Saturday, 20th April 2019


Part-time work is great for people looking to gain experience or flexibility within their chosen career.

Who can be employed for part-time work?

Part-time work is available for everyone and anyone; whether recently unemployed, fresh out of school or still studying, part time work can be an excellent way of learning a new skill, earning money or gaining experience. Most commonly, part-time work will be taken on by people who have other commitments so cannot work full time, such as:

  • School-children aged 13-16 who are still in compulsory education from Monday to Friday
  • Students at university or college: some will take on part-time jobs to help fund their studies
  • Parents may opt to work irregular hours so they can fit work around their children's care.
  • Anyone recently unemployed can become incredibly disheartened as they may find themselves with a lot of spare time. Gaining a part-time job is a great way of keeping a steady wage whilst searching for more permanent positions.
  • Retired people may wish to find part-time work for a number of reasons: it keeps a steady wage coming into the home without the person feeling like they are overdoing it; or it may just be a way for someone to keep busy as, after a lifetime of working, some may struggle to make the transition into retirement.

What is part-time employment?

Part-time work can be found in almost every industry, however, some offer greater flexibility than others. For example:


With almost all shops (big, small, independent and chain) staying open at the weekends and/or late in the evenings, there are plenty of part-time jobs available in retail.

Whether it is working at the till in a busy supermarket, supervising in a high street department store, or restocking shelves in a home-wares store, there are a variety of roles.

Young people can often start off in this area much easier than in other jobs, due to lower demand for experience, responsibility and qualifications.

Customer Service

Customer service, administration roles and office work are regularly offered on a part-time basis, due to busy periods or in evenings.


Working in a restaurant or café is a great way to start earning money part-time, but also great for acquiring interpersonal skills and experience working under pressure.

The catering industry is vast, and offers many part-time opportunities, whether waiting tables, preparing food, serving at a bar, making coffees, washing up, or being a kitchen assistant.

The working hours can be anti-social depending on the type of restaurant, but work can be flexible.


There are many opportunities for young people and part-time workers to find roles in factories or warehouses.

Duties can range from picking and packing in a warehouse, to assembling parts on a conveyor belt.

This sort of work can also be seasonal, for example, in the run up to Christmas when companies employ more people to pick and pack.


Part-time coaching roles, such as swimming teachers or football coaches can earn money for particularly talented people.

Life-guarding is also a great part-time job for those interested in swimming and/or future careers in coastguarding etc.


Part-time work in labouring can be highly lucrative due to the arduous and extremely tiring tasks.


Temping can offer extremely varied and highly rewarding opportunities.

People can try out a range of different office jobs to see what best suits; they can work at a large event, or maybe discover a new and exciting industry to work in that they had never considered.

Temping offers a higher level of freedom as temps can choose, where, when and how long to work for, therefore it can also offer flexibility to people who have other commitments.

Temping is a fantastic opportunity for students of all ages who are looking to make some money, gain experience and start thinking about what kind of job they may want to get into in the future.

It is also a useful way of building up experience on CVs and contacts from an early age.

Job Sharing

Job sharing is an arrangement normally between two people who will work part-time to fill a role that is normally filled by one person working full-time.

It is an ideal situation for two employees who need more free time or have other commitments, however, it can often be challenging as the two people must maintain excellent communication to ensure that work is achieved and nothing is repeated.


People take on part-time work for a number of reasons:

  • Pupils and students often look for part-time employment while at school or university to help support them during their studies.
  • Those who are taking unpaid internships or work experience placements will often seek part-time work, in restaurants and bars and other establishments that operate outside of the Monday to Friday 9-5 model.
  • Parents sometimes require flexible working hours in order to look after their children.
  • To gain valuable experience before applying for one’s first jobs no matter what type: shows responsibility, time-management, and varying specialised skills.
  • To gain entry into chosen career path; if wanting to go into medicine, nursing or clinical science, part-time work as an administrator in a hospital if often a good starting point for young people as it shows that you aware of the environment that you would be working in.
  • If someone has recently become unemployed they may wish to gain part-time employment, not only for the money, but also to avoid a large gap forming in their CV which future employers may dislike.


There are a variety of places where people can find part-time work. For work in the service industry, the most common way is to go into a shop or bar etc. and ask the manager if they have an vacancies. Even if they say no, hand them your CV anyway as jobs may become available.

For a more office based part-time job, or temping, there are a number of recruitment websites to visit:

It is also worth looking up local independent recruitment agencies, as they will have many vacancies located in close proximity.

Information Websites

Facts and Figures

  • 27% of Britons in employment are in part-time jobs
  • 10% of part-time employees in Britain earn at least £40,000 a year. This amounts to 650,000 people.
  • There are 6.6m part-time workers in Britain
  • 29% of those working part-time say they choose to as they have to look after their children.


For more information on job sharing schemes, time off in lieu, holidays and flexi-time, please see Work Types