For many students learning English in London, it’s important to have a job to pay the bills while they’re here. Prime recruitment is one of the agencies that work in collaboration with The English Studio, arranging jobs for our students. We spoke to head honcho Simon Jones, as well as to one of our students who found work through Prime, Marco Paris. You can also read more about Marco’s experience working and learning English in London.
1. Prime was founded in 1998. Were you involved in this and if so, what changes have you noticed in the 20 odd years since its foundation?
The main changes since 1998 have been the increase in standards and expectations for the hospitality sector in London. Lots of new hotels and restaurants have opened, raising the standard to the best in the world. Therefore, the requirement for access to good levels of quality staffing is now more important than ever.
2. What are the most common job types done by students from our school?
It includes all positions from waiting and bar staff to kitchen staff to housekeeping and cleaning and reception and porters.
3. Can a student’s level of English have a significant impact on the type of job they can get?
Can you give any examples? Yes, levels of English are very important and do have an impact on whether we are able to help students. Staff working in 4 and 5 star hotels need to be able to engage in conversation with guests, so students with lower levels of English are generally only able to work in non guest-facing roles, such as, kitchen and back of house cleaning.
4. What would be the difference in the hourly rates be for these jobs?
Rates start from £6.70 or £7.20- if over 25- up to £10+ depending on the position.
5. How much could the average recruit expect to clear after tax?
It all depends on hourly rates and number of hours worked – averages for a 40 hour week are from £300 to £350.
6. Does emergency tax apply to people’s first pay cheque?
No it should not.
7. How long do students tend to stay in the jobs they do?
6 to 12 months is typical.
8. Can students easily get jobs that are flexible in terms of timetable, thus allowing them to continue their studies uninterrupted?
Yes of course – it may take them sometime to find the right position and shifts, but there are lots of possibilities in London.
9. What’s the demographic of the typical ES Prime recruit (Age/nationality/gender)?
We literally have every age group, but the main group is 20 to 40 years old, and again many nationalities, but there’s a high percentage of Europeans.
10. Perhaps most importantly, what is the likely effect of Brexit?
We do feel the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union will have a negative effect on the hospitality industry, mainly in terms of the excellent source of candidates being part of the European Union affords us. However, business has remained unaffected and we do feel there is a lot of conversations to be had before we do Brexit, indeed if we ever do. Many experts are predicting at least 2 years of discussion, with the possibility of a second referendum. So let’s remain positive and see how it develops!
Amen to that! Thanks to Simon for his time and his advice.