Working part-time in the UK as an International Student
There are certain things you need to find out before working as a student and the information below should help you do this. Additionally, you may be aware that all students working in the UK have to pay tax and National Insurance contributions, and you all have rights protected by European and British law.
Our job vacancies database can help students to find temporary and part-time paid wok in the Swansea area during term-time and vacation periods. Follow the "UK national and international vacancies" link on our Jobs page.
You will (if employed) need to be aware of issues such as tax, National Insurance numbers and other employment law. You can obtain general information on these from the website of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.
You should also check the ‘local’ Swansea procedure for obtaining a National Insurance number, and the International Student Advisory Service (ISAS) can help you with this.
The National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES) website includes web-based advice on issues that partiularly affet International students.
Based on our experience (and that of other international students) we have listed below some key points aimed at helping you increase your chances of finding and getting part time paid work in the Swansea bay area:
Be aware of any limitations or prohibitions placed on you working in the UK. You can get more general information on this via the UKCISA website and also from the Education UK website - look for the link to Working while you study in the UK. You can, of course, address any individual query with the University International Student Advisory Service (ISAS). The University places limits on the number of hours you are allowed to work while you are studying, and you can check these with the ISAS if you are unsure.
Understand how local employers recruit students – most local employers would advertise in local newspapers, in our vacancies database or via the Government Jobcentre. Most would then require you to either apply for the job directly by telephoning or email or to forward information via an application form or CV with covering letter. Some students use local/national recruitment agencies based in Swansea (several are located on the Kingsway). They should not charge you (the employer pays) but will require you to register. Some agencies may be better than others and in all probability you will need to ‘chase’ them in terms of progress as they often have much of the labour they require – check with them before registering as to how long it takes to be given work and if your skills would be in demand.
Students with good or even basic spoken English language skills stand a much better chance than those with very limited spoken English. Take every opportunity to improve your English. Written English skills are also an advantage.
Consider different options for finding paid employment. Have a look at our jobs databased mentioned at the top of this page, the jobs pages of local newspapers, the ‘Government Jobcentre’, advertisements in shop windows, University and Student Union jobs (these are very competitive and are advertised early). Some students register with local recruitment agencies. These are private companies who find workers for local businesses and they normally require you to register (normally no fee charged). Simply search for ‘recruitment agencies’ in the ‘Swansea’ area via the Yell.com website.
Remember to be realistic and to target those jobs you think you can get.
If offered an inteview, then remember to prepare properly and appear positive and enthusiastic. Employers tend to want students who ‘can do the job’ but remember that UK Employer culture often values applicants who are sociable, friendly and positive. Some positive body language and a smile can help greatly.
If offered the job, then be prepared to ask questions about how and when you are paid, and what the terms and conditions of employment are.
Remember to use your careers adviser or placement adviser (based in Careers and Employability) should you need to discuss any of the above.
It is your responsibility to find part-time work and you will need to ‘take control’ even though this may sometimes be daunting and frustrating. Remember also that should you not find work in the first month or so, you need to keep trying as things settle down after the initial rush.