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UK employment - Could you help with info please?
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GaryWolf



Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sue

Once again, thanks for your knowledgeable input. I understand 100% what you are saying, and it will be the private sector I am interested in. But surely there are employment laws in the UK that state that you can not employ people just when you need them (unless you use an agency for supply).

It’s just that I’ve read quite a few things here in preparation for my return, and it looks like it’s a bit difficult as an employer to hire people casually, especially for this kind of work. I thought now Tony Blair is in that casual labour is a thing of the past (legally).

Hey, but thanks for all your input Sue, much appreciated.

John
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Afra



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gary,

In the latest edition of the EFL Gazette, there is a full page article about teaching business English. It might be useful if you can get a copy. I don't think there is an online edition.
With regard to employing a teacher for just a few hours I don't think that has changed. If you agree to work just 2 hours a week or whatever the employer isn't obliged to contract you for more. Lots of summer school jobs are just 2 hours, 5 mornings a week for 6 weeks, for example.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12502
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 5:59 am    Post subject: UK is hell for EFL teachers Reply with quote

GaryWolf seems to be suffering from the delusion that Blair is a socialist.

A minimum wage has been introduced but casual labour has increased - especially in the retail and service sectors. It is now common practice for supermarkets to hire people on a casual basis. They will phone up their part-time employees the day they want them and tell them how many hours they are needed for.

EFL teachers are not treated any better - even in the state sector.
What percentage of jobs are full-time ? Very few in number.
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gugelhupf



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 575
Location: Jabotabek

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Outside the state sector there are very few ESL jobs in the UK that offer any kind of full-time, semi-permanent contract. Still fewer (if any) that offer sick pay and pension scheme! In recent years it has actually become easier to employ hourly paid staff on a casual basis. There are plenty of qualified ESL teachers in the UK and many of those are spouses of partners who work in other sectors where pay and conditions are much better, and who can therefore afford to take occasional hours.

Per head of population there are precious few ESL schools in the UK that operate year round. That's not how the ESL market works here. It is much easier and more profitable to set up a school in Asia or the ME and take the teachers to the students, or to hire premises for a few months in the summer and cram them with kids that European parents want to dump for the duration of the long school holidays.
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Albulbul



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 364

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 9:05 am    Post subject: NEGATIVE ! Reply with quote

Aha ! Now we can expect the protests from posters that we are being NEGATIVE and HORRID.

We just want these people to stay away from the UK. There really are TONS of jobs and you do not have to be qualified or a UK or EU citizen because somebody met somebody in a bar and he told him that his cousin who is a monoglot Albanian with a Kazakh passport got a job teaching English in London that paid a squillion pounds a month.

Would that were so ! The reality is that the employment scene for EFL in the UK is GRIM ! It is marginally better for qualified teachers in primary or secondary schools - especially if you can take the indignities of supply teaching. That means covering for teachers on permanent appointment who are off sick - often suffering mental illness as a result of the horrors of working and living in "Cool Britannia".
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gugelhupf



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 575
Location: Jabotabek

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If someone asked me about the opportunities for living and working in the UK for, say, qualified physiotherapists, airline pilots, plumbers and dentists I'd undoubtedly sound encouraging. There are pros and cons about living in any country but on balance you could do much worse than the UK. If you have a skill that is highly in demand and short in supply then you will be able to land a secure job with decent pay and plenty of additional benefits.

Unfortunately, EFL teachers are not in much demand here and there is an elegant sufficiency of them.
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SueH



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Posts: 1022
Location: Northern Italy

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Unfortunately, EFL teachers are not in much demand here and there is an elegant sufficiency of them.


Now that's a phrase I haven't heard in years - reminds me of my late grandfather! Just to echo your thoughts - there's a very good basic supply of the E in EFL in England. Coals to Newcastle also springs to mind, and if my previous career suffering mental decrepitation in I.T. hadn't paid for the house I'd have financial problems.

