Go Higher: Scotland and Northern Ireland - Working on your overdraft
These days, student life means student debt. But a part-time job can help
Tuesday 10 August 1999
"It's just too easy to get into a situation where you're taking loans every year, have a full overdraft and credit cards up to their limits, and you can't seem to get by any more," admitted one student from Belfast.
The recent introduction of the minimum wage may help some student workers, but will it mean fewer jobs available to the majority? Helen Robertson, a class representative from Heriot-Watt University outlines one of the drawbacks of the new standard legal wage: "A lot of student work in casual capacities - waiting staff, bar work, flyering - are paid cash-in-hand, so there's no regulation. There will be a temptation to put more staff on a casual basis, as there's always loads of students looking for work. Casual staff are cheap to employ, easy to get rid of, and even easier to replace."
Worrying news, but what other options are there for the student jobseeker? Both Scotland and Northern Ireland are countries well known for drinking. The recent big push by brewers to create thousands of new superpubs, such as Hogshead and Brewers Fayre, has created many new jobs for those who can be flexible in terms of the hours they work. The pay-off for these huge corporate barns is the reliability of the employers.
Bar-work has always been popular with students. If you can't go out and drink with your friends, why not serve them the drinks, get paid and not have to worry about the hangover the next day? Bars across Scotland and Ulster employ students, with regular openings available. These are not always advertised, so the best plan is to drop a CV into all your favourite pubs and keep going in and get to know the people there.
A growing trend in student employment, as in the business world, is telephone services and sales. Call centre work is a rapidly expanding field, with hundreds of centres opening, especially in Glasgow, Belfast and Aberdeen. Many centres actively seek out students, often on agency contracts, so be aware of what you're signing and the number of hours you'll have to work as exams approach. Pay levels in this field are relatively high for part-time work, though the job is often pretty stressful.
Cafes and shops are also lasting favourites in the employment field for students. Wages can vary, and the jobs are often seasonal. Opportunities often arise in the run up to Christmas, so keep a look out in department and high street stores from October, or even September, and extra shifts on Sundays and Bank Holidays can provide welcome financial boosts.
Jobs taken on while studying are often something to be walked away from and forgotten, as they are a means to finance study. There are some people, however, who work to gain experience in their field of study: medical students working as hospital porters, computing students working in Dixons, English literature undergraduates working in Dillons - these all add up to practical vocational experience and a bit of extra cash.
Life & Style blogs
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 A third of employers never check job applicants' qualifications, survey finds
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...