Doing an apprenticeship – can you afford it?

Posted on November 18, 2020 at 2:28 pm

Sometimes if you want to have a change in career but do not want to or cannot return to full time education you may be able to learn on the job. One way in which you can do this is to do an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship can last anywhere between one and four years. Often if you have maths and English GCSE or equivalent, you may start off on a level two or possibly even a level three. You will get paid a wage for working but this wage is often a fraction of the salary that qualified people will get. You do need to take this in to account as the chances are you may not be able to work another job alongside it if it is full time. You may be entitled to help from the government financially as you will be classed as being in some sort of education but you do need to work all this out first before you apply for the position.

Some employers will allow you to do an NVQ whilst staying in your employed role, so you will not take a pay cut and can train as you are working.

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How to go about finding a job at present

Posted on October 13, 2020 at 4:18 pm

At the moment, finding a job is even harder than ever in most industries. Many companies are having to get rid of staff, not take them on and the number of people who are unemployed at present in the UK is growing. This means that for any jobs that are available, competition is high and they may only need the smallest excuse to discount you over the other applicates.

It is more important than ever that your CV is up to date and that you ensure your covering letter is written emphasising the main qualities you have. It may be that if they are inundated with applications that they only get to read the cover letters before they make their first cull. You need to ensure that your covering letter gets you through this first process.

If you do not mind what job you do then try and think about industries that are still very busy and may me looking to recruit staff such as cleaners in hospitals, office etc, supermarket workers and road repair workers. Often with recruitment it is a bit of a numbers game, so the more jobs you apply for the more likely you are to land a position.

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Retired but do not want to stay at home-what are your options?

Posted on September 21, 2020 at 12:37 pm

For many people, the opportunity to retire from work is longed for but the reality of retirement may cause some to question whether they want to stay at home without the structure that employment offers. The days of rushing out to work in the morning or working shifts are not missed but the companionship of work colleagues is something that many retirees comment on and want to change.

Getting a job that is suitable for someone who is retired may not be easy as some employers do not offer part time roles and it may be that you do not want full time employment at this stage in your life. It is important to seek out a job that is as stress free as possible such as a retail position. Some more forward-thinking companies encourage older people to apply for roles as they have seen the benefits of a more mature approach to working.

If you enjoy working with children, then a job as a teaching assistant or childcare worker can be a good solution as often children respond well to older people.

If there are no financial concerns it may be that a volunteering role may be suitable. There are many charities that rely heavily on their bank of volunteer workers and this can be a rewarding way to spend your time after retirement.

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Have you ever considered a career in publishing?

Posted on August 17, 2020 at 1:07 pm

With many of us finding our jobs not quite as secure as we had hoped of late, it may be the time to rethink your career and see if you may want to have a change.

Publishing is a very popular career choice at present. With digital publishing on the up, it is quickly moving with the times. Publishers have realised that in order to keep up with the current digital market, they needed to follow suit creating ebooks and apps ect as many readers are no opting for these sorts of books often over paperback and hardback. Devices such as the Kindle have made it very easy for people to carry a huge library of books around with them. Apps such as the Kindle app can also be downloaded on to many other mobile devices meaning most smart phones are capable of becoming an online library too.

If you are considering a career in publishing then there are certain skills that employers are looking out for. The ideal candidate will often need to have a good knowledge of digital literacy, an entrepreneurial mind-set, and an appreciation of changes across other media and throughout society.

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Take care what you post online if you are job hunting

Posted on July 21, 2020 at 10:14 am

If you are out of work at the moment due to the current economic situation you may be trawling the internet or the local papers to search for jobs. The process of looking for work is usually quite straightforward and generally starts with completing an application form and then, if you are fortunate enough, being called in to attend an interview, but are you aware that your potential employer may be searching for your name on the internet to find out more about your background and even about your personal life. Now although this practice seems unprofessional a lot of employers do use this strategy and so it is important to be aware that what you post on social media can be detrimental to your job prospects. An example of this may be that you post a picture of yourself on a night out with friends and then comment the next day about having a hangover and being unable to go to work. If this is a regular occurrence any potential employer may be worried about your reliability and punctuality. If your posts contain comments that may be considered racist or sexist an employer may refuse to consider you for a job because they worry about their company’s reputation if they employ you.

So be aware that social media profiles should be secure and privacy levels set to prevent unwanted intrusion into your personal life.

