Bar work, coffin-bearing or scrubbing floors. Wageningen students do all kinds of jobs to earn a bit of extra cash.
According to a Resource survey of June 2012, Wageningen students spend an average of four hours a week working at part-time jobs. The kind of work they do varies a lot. Some like to do daytime cleaning jobs while others prefer to work in restaurants or pubs in the evenings. But is there still enough work to go round now the economic crisis has hit?
Yes, say the temping agencies. Tempo-team, one of the biggest in the region, indicates that the number of part-time jobs they have on offer this year is roughly the same as in previous years. So are they not feeling the crisis at all? Yes, they are, but mainly in relation to holiday jobs. There were fewer of those going this summer. 'As always, there is a peak in the summer months, but that peak has been getting smaller in the last couple of years.' The agency thinks many companies now prefer to fill any gaps in the summer with their own staff.
We get a similar picture from another Wageningen temping agency, Werkwijzer. Here too, the number of vacancies remains steady. The economic crisis is felt here mainly in the area of 'real' jobs, says an employee. 'We notice that companies are having a harder time. They try to solve their financial problems by hiring fewer people or no longer seeking workers through an agency.'
For the part-time workers, however, the prospects seem to be good. There is certainly enough work at Ferentes, enquiries revealed. Ferentes hires students to carry the coffin and do other jobs involved in organizing a burial or cremation, from serving coffee and cake to putting out the condolence book. The company posted vacancy ads at several Wageningen student residences, knowing that students are looking for jobs at this time of year. The company did not find it hard to get hold of new students. 'There is still a lot of enthusiasm.' The pay is standard: 8 to 10 euros per hour.
Do students mind what sort of job they do, or are they just working for the money?
The latter, says Werkwijzer Wageningen. Students do not care much what sort of job it is. According to Tempo-team, the conditions are more important than the job itself. One student would rather work in the evenings or at weekends, while another prefers to work during the day and on weekdays. The number of jobs we can offer them is limited by this.'
According to Werkwijzer Wageningen, jobs in pubs, cafés and restaurants are popular. Students looking for work in this branch do not usually find it through temping agencies. 'A lot of students just go in and ask. That way the employer can see what they look like. After all, how you look is a visiting card in the hospitality branch.'
So how do you increase your chances of getting a job at an agency? Ferentes looks for serious, reliable types who can function well in emotional situations. They sometimes also ask for experience in catering, some knowledge of the law or a health and safety certificate. Tempo-team advises students looking for a job to apply through them on the internet. But they are also welcome to pop in. Werkwijzer Wageningen says 'Show your face if possible. That goes for any kind of job you are looking for.'
The three commonest jobs according to Werkwijzer Wageningen:
The three commonest jobs according to Tempo-team:
Admin support jobs
Call centre work
The three highest earning jobs according to Werkwijzer Wageningen:
The three highest earning jobs according to Tempo-team: