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AIBU to think a school leaver should be able to earn £1000 a month?

(53 Posts)
NotJustACigar Sun 18-Aug-19 05:34:03

So my sister is in her mid-forties, having left school at 15 with no qualifications. She has been unemployed for a few years and is looking to get back into the workforce. Previously she worked as a chef but is really burnt out on working with food. AIBU to think there should be a way for her to earn enough to live on? If you were in her situation what job would you try to do?

She can rent a flat for £450 a month. Council tax and all bills should come to another £200. So she wants to take home £1000 a month which should cover her other expenses and leave a little left over to use for fun things.

Bearing in mind she has been depressed and hasn't worked in a few years, she doesn't really know where to start looking for work. If you were in her situation please can you tell me what jobs you would go for in what kind of work that wouldn't be too stressful? How much would she need to earn gross to bring home £1000 net? Thank you.

SpottedGingham Sun 18-Aug-19 05:41:15

School leaver means someone who is 16/18 not someone in their 40s. hmm

I suggest she talks to her jobcentre adviser in the first instance who can advise her best. She needs to do this not you.

Don't helicopter her.

geordierfc Sun 18-Aug-19 05:43:34

the tax allowance is 12500 pounds per year so anything she earns up to that is tax free

You pay 12% National Insurance if you earn more than 166 pounds a week

Why doesn't she try her local shops, supermarkets etc etc great for interacting socially as well, I helped my Mrs try this route only the timings were a problem with school hours

She will need to update her CV and cover letter with her work and any other voluntary stuff she may have done

good luck

HennyPennyHorror Sun 18-Aug-19 06:07:05

Surely the job centre will help her? She might need to train in something. What about looking into some courses? Nursing or being a teachers assistant.

BikeRunSki Sun 18-Aug-19 06:14:47

“School leaver” means someone who is 16-18 ish with recent qualifications. Not someone in their 40s with none, no recent experience and a constraint on anything too stressful! Surely the Jobcentre is the place for her to look for employment and/or training opportunities?

KitKat1985 Sun 18-Aug-19 06:19:44

If she wants £1000 per month gross salary, she needs to earn about £1250 a month pre-tax. Really therefore as long as she's earning £7.50-8 an hour and working full-time she should be fine. And she absolutely will get that as minimum wage for someone her age is £8.21 an hour. So she can pretty much get any full-time job she likes.

What about care work or a healthcare assistant job in a hospital? There's always loads available and a lot of places offer training.

KitKat1985 Sun 18-Aug-19 06:21:11

^that should say if she wants £1000 take-home pay per month after tax, then she needs to earn about £1250 gross a month!

Toneitdown Sun 18-Aug-19 06:25:44

If she left school with no qualifications and is no longer interested in the only job she has experience with then of course she's going to struggle to find gainful employment. I'm sorry if that sounds rude but I think it's a bit odd that you would expect anything different?

Perhaps she should do some sort of access course (not sure if it's still called that) to complete GCSEs or equivalent. This will massively help her employment options.

Gatepost1820 Sun 18-Aug-19 06:53:44

If she's on benefits then she might be entitled to free or subsidised courses. I would encourage her to do an adult access course. This will give her a standard education, current cv & be beneficial to her long term career. Assuming she's early 40's & retirement is at 65 then she has another 20+ years of working life ahead of her.

She/you need to look a bit longer term than earning £1000 monthly at minimum wage jobs. This could turn her life around but she's probably lacking in confidence so needs careful handling.

I'd suggest she also volunteered at a local charity/ charity shop to up date her employment skills. This will also give her a reference which being long term unemployed she won't have.

guinnessguzzler Sun 18-Aug-19 06:56:09

If she likes people, care work could be an option either through an agency or directly employed by someone as a Personal Assistant. Good PAs can be hard to find and generally it is the right attitude that people are looking for more than anything else. If she has a Centre for Inclusive/Independent Living or similar in her area, they may advertise these kind of jobs. You won't always get full time but could complement with agency work. It's not for everyone but I know a lot of people who love it.

YobaOljazUwaque Sun 18-Aug-19 06:57:47

She needs to a gross salary of about 14,000. She'll pay £500pa in tax, £650pa in National Insurance and £700 in pension contributions and be left with £1012 each month take home.

At minimum wage that would require 33 hours per week - you could do it with 5x six hour shifts plus a 3 hour shift one weekend day or 4x eight hour shifts with the odd bit of overtime.

I'd suggest looking for something where she'd need to engage with people, which might help her mental health? Places like libraries and pharmacies would be good to look at, where there is one highly qualified person in charge and then numerous unqualified assistants who are generally on minimum wage or not far off.

There are lots of jobs at minimum wage for unqualified unskilled people but there are lots and lots of unqualified unskilled people and conditions aren't great as employers know they will have no difficulty filling the jobs they have so have no need to treat people well. The most important thing she can do is have a positive mature attitude and a good work ethic - there will be a crowd of actual school leavers that she will be competing with, some of whom will also have those attributes and also benefit from youthful vigour and energy (how very dare they) but hopefully employers will see your DSis as the steadier and more reliable option.

YouJustDoYou Sun 18-Aug-19 07:03:25

Depends how much she is prepared to work, how much she is able to work with her depression, etc. One area that is usually always looking for people is care work, though it's not easy it does offer opportunities for shift work, additional pay if she's prepared to work weekends, evenings etc, and though experience is preferred it's not vital.

