Many of you may wish to work whilst you are in the UK. If you are in the UK on a visa, then you may have work restrictions attached to your visa. This does not always mean you can't work, but you may have restrictions on the work you can do. Each visa type is different, for example, if you are in the UK on a Standard Visitor Visa you will have no work rights. If you are in the UK on a Student Visa, then your work rights are restricted. You will need to check how your visa may affect your ability to work in the UK.
If you decide to work in the UK then you will need a National Insurance number. Your National Insurance number (NINo) is a unique personal number which is used to record your National Insurance contributions. You do not need to have a NINo before starting work, but you must obtain one when you get a job. You can't apply before you arrive in the UK, but you can once you are here. To find out more and how you can apply for a National Insurance number, check out the following visit the UK CISA website.
At Staffordshire University, our Unitemps team focus on sourcing high-quality work experience for our students and graduates. Internships, part-time roles or full-time roles will provide valuable sector and job role-specific experience putting your academic knowledge and skills into practice. We work with national and regional employers in areas such as digital, marketing, design and so on to get you best possible industry experience.
A part-time job will not only help you support yourself financially, it will also look great on your CV showing future employers that you are dedicated and hard working. Plus, many students and graduates secured permanent roles beyond their temporary roles during their studies.
Get in touch with our team to discuss your desired job role.
Why register with Unitemps?
- Be aware of the latest job opportunities available to students and graduates
- Apply your knowledge and skills in real-life setting
- Develop your 'soft skills' such as communication and working as part of the team
- Gain and improve your commercial acumen
- Build up your network and contacts and fast-track your professional career
- Get paid!
How to register with Unitemps
To register with Unitemps visit www.unitemps.com, select ‘Register’ and fill in all of your relevant personal information.
Make sure to keep your details up to date as it will allow us to better match you with the perfect employer and job role.
Finding jobs and job prospects through LinkedIn
A lot of university lecturers will encourage you to look into LinkedIn, you don't necessarily need it to find a job but it's more of an opportunity to get your name out there for future job prospects as you can connect with your lecturers and industry experts as you can upload your work and treat it as your online portfolio for you to show off, it will help future employees look into your work and what skills you have to offer, if you sign up with your student email you will also get access into thousands of online skills classes for the knowledge you might need in the industry that you are looking to go into.
Student visa holders
The rules and regulations can be tricky to understand sometimes. Below we have broken down the most important information for you so you know what to expect.
- As a student visa holder at Staffordshire University, you can work up to 20 hours per week during team time.
- Term time is the time when the university is open and teaching, exams or other academic activities are taking place.
- You are allowed to work more outside of term time and during designated vacation periods like Christmas and Easter.
- Not all student have a summer holiday. If you are completing your dissertation, this is still term time and you cannot work more than 20 hours per week.
- Just because you don't have classes, that doesn't mean it's not term time.
- The Student Connect Team can help you with a letter for your employer but it is your employers responsibility to check your visa status.
- You cannot work as a professional sports person, sports coach, entertainer(musician, actor, performer) and you cannot be self-employed or engage in business activity.
- Work includes unpaid work but not volunteering
You can find more details about working on UKCISA's blog A Working Definition
Visitor visa holders
If you are here on a visitor visa, you cannot work. Work includes:
- Working for an organisation or business in the UK;
- Conducting business activities in the UK. This includes running or setting up a business as a self-employed person;
- Doing a work placement or internship (including as part of a course of study);
- Providing goods and services;
- Direct selling to the public.
Students and can volunteer while they are studying. Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community while gaining valuable skills. International students, however must be sure they are volunteering and not doing unpaid or voluntary work. Voluntary work is distinct from volunteering.
A student can do voluntary work if they are permitted to work, but this work and any paid work must not exceed the total number of hours they are permitted to work during term time. For example, if a student is permitted to work 20 hours a week during term-time and has paid work of 15 hours a week, they cannot do more than 5 hours voluntary work. If they are not permitted to work, they cannot do voluntary work. Factors to take into account when considering whether a particular activity constitutes voluntary work or volunteering are:
- voluntary workers will usually have contractual obligations to perform the work(for example to attend at particular times and carry out specific tasks) with the employer being contractually required to provide the work – the contract does not have to be written - the worker is usually remunerated in kind
- volunteers do not have a contract - they must not be a substitute for an employee, and they must not be doing unpaid work – for example, receiving payment in kind (although they are sometimes reimbursed for reasonable travel and subsistence expenses)
- volunteers usually help a charity or voluntary or public sector organisation
Charities in the UK normally have a registered charity number. Always look out for this if you are volunteering with an organisation.
If you are looking for somewhere to volunteer, check out the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Completing a work placement
A work placement is a great way to get real world experience before you event graduate. Many students who complete work placements are able to find jobs before they graduate as a direct result of their time on their placement.
International students are allowed to undertake a work placement as part of their course which they can get paid for full-time. You would normally do this between your 2nd and 3rd year if you are an Undergraduate and between your 2nd and 3rd semesters if you are doing a Master's degree. Most placements are 12 months for international students as this works well with coming back to your course.
If you are interested in doing a work placement, talk to your course leader to see if it's an option before getting in touch with the Careers team.
Keep an eye out for our scheduled workshops with the careers team so you can be ready to start your search for a placement!
After your studies
Wanting to stay in the UK after your studies?
If you need more information about life after university the UKCISA website will be able to guide you.
The first thing international students will have to put in place if they wish to work in the UK after graduation is to change there visa from a student Visa to a visa that allows them to work full time. Most people who apply in the UK to switch from Tier 4/Student route to either the Graduate Route or the Skilled Worker route.
In order to apply under the Skilled Worker route you need sponsorship by a licensed employer to do a specific job that meets minimum levels of skill and salary. If you are switching to the Skilled Worker Route, your employer should support you with this as they will become your Sponsor.
The Graduate Route is open to all students who have successfully completed degrees at an approved UK Higher Education provider. For those who have completed a, UG or Master's degree, they can stay in the UK for 2 years and those who have completed a PhD can stay for 3. This is not a sponsored route and there are very few restrictions on the work you can do.
You can submit your application once you have successfully completed your degree and the university will report that you you've met the requirements. It's that simple.
Please note the university will not report students for the graduate route if they have outstanding debt to the university.