV is a summary of your work experience, education and other skills and qualifications to date; used to give potential employers a quick overview and highlight personal and professional strengths.


Understanding that each individual is unique, and recognising individual differences. This includes race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.


e-learning is electronic learning, and typically this means using a computer, tablet or smartphone to deliver part, or all of a course. It may be just a part of your training or a full distance learning course.


Employability is “the ability to be in employment, and, in particular, the set of characteristics that increase the chances of an individual being in work.”  It may also include the ability to stay in employment, and progress up the career ladder.

Employment-related Services (ERS)

Employment related services (ERS) is a term used to describe organisations delivering contracts or services that help people into employment and/or support them to sustain their employment.


This usually refers to someone who launches a new business or non-profit venture, sometimes taking on financial risk to do so.

Experiential Learning

This means learning through experience.  Experiential learning could include work placements, but also practical projects completed as part of other training.


Where you work for yourself and bid for temporary jobs and projects with one or more employers.

HIgher Apprenticeships

Higher apprenticeships are a work-based learning framework based around Level 4 Diploma in Employment Related Services.

Job Boards

There are many different types of online job sites.  The may be specific to one industry or act as search engines, like Monster.com or Indeed.com.

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing can be part of work experience and involves observing a professional going about their normal work routine to understand what is involved in that role.

Jobcentre Plus

Jobcentre Plus is a brand of the Department for Work and Pensions for its working-age support service in the United Kingdom.

Jobseekers Allowance

Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) provides support to help individuals while they look for work. How much an individual gest depends on their circumstances and the type of JSA they qualify for.


When applying for jobs, these are nouns and noun phrases that relate to the skills and experience that employers may use to search for candidates or job roles in a database.


A mentor is likely to be an experienced professional who is assigned to a “mentee” (someone less experienced) to advise them on how to achieve their goals.

National Insurance

National Insurance is a deduction from your pay, paid by every employee which goes towards supporting benefits for those not in employment and used to fund the NHS and pensions.


This term refers to a young person who is no longer in the education system and who is not working or being trained for work.


A placement is a period of work experience often required part of a course, to help participants develop key employability skills and apply their course learning within a professional context. The person may or may not have a say in choosing the placement.


Not the sports kind! A referee is someone who can provide you with a reference – a formal letter (or email) sent to a potential employer to support your application. Employers may ask for at least two referees.

Social Networking

A process for helping make connections with other people, developing a personal
“brand” and maintaining a good online reputation. Social networking includes networking through sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and others.


Individuals or organisations who have an active interest or a stake in a particular issue. In employability, this might include funders, policy makers, service delivery partners, individuals or health professionals.

Transferable Skills

Skills gained in one type of job or role that can be transferred to another.   For example, learning to use a spreadsheet for stock control is a skill that could be transferred to many future jobs.


Offering your services free of charge, typically to a not-for-profit organisation.

Work Experience

This may be a period of work at a business in order to gain experience of that industry.  Work experience may be paid or unpaid.

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