If you are in year 11 you can consider leaving school and getting a job. The world of work may be calling you but there is a lot of preparation you need to do before you get to that point.

If you are under 16 and still in school you can only work if you’ve registered for a work permit. To get a permit your employer will submit an application form which must be signed by your parent or carer. You can start a part time job without this permit so long as your employer has submitted the application form.

The law limits the hours you can work and the kind of work that you can do. You can only do ‘light work’ that keeps you safe from danger and does not interfere with your school work.

Click here for an article on the rules of employment.

Working once you have left school

When you have officially left school ( the last Friday in June) you can legally start work full time.

If you are considering working full time you will need to have a clear idea of what it is you want to do but also what you are able to do…It would be a waste of time if you applied to be a window cleaner and you hated heights!

Although you need to know what it is you would like to do you still have to be flexible in order to give yourself the best chance of getting employment. Although the first job you get may not be your “dream job” use it as a chance to gain experience and develop you skills. Take up any training opportunities that you are offered and show willingness to learn new skills.

Preparing yourself will give you the best possible chance of getting a job and Connexions can support you in this preparation. We will provide access to online resource and offer practical, impartial and up to date information advice and guidance to help you find the right opportunity.

Please also bear in mind that until you reach the age of 18 you are classed as a young worker who cannot usually be made to work more that eight hours per day or 40 hours per week. You may not work before 7am or after 10pm.

If you need to work longer than 40 hours a week, or you think your employer is unfairly asking you to work over this limit, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau on 0300 3309 044 (local rate applies) or the Pay and Work Rights helpline on 0800 917 2368