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Part-time jobs in the UK

Published: Tuesday 16th February 2021

As more and more people look for different career options, we look at part-time jobs in the UK? Part-time work continues to be a popular option for many people. One reason is the growing number of sectors that part time vacancies are found in. Once restricted to retail and customer-service based roles, part-time opportunities now exist in a huge variety of positions. This includes everything from education and healthcare, to IT, finance and marketing roles. Whilst the Coronavirus lockdown continues to disrupt the UK recruitment industry, the fate of part-time jobs has been up and down to say the least. This has led many to ask are part-time jobs worth it.

Signpost saying full-time jobs and part-time jobs to highlight part-time jobs in the UK

Full-time job vacancies have plummeted during lockdown. However, the number of part-time vacancies has remained fairly stable. Whilst this is positive, it does not reveal the whole story. Hospitality, retail and customer service sectors have seen huge losses. Yet in contrast, logistics roles, including delivery drivers and warehouse positions have increased. Many are predicting a similar swing back to more traditional sectors once lockdown ends. However, the coronavirus has also shone a harsh light on some of the problems related to part-time jobs.

Part-time vacancies– the problems

One of the biggest problems with part-time jobs is the lack of protection they provide if working hours are reduced. This unpredictability has always been a problem. However, lockdown has really exposed this and provided workers with little to no support when hours are reduced to zero. Whilst the government’s furlough scheme has undoubtedly provided critical support, many part-time and freelance workers have been left behind. However, despite such problems, many are predicting a boom in part-time UK jobs. This is because companies are also beginning to see the benefits of having staff on contracts that can be changed according to market trends. This flexibility, once considered the prime benefit for employees, is now also attracting hirers from different industries.

Of course, any increase in job numbers is welcome in the current environment. Many people have turned to part-time jobs to survive during the lockdown and such roles have been a lifeline for many. However, part-time jobs often remain a short-term solution. Furthermore, any sustained increase in part-time jobs is likely to be balanced by a fall in full-time positions. Such a movement in recruitment could have very serious long-term consequences, including pension and healthcare issues.

Young man holding a clock to highlight the benefits of part-time jobs in the UK

When to work part-time jobs

This is not to say part-time jobs do not offer some advantages. They can provide good working experience and are often a great way of entering an industry. This is becoming particularly true as more and more sectors introduce part-time positions. Flexible working hours, immediate starts, and reduced candidate requirements are some of the other benefits . Unfortunately, many of these benefits are short-term. This is because they do not provide the same support and career development opportunities that permanent jobs do. Therefore, for many people, part-time jobs are best when used as a stepping-stone or stop-gap between full-time roles.

Of course, part-time jobs serve another purpose for many people. Flexibility in working hours remains the biggest advantage to part-time jobs. This is because part-time vacancies allow you to work around other commitments, as well as focus on personal interests or study. The free-time these roles provide is perhaps their best advertisement. Furthermore, some part-time jobs can now be performed from home. However, the upshot is your salary will of course be less than if you worked full time. As with all jobs, there is a balancing act between the advantages and disadvantages. Part-time jobs were always seen as being the personal choice of a person wanting to work less. Unfortunately, this is not always true, with many people working multiple part-time jobs because they cannot find a full-time role.  Furthermore, there are some fears that a swing to more part-time vacancies will lead to less full-time opportunities.

Female delivery driver sits in van highlighting part-time jobs in the UK

Working part-time in UK cities

As the world’s fastest-growing job board, we are seeing such changes in recruitment first-hand. Whilst some sectors have seen opportunities fall, others continue to show strong growth. This has been true in part-time positions in the UK. However, despite ongoing uncertainty, we are still seeing strong numbers for part-time jobs in London and other cities. There are currently around 63,000 part-time vacancies available on Zoek. The majority of these are in cities such as London, Liverpool and Manchester. However, roles also exist across the entire UK. These positions can be found in many different industries and reflect their increasing popularity.

The UK capital is currently the biggest sector, with nearly 9,000 part-time jobs in London being advertised on Zoek. These jobs range from engineering, teaching and healthcare positions, to those in graphic design, admin and finance. Furthermore, hours can vary significantly. This means you could be working anything from 10 hours a week to 35 hours.  We are seeing a similar pattern in other major UK cities. Liverpool’s growing economy remains important, with its universities and nightlife creating strong demand and need for part time roles. There are currently around 1,500 part-time jobs in Liverpool being advertised on Zoek.

Whilst there has been a large drop in retail and hospitality positions, other sectors continue to offer part-time positions. As such, available part-time jobs in Liverpool can be found in roles ranging from cleaner and online teacher, to builder, project manager and marketing assistant. Likewise, part-time jobs in Manchester are also showing strong diversity. We currently have around 2,400 part-time jobs in Manchester being advertised. As with other locations, these can be found in various industries. Therefore, whether you are looking for delivery driver, accountancy, developer or cleaning roles, Zoek can help.

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