Securing a part-time role in the imminent future | Careers

Whether you’re a student or a graduate, there’s no doubt that many of you will be worried about the impact of Covid-19 on your career opportunities. The University of Roehampton Careers Team are working remotely and continuing to add services to help support you and your career in this unprecedented time.

We’ve recently begun running a live chat service between 11-2pm each day to help assist you with any queries, and are still offering a full range of services in the digital space. If you have any queries please contact us via live chat, or through our email: 

Businesses will also value skilled graduates and students, recruitment might be changing, and going at a different pace, however it won’t stop. During this time the Careers Service will be releasing a series of blog posts to help with different aspects of careers during Covid-19. This blog will focus on securing a part time role in the imminent future.

Job Hunting

It goes without saying that the government advice of staying home is imperative. If you don’t need to work then now isn’t the time to be looking for a part time job so you can leave the house. However if you’re urgently looking for a new role for whatever reason then the best places to look at within those sectors that the government has defined as employing key workers:

  • Health and Social care
  • Education and childcare
  • Key public services
  • Local and national government
  • Food and other necessary goods
  • Public safety and national security
  • Transport
  • Utilities, communications and financial services


Many supermarkets are hiring at increased levels to cope with this unprecedented level of demand. Stores are still open as people need to buy provisions. Figures show that March was busier than Christmas for supermarkets, with sales up almost 21 per cent over the month. This means that supermarkets are currently recruiting thousands of extra workers, with applicants sometimes starting work on the same day as applying. Tesco recruited 35,000 extra staff members in just 10 days in March and they’re still hiring more. Jobs website Totaljobs says supermarkets currently dominate the top job searches, with some stores seeing 300% increase in demand. 

Tesco are looking for new employees who can start immediately, they have a range of full time roles, and temporary roles spanning from delivery drivers to customer assistants. You can apply online through either the Tesco website, or There’s also been a lot of people who have been successful through asking directly in store, and some who have even began working the same day. If you’re asking in store it is worth taking in your CV, your Right to Work documentation, and knowing your National Insurance number. Tesco is looking to hire 20,000 staff in the next 12 weeks. Post Covid-19 both the Tesco graduate and internship schemes are very competitive and those that have experience working at Tesco may find they can use this to their advantage. 

Sainsbury’s are actively encouraging people to “’pop into your local store to find out the latest opportunities. Alternatively, if you know someone who already works at Sainsbury’s, please get in contact with them to find out about vacancies in your local area.’ Again when going into the store try and take your CV, Right to Work documentation, and National Insurance Number. Sainsbury’s pride themselves on creating an inclusive environment that values the community around them and the work of team members.

Aldi are currently hiring in over 100 London based stores. They’re looking for 9,000 new staff, of which 4,000 are permanent, to work in stores and distribution centres to meet the demand triggered by the pandemic. Some applicants are being interviewed, processed and working within the same day.

Lidl is looking to recruit 2,500 workers to start immediately, these roles will begin as four week contracts, and they’re looking for people to help restock shelves. They’ve said that they’re prioritising applications from those that have lost their job as a result of COVID-19.

Coop are actively hiring in order to ensure that their stores can continue operating. They’re helping to avoid unnecessary delays and also stop people leaving the house for non-essential reasons, by requesting that applicants apply via calling their local store. Coop aren’t just an organisation focusing on hiring those to work in store, they’re also working in the funeral care sector, which is another sector considered essential and still actively recruiting, for funeral care jobs such as this Funeral Arranger in London.

Asda are looking to hire more than 5,000 staff directly from businesses that are letting staff go, however they are also hiring directly too with many roles closing on the 9th of April. They’re hiring across 50 positions at the moment, so it’s likely that there will be something close to you. It’s recommended to apply online.

Waitrose are currently hiring and have a fulfilment site in Enfield, that’s great for anyone located in North London. The majority of their vacancies are based in London. Apply online for these roles.

M&S are also hiring temporary workers at present, most of the hiring is done through Staffline, but some hiring is done directly through their own website, there has also been some people who have been able to secure a role through going in store.

