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Working with students: what’s possible?

With around 18,000 students currently enrolled at the University of Sussex alone, Brighton and the surrounding area has the largest student population in the UK. 


There are two main ways to employ students and graduates in our area: part-time, casual or fixed-term work; and fully-funded, fixed-term opportunities facilitated by the universities. 


Read on for some practical information on each, including our experience of hiring students. We’re also sharing some brief guidance on employing international students (less awkward than you might imagine). 


Hiring students on a part-time, casual or fixed-term basis

Free ad-posting through university career portals

You can post the following kinds of roles for free on the CareerHub (University of Sussex) and Careers Connect (University of Brighton) portals:

  • Graduate jobs/schemes
  • Part-time and vacation jobs
  • Work experience and paid internship opportunities
  • Placements
  • Volunteering opportunities 

These free posting options are a brilliant way to get your opportunities in front of current students and recent graduates. See each university’s website for more details of posting parameters. 

Testing the portals

Wired Sussex posted an ad for part-time work on both sites in December 2022. In just a few steps, we created employer profiles, uploaded our ad copy, dealt with category requirements and submitted our ads for publication. Within a couple of days the ads were live and shortly after this we began to receive a good amount of interesting applications from current under- and postgraduate students. 

We interviewed three candidates who were all good in different ways. The student who accepted the role has had a brilliant start and we look forward to continuing to work with them. 

The role we were advertising was basic; application rates and quality would be expected to vary depending on your needs and interest from candidates. But overall this is a genuinely easy-to-use service and a useful addition to your talent toolkit

Employing international students

While working hours for international students are limited during term time, they are unlimited during holidays (and before/after their course ends, depending on visa stipulations). 

If their visa permits them to work, you can employ international students according to the following:

  • During term time, working hours cannot exceed 20 hours per week. Part-time or casual work, to fit around study, would be appropriate. 
  • During the holidays/vacation there are no limits on working hours. During these times, you can employ students on a full-time basis. 

In our experience… 

The student we hired was required to provide documentation detailing their right to work while studying in the UK. Guidance and support for students and employers are available via the universities and via the website. Remuneration? The days of cash-in-hand are gone - the student goes on your payroll. 

This way of attracting and employing students would work for businesses of all shapes and sizes. 

Fully-funded opportunities from the University of Sussex’s Career Lab programme

The University of Sussex’s Career Lab programme consists of three core schemes: Summer internships, Ambitious about Autism, and student consultancy. 

  • Access full funding to employ current students full-time for four to six weeks. These Summer internships are intended to give students a chance to learn new skills, while gaining confidence and industry knowledge through the completion of set tasks and projects.  
  • Similarly to the Summer Internships scheme, the University’s Ambitious about Autism scheme offers companies full funding to employ current students or recent graduates with an autism diagnosis across six to eight weeks during Summer. Benefits for employers: access to an untapped pool of talent; awareness of the diversity of your team, clients and communities; supporting neurodivergence in your existing workforce, and increasing staff morale and retention, and more.
  • Is your company currently grappling with a problem? Fresh eyes and a new perspective could come in handy. The Student Consultancy programme groups students from a mixture of academic disciplines and gets them working on a project, set by you, for a combined total of 100 hours. At the end of this period, groups give a business-style presentation along with their recommendations.

These are great opportunities for companies to engage with students and graduates from a range of backgrounds and academic disciplines. Each of these schemes offers students an opportunity to transform their skillset, gain experience and feel more confident, both personally and professionally.

Next steps 

We hope this article has been a helpful starting point. 

The Wired Sussex Jobs board also supports ad-posting for graduate roles, internships, apprenticeships and part-time work, and these typically receive a good level of interest. If you are looking to advertise a role like this and want some advice, please get in touch. We would be happy to help you figure out whether our jobs board would be a good fit for your role. 

If you have any further questions about employing students or graduates, please drop an email to, or call us on 01273 692888.  

About the author

Ophelia Schultz-Clark

Community Assistant

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