No one can accurately predict the future, the world of work changes like music and fashion. There will be jobs in 5 years time that haven’t been thought of yet and other jobs will disappear.

You can use the LMI website to find out what is happening in your area, the skills and experience you will need and where and how to apply for work.

Don’t forget you can also ask questions of friends, family, teachers, careers professionals in schools and any employers you meet either in school or on work experience.

As a future employee in the 21st Century you will have to be flexible, have transferable skills and may have a variety of different types of employment in your working life. This may include part time work, full time work, self employment, working in another country or from home.

The Directgov website provides information and a range of resources that will help you navigate your first steps into employment. To find out more about Employee tax and National Insurance and the paperwork and forms you get when your first start work.

A new agenda called Raising the participation age (RPA) came in to effect in 2013. This requires young people to continue in education or training until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17 from 2013 and until their 18th birthday from 2015.

This does not mean young people must stay in school; they will be able to choose one of the following options:

  • full-time education, such as school, college or home education
  • work-based learning, such as an Apprenticeship
  • part-time education or training if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering for more than 20 hours a week.

Types of Employment

There are three types of employment status – you could either be a ‘worker’, an ’employee’ or ‘self-employed’. Your employment status will help define what rights and responsibilities you have at work.

Workers
‘Workers’ are defined more widely than employees and are different from the genuinely self-employed. The status of worker includes individuals working under a variety of contracts. Employees are workers, but employees have different employment rights and responsibilities than workers.To find out more click here

Employees
The ’employee’ status applies to the largest group of people in the workplace. All employees are workers, but as an employee you have a wider range of employment rights and responsibilities to and from your employer. For example, you will need to give a minimum notice period if you wish to leave your job. To find out more click here

Self Employment
Employment legislation does not generally cover self-employed people because you are, in effect, your own boss. You will benefit from protection for your health and safety and, in some cases, protection against discrimination. Your rights and responsibilities would be set out by the terms of the contract you have with your client. To find out more about being self employed click here

Working & Paying Tax

If you are employed and not in full time learning, you will have to pay tax on your wages through a system called Pay As You Earn (PAYE). Your employer uses this system to deduct Income Tax and National Insurance contributions from your wages before you are paid.

Gross and net salary
The amount you earn before tax and National Insurance are deducted is your ‘gross salary’. The amount you receive after tax and National Insurance have been deducted is your ‘net salary’. When you get a payslip, you’ll see:

  • the gross salary you’ve earned including any bonuses
  • how much Income Tax has been deducted
  • any National Insurance contributions that have been deducted
  • any student loan repayments, if relevant
  • your take home pay, or the net salary you’ve actually received

As well as being taxed on your pay, you’re also taxed on benefits your employer provides, such as a company car, fuel, a low interest loan or medical insurance. You may also have to pay tax on any tips you receive as part of your job.

Income Tax and PAYE
Income Tax is your contribution to government spending on things like transport, health and education. How much you pay depends on how much you earn.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) gives you a tax code, which you’ll see on your payslip. Your employer uses your tax code to work out how much Income Tax to deduct from your wages through the PAYE system.

At the end of each tax year your employer will give you a form – your P60 End of year certificate – showing your total gross pay for the year and how much tax and National Insurance you’ve paid.

Income Tax – the basics

To find out about paying tax and national insurance if you are self employed click here.

Find out if you are entitled to the National minimum wage

Unemployment

At some point in your life you may find yourself without a job. Don’t panic, there is help available. 

Jobcentre Plus (through Directgov) provide assistance to those who are unemployed and claiming benefits, though anyone can search for a job at the Jobcentre Plus website, touch screen Jobpoints or via Jobseeker Direct.

The Job seekers section of the website is an online search tool with careers advice provided through Direct Gov Job skills and search

Some frequently asked questions

Volunteering

Volunteering

If you are wanting to gain expereince of an employment area whilst you are still in learning or unemployed the best way is to volunteer.

Many companies will look at voluntary work as real time work experience of their sector and these experiences can be used as evidence at an interview.

There are a number of organisations you can contact to find out more about how and where you can volunteer