Looking for workEmily is a University of Plymouth graduate who did part-time jobs in bars and shops to help cover her living costs while she was studying for her biosciences degree at the University of Plymouth. Go Plymouth asked her to give some tips to new students looking for work…

‘Working part-time while at university is necessary for most of us as the basic loans barely cover tuition fees and rent.

Finding work in Plymouth isn’t hard with many of the bars, shops and restaurants having a predominantly student staff. The local newspaper The Herald has a job section and there are various websites such as Grad South West aimed at students seeking employment.

The University of Plymouth website also offers job opportunities and advice on finding employment is freely available at the Students’ Union (UPSU) drop-in centre known as The Hive.

When looking for work, it’s important to make potential employers aware that you are a student. Students are not required to pay tax provided they earn under a set amount (around £5,000 but that changes every year so check the government website!) and only have the one part-time job.

Having two separate jobs is not usually a good idea as you will end up being taxed more than you make at the second job. It’s also important that employers are aware that as students we have coursework deadlines and exams which put demands on our time at some times of the year more than others. 

In my experience most employers are very understanding and willing to be flexible with shifts provided you give them enough notice of when you will be unavailable.’

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