How to find a job in the UK?
Britain, with the other parts of the kingdom, is one of the biggest countries in Europe. Of course, the UK economy and other fields are one of the best in Europe either. Many people move to the UK to find a job, seeking higher living standards. Nevertheless, it did not affect employment rates: due to statistics, the unemployment rate was mainly lower than 6% during the last 20 years, and over the previous five years, it dropped even lower than 4%. This means that English people and people who move to the UK don’t have employment problems. However, during the coronavirus period, it has started going up; the government seeks the solution and tries to stop and slow down this growth, so now this rate is still only 5%. There is some information everyone must be aware of to find a job.
Work in the UK
As it was said above, the UK economy is developed. There are various growing sectors, from technologies and science to social work. The centre of the economy is London: there you can find many vacancies. Many big and even international companies have their head offices there. It’s usual for every country, and in the UK all roads lead to the capital. Still, other parts of the UK keep up, and there are no significant gaps between London’s and other regions’ economies. The statistics tell that there are 10 times more vacancies. There is more competition there indeed, but one can find a job knowing some important aspects.
There are many industries in the UK economy; some of them are the leading ones in Europe, some of them are still developing. Due to the official data, the industries with the largest share of employees are:
- Wholesale and retail trade;
- Repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles;
- Human health and social work.
UK government cares about employment. Besides all stats, it even provides information about shortage occupations; this list includes fields where more employees are needed (2021):
- Nuclear industry;
- Physical engineering;
- Oil and gas industry;
- Social scientists;
- Civil engineers;
- Electrical engineers;
- Design and development engineers;
- Production and process engineers;
- IT business analysts, architects and systems designers;
- Programmers and software development professionals, and others.
Salaries in the UK
Of course, salaries are relatively high in the UK, especially in big developing industries, such as IT or engineering, for example. Other fields offer competitive salaries, too.
Thus, the minimum wage, due to official data, is £8.72 per hour, while the median weekly salary is £567. The experience level is the most crucial factor in determining the salary: the more years of experience, the higher the wage. Generally, employees having experience from two to five years earn on average 32% more than juniors do across all industries and disciplines. Professionals with more than five years of experience tend to make on average 36% more than those with five years or less of work experience.
By the way, the UK government provides information about payments, taxes, and other aspects of wages. For example, it tells about worker’s rights, or how to pay taxes and additional necessary information. There are also links to various helplines.
Laws and rights
As mentioned above, there is information about rights and laws on the official UK government website. When applying for a job, employees and employers sign a contract. A contract is an agreement that sets out an employee’s:
- Employment conditions;
They stick to a contract until it ends or until the terms are changed, which usually happens by agreement between the employee and employer.
So, about employee conditions: maximum working time is 48 hours per week, but the average number is 35-40 years. The usual working hours are 9 to 5, 5 days per week. Of course, jobs are requiring other working hours systems. For example, night-workers can’t work more than 8 hours a day. Employees also have the right to request flexible working.
There are also common benefits, such as maternity pay and leave or a paid holiday, which is 5.6 weeks a year. Most workers who work a 5-day week must receive at least 28 days’ paid annual leave a year. This is the equivalent of 5.6 weeks of holiday. There is also a 7-day sick leave with no need of giving a “fit note”.
How to find a job in the UK?
Where to look? How to apply? How to write a CV? How to present yourself?
There are various platforms with vacancies, like Expatica, Jobs,ac.uk, CV Library or Indeed. There are also platforms presenting industry-specialized vacancies, such as Computer Weekly, Music Jobs, Caterer and many others. People look for a job only within the field they are interested in, which simplifies the job search. The idea is simple: applicants attach their CV and any info they want and apply for vacancies they like. Recruiters pick the most appropriate candidates and invite them to job interviews. People also look for vacancies in recruitment agencies, newspapers and companies websites.
This clear but critical stage requires some special knowledge. Your CV and job interview is the key to getting a job. Generally, CV (Latin Curriculum Vitae) is your summary. It contains general information about you and your contacts, which is the most important part of the information about you as a professional who wants to be competitive in the labour market. Your goals, the position you want, your objectives, your education and qualifications, as well as your previous work experience, should also be included. You should also add information about your personal qualities and skills to present yourself as a competitive and motivated worker. Your research experience, publications, memberships, and reference are also very important to make a right image.
It must be noticed that creative and impressive CVs are not common, and recruiters look for qualified workers who may creatively present themselves and their skills and qualifications.
In the cover letter, you describe why I want to work in this company, what you can offer, so it is “why you should be chosen”. You may give more detail about your experience, qualifications, and achievements, for example, telling what you were granted for. Focus on yourself and provide a clear image of yourself. You shouldn’t lie, but minimizing your abilities and qualities is also a bad idea.
The job interview is another stage of applying for a job. Behaving at your job interview right is the key to get a job. Firstly, you have to prepare for your interview, like discovering a position and company in general. You must then prepare your portfolio and your speech about your qualification, skills, and strong points. You must know what to show and what to talk about to make a good impression. You can also watch some videos about interviews to understand what you will be asked about and how it goes in general. Another important aspect is to stay calm and know how to cope with your nervousness.
English people often work on self-employment, running their own business or working as a freelancer. In 2019, the number of self-employed workers was 15.6%, according to OECD.
Of course, self-employment is more difficult because of taxes, for example. As mentioned above, the official UK government’s website provides any necessary information and maintains helplines. Government support self-employed workers, especially during coronavirus issues period. There are special grant schemes and pay support for people who were impacted by coronavirus issues.
When you run your own business in the UK, it can either be an unincorporated business or a business as a limited company. Limited company option allows you to employ yourself as a director and have your business income treated separately from your personal income.
Internships and traineeships
According to gov.uk, a traineeship is a course with work experience that gets you ready for work or an apprenticeship. It can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year, though most traineeships last for less than 6 months. You can apply for it if you have no work experience and you are aged 16-24. During your traineeship, you will get 70 or more hours of work, help to find a job or write a CV, and improve your skills.
The official government’s website provides information about finding internships or apprenticeships. The internship is an opportunity to work in an organization for a limited period offered for students and graduates—apprenticeship opportunities, a training system people who require special skills.
Starting your job
When you finally start your work, you sign your employment contract. Your employer should enrol you for social security and make contributions from your monthly salary that will entitle you to benefits and the UK state pension. In addition to this, you will be covered by employers’ liability insurance in the UK in the event of any work-based illnesses or injuries. There are probation periods in some companies. They can’t last over 6 months in the UK.