Morrisons are looking for new temporary staff in their logistics and manufacturing sites and in store roles. Due to the volume of recruitment required Morrisons has outsourced their recruitment process therefore it’s best to check their website for how to apply, as it varies dependent on role and location.

Ocado has fully automated warehouses and no stores, then they’re currently only really recruiting for delivery drivers, although there are a variety of business and managerial roles too. The majority of roles are based in Hertfordshire. There are customer fulfilment centres in London, which means that delivery drivers will be able to work from and within London too. Outside of COVID-19 Ocado is a great place to work, they have a great team culture, are on the bleeding edge of the FMCG sector with their innovative and most advanced automated warehouse system for grocery in the world. The best way to apply for an Ocado role is online.

Iceland has currently paused recruitment for store workers as they had a lot of demand in the wake of COVID-19. However they are still recruiting for delivery drivers. If you have an Iceland nearby and you’re already going into do your shopping then it may be worth checking if your local store still needs new staff.


In addition to this, the NHS is creating new hospitals in cities across the country, the first of these is Nightingale, however the recruitment window was small, and closed in March. It is likely that more roles will become available in Nightingale, so it is worth keeping an eye on the NHS website, and acting quickly if things become available.

The NHS does have a page of vacancies caused by COVID-19. It is worth looking here if you have previous experience in the NHS, or specific skills they may be looking for, however you might find that a lot of these roles require medical qualification, or experience of working in a non-medical role within the NHS. However there are roles which are more open, so don’t be put off looking on the site if the first few roles you see seem to be vastly different from what you’re looking for.

It could be worth looking at your local NHS trust site such as the West London NHS trust for roles based locally. 

Separately from the NHS there are currently a lot of healthcare vacancies for care assistants and private carers. These jobs are based across the UK, and some may require experience and DBS checks, whereas others may be willing to train you up. It is important to consider that these roles are likely to be working with those that are considered vulnerable to COVID-19, and it’s a role you should only take on if you’re compliant with all the government’s social distancing advice. These vacancies can be found across a multitude of job sites.

Call Centres

Call centres are also recruiting at a higher rate than normal, they have lower staffing levels due to COVID-19, and higher demand than usual. Some of the main organisations currently hiring are Virgin and the NHS. These roles are best applied for online.


Lloyds PharmacyBoots, and Superdrug are all currently hiring 1000s more staff, including delivery drivers and in store assistants. It’s worth applying for these roles online. However you may have a local pharmacy that’s not part of a chain which is also looking to recruit more people. You should reach out to these organisations via the telephone, rather than making a non-essential visit into the store.


An alternative that you may not have previously considered is farm work. It’s worth noting that farm work definitely isn’t easy, it can be hard work, long hours, early starts and often difficult weather conditions, however some people love the work, and if you’re looking for a role that’s based outside rather than inside it is worth considering. Most of these roles begin in May, and this site has more information, and a live map of all the farms recruiting, and information on how to apply for each location. Another place to look for farming vacancies is this site, as it has vacancies in May and June.

It isn’t just farms and supermarkets that are hiring workers, companies such as Foxes Biscuits and 2 Sisters Food Group are both looking to recruit large numbers of staff to help them continue supplying the UK during COVID-19. If you know of any distribution centres or manufacturing plants near where you’re based it could be worth looking to see whether they’re hiring.

As mentioned at the beginning, we should all be following government advice and remaining in our houses unless we’re leaving for one of the four essential reasons outlined by the government. However some of you may need a role to be able to pay rent and bills. This is still okay, and the roles above are all defined as Key Workers who are able to leave their houses to travel to work. However if you don’t need to work, then we wouldn’t encourage you to do so at this time.

Stay healthy, and stay safe. Remember to stay home, protect the NHS, and save lives.

Also, wash your hands.

The University of Roehampton changes lives by helping our students to develop the confidence, knowledge and values they need for a successful and fulfilling life. We produce world-class research that helps us understand the world and change it for the better.

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