Saturday, 13 November 2010

Students and Part Time Work

waiter holding drinks on tray Of all the words flying around in the careers arena, "transferable skills" and "voluntary experience" win the tally.Years of telling young people to be employable is paying off-

but are the days of law students playing waitress and serving Pinot Grigio to pot-bellied businessmen coming to an end?   

" I don't want a waiting job" says one student to an employment advisor.  One reason for this is that the majority of graduates want the kind of lifestyle where being served upon is common place. 

Secondly the hospitality industry is notorious for having the grouchiest bosses in the land. Although there are plenty of relaxation therapies for students nowadays, additional stress is surely better avoided. 

Janki Amin, employment coodinator at London Metropolitan University says "alot of students fail to understand how certain jobs are relevant". 
Janki is surprised how most students come to her for jobs specifically in their field e.g. marketing, law.  She added that students are missing out on transferable skills. 

Those who come scouting for jobs are first after some extra pocket money, and second to spice up the CV. The stressful perils of pint-pulling, charity mugging and plate balancing are avoided for more-up market,  field relevant roles.

One type of job vacancy proved a big hit at the LMU jobs fair in October this year. The  Census provides students with flexi work conducting surveys.  Still.  Less stressful than telesales. 

Life is different for the full time Hilton receptionist, whose day to day career consists of answering the phone, dialing '1' and sweet-talking a balding 40-something into a promotion.

Employers say that students are flexible making them ideal to fill temporary positions. The casual labour is attractive especially to small companies who can ditch staff when business is low. 

Students are more inclined to accept a living wage of £7.85 an hour or below  in London, or £6-£7 outside London.According to government stats, there are currently 5.4 million people in workless homes, up 26000 from last year.  

Students seem to be filling a temp.  labour gap that unemployed households could be tapping into. This does not seem fair on the 16.1% of children in workless families. 

The Student Union vice president at LMU says that it is better for students to work part time in their university, bringing the study and work environment closer. With around 20 vacancies for over 30,000 at LMU, a select few benefit from this experience. 

The N.U.S agrees with the GCAS recommended 20 hours max working hours for full-timers.                                              

For students unsuccessful at vying for paid placements, the voluntary sector preaches a seductively quick route to sparkling up a CV, or filling in a nervous gap.

Check with your employment field first to see if shoveling up weeds in a community garden, or practising  to make the perfect cappuchino will work wonders for your graduate placement bid at Ralph Lauren, BBC or Clifford Chance and -

if it all gets too much for you, there's always yoga.

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