We understand that many of our students want to better their English to improve their job prospects. Some want to stay and work in the UK and maybe even in Bristol.

Bristol is a prosperous city with relatively low unemployment, so it is comparatively easy to find work. To do so, you must be legally allowed to work and have at least an intermediate level of English. It also helps if you have a smile on your face and you don't mind what kind of work you do!

UK Work Regulations

Only students who have a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme Visa are currently allowed to work in the UK. Currently this includes Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

ELC Job Club

Students who are entitled to work in the UK and would like help to find a job in the UK can join the ELC job club.

  • On Wednesdays for 1 hour after school - depending on demand but usually once every 4 weeks
  • Aims to help students who are entitled to work in the UK find a job
  • We also offer some 1:1 support to help students with CVs and cover letters
  • We have put together some very useful study materials and background information

We do not arrange job placements directly but with the information and support from our Job Club teacher, many of our students have found work in Bristol and other cities.

Getting a National Insurance Number

If you want to work, you need to get a National Insurance Number as soon as possible.  

Although you are allowed to work without a national insurance number for up to 6 months. If you do not have a national insurance number, you will be taxed at the emergency rate (higher rate). To apply for a national insurance number, you must telephone the Department of Work and Pensions 0845 6000643. They will ask you a few questions: name, address in Bristol, postcode etc. Then they will give you a reference number and arrange an interview with you in the City Centre at Eagle House, Saint Stephens Street, Bristol BS1 1EN.

At the interview, you will have to show your passport and also confirmation of your postal address in Bristol. They will then send you a national insurance number in the post. The process typically takes up to six weeks.

During our Job Club, we will show you how to write a simple CV and the language you may need when applying for a job. We also keep a register of places where our students have worked in the past.

There are 3 different types of work:

Casual Paid Work

It is relatively easy to find work either in a bar, restaurant or shop. Our Job Club will help you learn how to look for work.

UK National Minimum Wage

The UK's National Minimum Wage makes it possible to earn enough money to pay for accommodation and a modest lifestyle in Bristol.

23+ £10.42
21 to 22 £10.18
18 to 20 £7.49




Finding Casual Work

  • Look in all the local shops, cafés, pubs, clubs and hotels. Often there are little advertisements in the windows saying ‘part-time staff wanted’.
  • Look in the windows of corner and newspaper shops. You will find little advertisements posted there.
  • Go to the local job centres.
  • Look in the local paper, the Evening Post, on Wednesdays. Make sure the job is local. It wouldn’t be convenient to travel to the other side of Bristol.
  • If you tell prospective employers you will only be in Bristol for a short time, there is less chance of you getting a job.
  • Don’t expect too much – casual jobs can be quite dull!
  • Dress smartly and wear clean clothes.
  • Smile, be positive and confident, especially about your ability to speak English well.

Finding Professional Work

Please note that for students with at least a C1 level of English and the relevant professional qualification, it is possible to find more professional work. However, it can take a long time to find a job because you will be competing with native workers. Many of our students do a professional internship first. This gives them the experience of working in an English environment and an enhanced CV. See below for more information about professional work placements.

Voluntary Unpaid Work

Over the years our students have worked in the following areas - in charity shops (Oxfam), in flower shops (Clifton Flowers), as care workers in nursing homes (St Peter’s Hospice and Cancer Research UK) in the hospital canteen (Bristol Royal Infirmary) and as conservation volunteers for the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and also for WWOOF - Worldwide opportunities on organic farms.

Voluntary Opportunities

BTCV – British Trust for Conservation Volunteers

BTCV is a practical conservation volunteering charity, providing opportunities for volunteers and communities to improve their local environment through a wide range of projects.  It is a great way to get exercise, meet people and gain practical skills.

Meeting Point:  The Create Centre

Dates: Contact BTCV for more information

Remember to wear suitable clothing!

To find out about the latest projects, visit this web site:
Website:  http://www.tcv.org.uk/volunteering

Enter the school postcode, BS8 3DT, and select the icon on the map closest to the school, or you can contact Claire Dinsdale (Avon Project Officer)

Email:  c.dinsdale@tcv.org.uk
Tel: 07739447995

If you are planning to join the Saturday activity, please make sure you call Claire before to confirm you will be coming. Due to the nature of the work, times and dates can change. So keep in touch with Claire!


WWOOF™ UK is part of the Federation of WWOOF Organisations, a worldwide community that promotes awareness of ecological farming practices by providing visitors with the opportunity to live and learn on organic properties.

WWOOF™ was founded in 1971 in the UK and is one of the world’s first voluntourism and ecotourism organisations. WWOOF now exists in 132 countries (and growing) around the world. WWOOF™ UK was founded in 1971.

For more information about WWOOF, please see this website


Professional Work Placements

After finishing their course at ELC Bristol, if they are eligible to work in the UK, some students go to work in companies specifically related to their professions. Work is generally unpaid, but it can be an excellent experience.  Placements are not arranged by the school but by a professional work placement company.

The fee for finding such a job starts from around £450. It varies according to the job type, location and the length of the internship or work experience.

We work with a company that can provide internships or work placements and can also arrange accommodation. They can arrange internships at the time of booking or while you are studying here. Of course, some notice will be required, especially for more difficult placements.

For more details, please see Neil

Places our students have worked in the past

Las Iguanas (restaurant)
113 Whiteladies Road
Tel: 0117 973 0730

Riverstation (restaurant)
The Grove
Tel: 0117 914 4434

Café Gusto
Clifton Down Shopping Centre
Tel: 0117 974 7277

Pret a Manger (cafe)
29-30 Queen’s Road
Tel:0207932 5293

The Hophouse (pub)
16 King Street, Clifton
Tel: 0117 9237390

Avon Gorge Hotel
Sion Hill, Clifton
Tel: 0117 9738955

Eat (cafe)
32 Alma Vale Road, Clifton
Tel: 0117 907 7459

Subway (cafe)
15-19 Queen’s Road
Tel: 0117 925 6164

Clifton Hotel
Saint Paul's Road, Clifton
Tel: 0117 9736882

The Bristol Hotel
Prince Street
Tel: 0117 923 0333

Channings Hotel
20 Pembroke Road, Clifton
Tel: 0117 973 3970

Clifton Down
Tel: 0117 973 2069

Falafel King
6 Cotham Hill, Clifton
Tel: 0117 329 4476

Baldwin Street, Bristol
Tel: 0117 321 0322

Charity shops where you can volunteer

British Heart Foundation
148 Whiteladies Road BS8 2RS
0117 973 9274
Contact: George Forrester

Brunel Care
159b Whiteladies Road BS8 2RF
0117 973 0171
Contact: Visit shop

Cancer Research UK
138 Whiteladies Road BS8 2RS
0117 923 7286
Contact: Visit shop

The MIND Shop
40 Cotham Hill BS6 6LA
0117 973 7958
Contact: Kathy King

11 High Street BS8 4HW
0117 973 9684
Contact: Brian Lenahan

Oxfam Bookshop
26 Princess Victoria Street BS8 4HW
0117 946 7926
Contact: Sylvain

Oxfam Books and Music
1 Queens Road BS8 1QE
0117 929 4890
Contact: Michael or James

62 Cotham Hill BS6 6JX
0117 946 7443
Contact: Maria DaSilva

5a Clifton Down Shopping Centre
Whiteladies Road BS8 2NN
0117 923 8600
Contact: John Timmons

Nothing is too much trouble for us. We are here to help you!

Get in touch