Finding a part time or Saturday job
You can get more than just money out of part time work, on Saturday or any other day. You can learn a lot about yourself, the reality of working life, and pick up some new skills too.
Finding a job
It’s not always easy to find a Saturday job, but you can do a lot to improve your chances. Look at ‘Hints and tips’ for some practical ideas on how to get that job!
First things first
If you’re still at school and under sixteen, check the hours that you can work. Your school will have information on this from your local council. As a general rule, you must be at least 13 years old to get a part time job. If you are between 13 and 16, you should apply for a work permit. Your school or council office will have copies of the application form.
- If you are 13 or 14, you can work for up to five hours a day on Saturdays (two hours on Sundays or school days), and for no more than 25 hours a week during your holidays and 12 hours a week during term time.
- Once you are 15 you can work for up to eight hours a day on Saturdays (two hours on Sundays or school days), and for no more than 35 hours per week during your holidays.
- You can't work more than one hour before school (unless local bylaws allow it), and you can work only between 7am and 7pm. You can’t work full time until after your official school leaving date.
You can find more information on this in the Employment rights for young people article.
Hints and tips
- Start by asking local employers if they have any vacancies. Shops, cafes and restaurants are good places to try.
- Ask friends, neighbours and relatives to let you know if they hear of something coming up. Lots of part time jobs get filled by ‘word of mouth’, and won’t be advertised.
- Look in shop windows and your local newspaper for adverts.
- If you've reached school leaving age and want to find part time work with a large employer, especially supermarket and retail chain stores, you'll probably have to apply online. Search for the employer online and find out as much as you can about them before you apply. Read our article about online job applications for information and advice.
- Write a good CV (Curriculum Vitae) and send it out to the companies you’d be interested in working for. You can use Easy CV to help you create your first CV.
- If you are 13, 14 or 15 there are by-laws (local laws) that usually say you can only be employed doing 'light work'. This could be delivering newspapers, stacking shelves in a supermarket, gardening, working in cafes, restaurants, corner shops, hotels or hairdressing salons.
Other things to consider
- Think about the time of year. Three or four months before Christmas is a good time to get started as lots of shops, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants look for seasonal staff to cope with the Christmas rush. Maybe they’ll be able to keep you on for longer if you do a good job.
- In the summer there may be more gardening work, or the chance to work in jobs that depend on the tourist season.
- If you visit an employer, try to speak to the manager - they will know if new staff are going to be taken on over the next few months.
- You must make a good impression, so dress smartly and be prepared to talk. You might have an interview there and then! So don’t take a crowd of friends with you.
- You could also phone employers. You might be asked to send in your CV, be given an interview time or told to try again another time. This is a good chance for you to find out whether the company takes on part-time staff. Be prepared with a list of questions that you want to ask.
- Keep a note of the people you give your CV to, and their phone number, so that you can phone them later. Some firms will keep CVs for a few months, but others don’t.
- If you are under school leaving age, there is no minimum wage that your employer must pay you. But, if you are 16 or over (and above school leaving age) you are entitled to earn the National Minimum Wage. From 1 April 2021, the rate for workers aged 16 to 17 is £4.62 an hour. For workers aged between 18 and 20, the rate is £6.56 an hour.
- Think carefully about any job you are offered before you accept it. Getting up at the crack of dawn to deliver newspapers in the middle of winter isn’t for everyone.
Don’t forget that, as well as the money, you’re also getting a lot of valuable work experience. With luck you’ll also get some training. Remember to mention all of this in your CV, or college and university applications.
And finally, once you find a part time job don’t be tempted to overdo it. It can be easy to get carried away by the prospect of working extra hours for more money, but if it starts to affect your studies you need to stop and think about your long-term interests.
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