The Business of Student Jobs

explains the different dimensions to working part-time whilst studying

Image: Jeremy Keith

Image: Jeremy Keith

As a student it can be nice to have a little extra income if you can’t just rely on your parents or student loan. Whether you want to or because you have to, you might find yourself on the hunt for a job to hold onto while upholding a sufficient level of study and maintaining a healthy social life.

Fortunately, if you have the right attitude and if you keep both eyes open for potential job opportunities, it’s relatively easy to find a job in York compared to other university towns and cities. The question is which type of job is actually suitable for you.

Despite their widespread unpopularity among left-leaning individuals, zero hour contracts can actually be really convenient for a student compared to a non-student. For the students that don’t depend on a part-time job but appreciate a little extra income, it can be ideal. Zero hour contracts mean employers are not obliged to give their employees work (and hence payment), but it also frees up the student to decline work in assessment periods.

The University’s set of student ambassadors is a very good example of this kind of work whereby the University is happy to send out various work opportunities with the only requirement being that each ambassador works a minimum of 30 hours per term. The downside is that in offering themselves up for an opportunity, the student might not always get it.

Ambassadors aside, there is a plethora of jobs available around campus, with YUSU claiming 95 per cent of their staff are students and the University catering services offering part-time and full-time work to all.

With a job on campus and a university-related employer being able to empathise with the student experience, these jobs can provide a mix of a decent number of hours to work during the week as well as flexibility around particular times of the year, with the added perk of being located on campus.

These campus jobs are often very competitive due to their convenience and may not be to everyone’s tastes in terms of either type of work or desire to work in town. Luckily, York just happens to be one of the biggest tourist hubs in the country and is bursting with cafés, restaurants, bars and shops just eager to be populated with students working part-time. Simply wander through York and hand out a stack of CVs and there’ll be a surprisingly high rate of return calls if you seem capable enough.

Expect between minimum wage and £8 an hour but enjoy the fact that this will complement a loan and that there is no obligation to pay tax on it. Keep an eye on the Careers Gateway as well. While many of the jobs might seem of no interest or are based in another city (or country), there are often some great opportunities available which would have been incredibly difficult to find otherwise.

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