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When can I start part time work?

All too often I hear the cry - I do not know where to find part time job or how I much I might be paid - so I thought I put some simple tips together to inform and guide you.

Are you 14 years old, and not sure whether you can work?

Starting your first job can seem like a daunting prospect at any age. But it can seem even tougher when you’re under 16. Firstly, you need to figure out what job you can do, and how you can get the one you want. And then you need to work out how to approach the employer.

To help you get into work, here’s everything you need to know about finding work as a 14-year-old:

How old do I have to be to start work?

Children are allowed to undertake part-time paid work from the age of 13.

Exceptions to this rule include roles in child modelling, TV, or theatrical performance. However, children working in these fields will need to obtain a performance license.

 What hours can I work at 14?

The hours you’ll be able to work are restricted to certain times, and vary within term-time and during the school holidays.

During term-time

13 and 14-year-olds can work a maximum of 12 hours a week. They must also have a minimum of 2 weeks off work during the school holidays.

During the school holidays

13 and 14-year-olds can work a maximum of 25 hours a week.

In both term-time and school holidays, these hours must be made up of:

  • No more than 5 hours on a weekday or a Saturday
  • No more than 2 hours on a Sunday

13 and 14-year-olds aren’t allowed to work:

  • During school hours
  • Before 7.00 a.m. or after 7.00 p.m.
  • For over 4 hours without a break
  • For over 1 hour before school

What jobs can I do?

There are some restrictions on where you can work as a 14-year-old. For example, you won’t be able to work:

  • In factories or industrial sites
  • In pubs or betting shops
  • In areas prohibited by local bylaws
  • In a job that could negatively affect your wellbeing, education, or health

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t work anywhere.

Although some roles may be off limits, there are a number of jobs that are perfect for 14-year-olds, which allow you to work around your school life and adhere to employment law. These include:

  • Dog walking or cat sitting
  • Babysitting
  • Washing cars
  • Vlogging and blogging
  • Sports coaching
  • Retail work
  • Website design
  • Delivering newspapers
  • Modelling

How much will I get paid as a 14-year-old?

There is no minimum wage for 14-year-olds, meaning you’re not yet entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

This means what you’re able to earn needs to be agreed upon with your employer, and is based upon the type of work you’re doing.

Asking your employer for the minimum wage for 16-17 year olds (which is currently £4.35) is usually the best way to ensure you’re being paid a fair amount.

How can I find work as a 14-year-old?

In addition to searching on job boards, it’s also a good idea to look for work within your local community – whether it’s through checking newspapers and notice boards in your area, or simply asking around.

You may be surprised at how many opportunities you may find – whether it’s that a family friend is looking for a dog walker, babysitter, or car washer, or your parent’s work colleague is in need of help building a website.

It’s also a good idea to contact local businesses (e.g. independent shops and cafes) directly to see if they need any part-time workers to help out with general duties.

Top tips

OK, so you know when and where you can work, but how can you land the job you want?

Here are a few tips to help you stand out to recruiters:

  • Create a carefully tailored CV and cover letter. Your CV and cover letter shouldn’t just outline your skills and experience – they should also be tailored to the job you’re applying for.
  • Focus on your transferable skills. As you’re just starting out in your career, not having much work experience is perfectly understandable. Instead, mention skills you may have gained from extracurricular activities, school, or your hobbies and interests, and think about how they link to the job you want to do.
  • Remember that all experience is good experience. It could be that you helped at a summer camp, led or sports team, or volunteered at your local community centre or high street charity shop. Whatever it is, mentioning it in your CV will demonstrate a wide range of skills and ultimately help you stand out from the crowd.
  • Prepare for the interview (if there is one). In addition to preparing for questions that may come up (and preparing questions of your own), you’ll also need to plan an outfit, research the company, and practice your interview body language.

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