Lots of comments from abroad here, but although I wouldn't deny the generally unreliable nature of income in EFL/ESOL, stability is achievable, although I'm not going to tell you where I hope to be short-listed for a decent contract next week! It's my choice to do it, and although people give their opinions about how negative people and things are in the UK the negativity seem mainly to come from expatriates. That's not to say that many of the points they make are not valid, but I learnt from experience at a very early age to take the opinions of some of them with a pinch of salt.

The big bug-bear with the state colleges is the paperwork, but they are largely above board otherwise. For example I had to do a cover lesson the other week, and although the sts didn't turn up I still got paid.

An advantage of working at most of these colleges is that they are generous with their training support including study in non-related areas if you work for them. Maybe I'll do a basic plumbing course and end up earning some decent money!
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GaryWolf



Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Afra, thanks for your tip on the EFL Gazette

Scot, thanks for your info on causal labour. It doesn’t sound good does it?

guglehupf, thanks for your input on employment regs

Albulbul, the employment scene comments were helpful, thanks

And again, thanks SueH

All your comments really help a lot people, thanks

G Wolf
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Afra



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't speak for other ex-pats but the reason I left the UK was precisely those stated in the post. I don't think this is being negative; it was the situation at the time and in many cases is still true today, according to friends still struggling to make a living in EFL in the UK. The college I worked for now gives termly contracts but this is hardly a stable working environment. Almost all the teachers, no matter what their subject, have these contracts, so they either live run around from job to job or have a partner with a regular salary. Just before I left the UK, most colleges were trying to get rid of staff on the old 'silver book'contracts and issue short term contracts in their place. EFL is not considered a profession in the UK, no matter how well qualified or committed you are. By the way, I don't think it's necessary to have QTS to teach in FE. Although I have a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education, I had work for years before I did it and most of the people I worked with had a CELTA or similar for EFL and nothing for other subjects.
However, on the positive side, the best students I have ever had were in the UK. Multi-lingual groups, mostly well educated, who worked to pay for their classes and valued what they were doing and I'm still in contact with many of them.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12502
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even universities in the UK treat their staff badly. My friends are told in June whether or not they will be required for the coming year.

Tenure ? What is that ?

And I am not talking about some back street EFL school - London University.

Yuk !
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GaryWolf



Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well guys, I think everything all of you have said about EFL in the UK is relevant. Sorry for all your bad experiences. To tell you the truth, I’m hoping to find work, but now I’m seriously thinking about trying to set up my own school.

I am a very professional person and I enjoy my work a lot. The problem I can see with this idea is, at the moment the UK are thinking of regulating the industry. Therefore, I’m not sure if I would be able to set up. Do any of you know about the regulations for setting up an English language school.

I would only be teaching business English to adults, not general English. Can any of you comment on the regulations at the moment? Is it, and will it still be possible to set?


Many thanks

GaryWolf
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Afra



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The UK on-line papers had quite a bit about the new regulations recently. Try a search.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12502
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 7:15 pm    Post subject: EFL - a fast way to go bust Reply with quote

You plan to set up a business on the strength of the answers you get to questions here ?

Why not just take all your start-up capital in cash, pour some petrol over it, apply a match and go away. That will be quicker and less painful.

A Language School is a business like any other. You need to do some real research. And speak to some financial professionals.

Get real man !
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GaryWolf



Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Afra

Thanks for your reply. I’ll get on it now.

G Wolf
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GaryWolf



Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Scot

Thanks for your post. I was just asking about ‘regulations’ here. I think someone may know if the regulations on English schools in the UK have changed yet. I think if new regulations come in, it may only be possible for qualified teachers to own their own school. I’m not a qualified teacher. I won’t be able to start up my won school.

Scot, do you think I should go to financial professional and pay approx 150 per hour for them to tell me there are new regulations on English schools in the UK, or should I use the internet for initial research? What would you do Scot, pay the 150?


Thanks Scot

G Wolf
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