Studying English and finding a job in the UK
According to English UK around 500,000 people come to the UK to learn English every year. As the home of the English language it offers the chance to not only pick up the British accent but also offers the best choice of English language courses anywhere in the world. From London to Glasgow, you can find high quality English language schools and courses throughout the UK and with its worldwide reputation for academic excellence it is not surprising that the UK is the top choice for many people all over Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe.
Why look for work in the UK?
The UK is the second largest economy in Europe and has an unemployment rate of just 4.9% as of July 2016 – the lowest since 2008 – which makes finding a job the UK an extremely attractive option. Job opportunities are largely concentrated in London and the South East – with London offering 10 times more jobs than the next best area of the country. There is, of course, a lot of competition for these jobs but with a lot more opportunities on offer the possibilities are always available.
If you are looking for a well-paid job then you need to have a high level of English. If, however, you are still working on improving your English then it is relatively easy to get a part-time job, and although the pay will be fairly low it’s an excellent way of supplementing your spending money whilst you are in the UK studying English and improving your language skills. It’s important to be realistic about what type of job your English language skills will allow you to achieve – there are many highly skilled non-native English speakers doing low-skilled work, whilst they improve their English. Once your English is proficient then you will be able to compete on an equal footing with your peers.
What types of jobs are available?
There is a shortage of the following occupations in the UK: scientists, engineers, IT specialists, medical practitioners, science teachers, and ballet dancers. If, however, you are not an expert in any of these fields then both hospitality and retail are in constant demand. There is a high staff turnover for these roles, which does indicate lack of job satisfaction, but this could be a good way to get your first job in the UK.
Why speaking another language is a huge advantage
If you speak another language in addition to English then you have an advantage over most British applicants – most of whom can only speak English. Language skills are in high demand as the result of globalisation, international sales and changes to import/export. If you are able to get your English language skills to a C1 level then you will find it relatively easy to compete with your British counter-parts, with the added bonus of speaking two (or perhaps three) languages.
What are the restrictions?
If you’re from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EU plus Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland, as long as you have a valid passport or ID card, you will not need a visa to come to the UK and you will not need a work permit to accept employment in the UK. If you are from any other country you will need a work permit and need to check the terms of your visa before accepting any form of employment.
Where to start looking for a job?
There are multiple websites that specialise in temporary work in London and the UK. Go Community has 1000s of job opportunities in both English and Spanish, and works with employers not just in the UK but all over the world. If you are looking for temporary work then dropping your CV off in shops and restaurants that are local to your place of study or accommodation can often result in immediate employment. If you’re from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you can look for a job in the UK through the EURES (European Employment Services) website. EURES is a job portal funded by the European Commission and its aim is to aid the free movement of people within the European Economic Area. The website will also answer any questions you may have about the legal and administrative aspects of working in the UK.
Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:
Evening language courses: 19 different languages in 15 UK locations
Language holidays: worldwide immersion courses in the country of the language
Private tuition: tailor-made and corporate language training solutions throughout the world
TEFL: teacher training courses for both English and other languages all over the world
Online courses: for teacher training, English and French