Job profile – Advice and Support Officer, Customer Services

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under About us - find a job.

Grade F

  • Location: Gateshead Civic Centre and various locations across Gateshead
  • Service: Customer Services
  • Line Manager: Rent and Income ASO Team Leader
  • Car user status: Casual

Job purpose

To provide welfare benefits, welfare reform advice, budgeting advice, energy advice, homeless prevention and money advice to tenants, with an initial focus on those affected by Universal Credit and other welfare reforms; and to support the promotion of financial inclusion in Gateshead.

The key roles of this post will include:

  1. To proactively assist and advise customers with regards to Universal Credit.
  2. To be partly located at and work closely with partnership locations within Gateshead.
  3. Assist customers in appealing any benefit sanctions that may have been imposed on them.
  4. To deliver effective specialist welfare benefits advice to new housing applicants as well as existing customers.
  5. Engage proactively with customers as well as external and internal support services to ensure income is maximised and tenancies are sustained.
  6. To provide crisis support and intervention in a timely and effective manner.
  7. To promote the take-up of benefits across Gateshead through carefully targeted campaigns to identify and target potential customers
  8. To prioritise your own workload and to work effectively within a team to ensure that the collective aims of the service are met
  9. To keep up to date with changes in legislation and update policies and procedures when required, as well as cascading this knowledge to internal staff and client groups
  10. To be resilient when facing setbacks, unforeseen events, obstacles and failures and have coping strategies to manage pressures and stress.
  11. To meet deadlines, work under pressure and respond positively to changing priorities
  12. To demonstrate a positive, diverse and inclusive attitude to both internal and external customers and colleagues
  13. Such other responsibilities allocated appropriate to the grade of the post.

Essential skills and knowledge

  • Experience:
    • Discussing sensitive and complex information with customers
    • Delivering benefit advice, money/budgeting support and promoting financial inclusion
    • Dealing with difficult situations
    • Working as part of a diverse and inclusive workforce


    • 5 GCSEs (at least grade C) or equivalent including Maths and English or relevant experience


    • The state benefit systems and Welfare Reform
    • ICT systems including Windows and Microsoft Office
    • Ability to demonstrate a good understanding of equality and diversity and the ability to evidence how this would be displayed within the workplace

Desirable skills and knowledge


  • Submitting benefit appeals and back-dating requests


  • A full driving license and access to a vehicle


  • Universal Credit, the sanctions regime and local support networks
  • Rent collection procedures

Competencies relating to this post

Working with people

Shows respect for the views and contributions of other team members; shows empathy; listens, supports and cares for others; consults others and shares information and expertise with them; builds team spirit and reconciles conflict; adapts to the team and fits in well.

Relating and networking

Easily establishes good relationships with customers and staff; relates well to people at all levels; builds wide and effective networks of contacts; uses humour appropriately to bring warmth to relationships with others.

Presenting and communicating information

Speaks fluently; expresses opinions, information and key points of an argument clearly; makes presentations and undertakes public speaking with skill and confidence; responds quickly to the needs of an audience and to their reactions and feedback; projects credibility.


Analyses numerical data and all other sources of information, to break them into component parts, patterns and relationships; probes for further information or greater understanding of a problem; makes rational judgements from the available information and analysis; demonstrates an understanding of how one issue may be a part of a much larger system.

Learning and researching

Rapidly learns new tasks and commits information to memory quickly; demonstrates an immediate understanding of newly presented information; gathers comprehensive information to support decision making; encourages an organisational learning approach (i.e. learns from successes and failures and seeks staff and customer feedback).

Delivering results and meeting customer expectations

Focuses on customer needs and satisfaction; sets high standards for quality and quantity; monitors and maintains quality and productivity; works in a systematic, methodical and orderly way; consistently achieves project goals.

Coping with pressures and setbacks

Maintains a positive outlook at work; works productively in a pressurised environment; keeps emotions under control during difficult situations; handles criticism well and learns from it; balances the demands of a work life and a personal life.