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The benefits of using a teaching agency to find work

Posted on June 9, 2020 at 1:01 pm

If you are a teacher looking for supply work, you may find that working for a teaching agency is a valuable route to employment and that it has many benefits to applying directly to schools or to the local authority.

There are a multitude of agencies to choose from and it is important to check the terms and conditions of the agency you are applying to before you agree to go on their books. One of the essential things to check is that the rate of pay is comparable with the pay scale that is offered by the local authority. Agency pay will probably be less but should still reflect the professional status of a qualified teacher.

One of the biggest benefits to working for a teaching agency is that they source the work for you and then put you in touch with the school or arrange the dates and times that you are required to teach. This saves a lot of time on your part filling in application forms and getting enhanced checks that are needed for you to work in school as the agency will organise all these things when you sign up.

The majority of agencies allow you to agree work dates and times that will fit in with your other commitments and will find work in a specified area that is in your location.

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Starting your first day at work

Posted on May 13, 2020 at 11:50 am

With the current pandemic in the UK, many people are finding themselves off work or maybe just starting to return. For some people, they may not be able to return to their job as so many companies are struggling to come through this and may be forced to close. If that is the case, then over the next few months there will be an influx of people looking for work. Once you have found a new job, you may start to worry about your first day. It can be very daunting but there are some things you can do to calm those first day nerves and tips and advice on how to ensure you have a great first day.

When preparing yourself to start a job, ensure that you allow yourself plenty of time in the morning to get ready and ideally have everything organised the day before. Decide what outfit you are going to wear and make yourself a packed lunch so you know that you have not got to worry about that in the morning. It’s always a good idea to be ready in enough time to sit down and have a cuppa before you set off and gather yourself.

You make a lot of impressions on your first day so you need to make sure that you come across as professional and willing to learn and being on time is vital. Ensure you listen to instructions clearly but do not be afraid to ask if you don’t understand something. Your first day will usually fly by, so be sure to try and enjoy it.

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Did you know potential employees may take into consideration what school or uni you attended?

Posted on April 15, 2020 at 3:17 pm

You may not have realised that unfortunately some employers, particularly in certain industries, do take in to account where the potential employee was schooled and I don’t mean the grades they received, the actually school they attended!

Children that attend private schools seem to have a better chance of getting in to certain industries such as media or finance sector. This could be seen as discrimination against those students whose parents could not afford a private education, but it is often very hard to prove that this is happening. You can have an extremely bright and capable student that has attended a state school, who may even be more intelligent than someone who’s attended a private school so surely it makes sense to give the job to the individual who show they have the best ability to do it well, not decided on which school they attended.

If you have attend a state school and find yourself up against people from a private school for a job interview, you may even want to mention that you are aware you didn’t go to a private school but are more than happy to prove you are capable.

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Getting your first job

Posted on March 6, 2020 at 10:03 am

It can be a daunting prospect for many young people as they finish school or college and need to start to look for a job. For some they already have an idea of the type of employment they want and may have already completed the relevant training and even begun the process of applying for jobs, but for others the decision on the type of future employment they want has been left to chance.

If you are in the latter category it is worthwhile doing some research in your local area or further afield if necessary, to see what is available to you.

 If you are not concerned about job security perhaps you have no dependents and still live at home with parents, many employers offer casual employment or seasonal work. This can be a good option if you do not want to commit to a particular career path but just simply want to earn some money. Once you have been working in a job for a while you may decide that you enjoy it and can therefore continue in that field albeit possibly with a different employer and even complete any relevant training that would help you to progress in that career.

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Working as a teaching assistant in a primary school

Posted on February 22, 2020 at 9:50 pm

The role of a teaching assistant is, to many an ideal job as it fits in with school times and holidays. It can be a very rewarding career with good prospects for those wanting to develop the skills involved with helping children with their learning.

There are no formal qualifications needed to become a first level teaching assistant however a good level of English and Mathematics is important as you may be required to support small groups with their subject knowledge. If you wish to progress in this field there are courses offered at many colleges which will enable you to further your personal development.

The teaching assistant in a class will be under the direct guidance of the class teacher. Your role may include preparing resources ahead of lessons, supporting pupils during lessons and reporting back to the class teacher on pupil progress with set tasks. You may also be asked to carry out some record keeping and displaying of children’s work.

An important aspect of working in school is confidentiality. It is essential that anything that is discussed about pupils is not repeated out of school as a breach of confidentiality can cause difficulties between parents and teachers and ultimately result in disciplinary procedures against the member of staff responsible.

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