Beesandcheese Sun 18-Aug-19 07:07:38

I am 43 don't earn that much and have postgraduate qualifications but can't get my foot in the door for any work (including cleaning and warehouse picking) I am doing work self employed. Because i had children and a break from work noone takes me on. That's just the job market now.

EmmaGrundyForPM Sun 18-Aug-19 07:08:37

Does she live in an area of high unemployment? If so she might struggle to get a job without experience. Does she volunteer anywhere?

If she lives somewhere with low unemployment then she should be able to get a job quite easily. My ds left school 4 years ago with no work experience and immediately got a job paying £23k.

If she is struggling to find work then the Job Centre should be able to help her.

hidinginthenightgarden Sun 18-Aug-19 07:25:36

I work in a college and we have asessors who basically go around and observe apprentices in catering and help them through their qualifications. You don't need quals in anything but your skillset but you may be asked to complete an assessing course.
Wage is about 18/20k.

hormonesorDHbeingadick Sun 18-Aug-19 07:38:03

Anyone who does not have English and maths qualifications the equivalent to c grade can do a those qualifications for free in our area. Is this a national thing?

You have to ask why an employer who choose your sister over someone with recent work experience, even in a different area or voluntary work shows a good work ethic or choose her over someone one with qualifications.

It’s your sister responsibility to make herself employable.

SaskiaRembrandt Sun 18-Aug-19 07:53:35

Places like libraries and pharmacies would be good to look at, where there is one highly qualified person in charge and then numerous unqualified assistants who are generally on minimum wage or not far off.

I can't comment on pharmacies, but library assistants are not unqualified Also, thanks to austerity, few libraries are taking staff on.

OP if this was route your sister wanted to go down she would need qualifications - the access courses mentioned upthread could help her.

Apolloanddaphne Sun 18-Aug-19 07:54:19

She isn't exactly a school leaver is she? She is someone who wishes to change careers.

Bowerbird5 Sun 18-Aug-19 07:56:41

HennyPenny I am a Teaching Assistant. I take just over that home and I am at the top level after 27 years. She would need a GCSE in English and Maths C or above and a Level 3 in childcare or Teaching and Learning. There are very few full time jobs of 37 hrs. I work four days I have several Level 4 certificates and a Diploma in childcare. It is a idea but she would take a while to get to that level of pay. You can actually earn more in a supermarket per hour than the bottom rung for a TA. Some counties pay less than our county.

The suggestion of working voluntarily for a charity is a good one as she will gain confidence and learn to use a till etc.
Supermarkets pay quite well but cleaners get more. Here they get £10 an hour. If she likes cleaning there are often jobs or she could start up on her own. Care homes may take her on as they are often in need of staff. Health care assistant in a hospital. She would get training not sure whether you need GCSE nowadays.

CmdrCressidaDuck Sun 18-Aug-19 08:04:16

You can see, surely, that a fortysomething woman with no qualifications, who hasn't worked in a few years and doesn't want to do the only thing she's experienced at, isn't a prospect that will have employers chomping at the bit? There will be a lot of actual school leavers with more qualifications and also youth, health and enthusiasm. I think her best bet is to emphasise her stability, reliability and life experience in something which requires empathy like care work. Or look into getting on a path for some training. She should talk to the Jobcentre. Where is she - are there opportunities or not? If the local market is tight she is going to have a really hard time, tbh.

LakieLady Sun 18-Aug-19 08:04:46

Is she on benefits at the moment? If so, and she's still on old-style benefits (ie ESA & housing benefit, rather than Universal Credit), she could work up to 16 hours pw, providing she doesn't earn more than £131 pw, without it affecting her benefits. She would need to fill in a form PW1 before starting.

This is a good way for people with MH issues to find a way back into work, as it's risk free. The Job Centre should be able to refer her to an adviser who specialises in helping people in her position, and they will support her through the whole process. They can sometimes place clients with employers who are supportive of people with MH issues, and placements often lead to permanent positions. She could also be referred by her MH worker, if she has one.

Even if it doesn't, it would give her recent experience to put on her CV.

LakieLady Sun 18-Aug-19 08:07:42

Also, doing some voluntary work would give her experience and might open the door to a paid position. My employer has quite a few staff who started with them as volunteers.

Freesunglasses Sun 18-Aug-19 08:17:43

How's about being a home carer? they're crying out for them. Lots of hours available too by all accounts. Or even a live in carer, up to £500 a week.

BarbaraofSeville Sun 18-Aug-19 08:18:17

She can use to work out take home pay.

NMW for over 25s is £8.21 an hour, so if she works at least 29 hours a week on average, she'll bring home £1k pm.

Agree that she needs to talk to the job centre about what training opportunities are available, or doing English and Maths GCSE if she doesn't have these, because if she's thinking about retail, she might need these. This might be a good time of year for retail as employers will be looking for extra Christmas staff around now.

The other obvious area to try would be care work. Low paid, hard work, not great conditions, but work is always available and no qualifications required. Is this something she thinks she would be the right sort of person to do?

NotJustACigar Sun 18-Aug-19 11:29:51

Thanks, all. I have spoken to her and she thinks care work might be a good fit. She likes spending time with older people, and world be good at helping them dress, etc as she's very gentle. She also likes to clean and chat and could obviously prepare food. She says she wouldn't be able to handle helping people go to the toilet, though, in terms of helping them clean themselves afterwards, I don't know if that would be an issue?

Yes I was confused about what a school leaver is (I didn't grow up in the UK but am a citizen). My sister is not currently on benefits, she had been living off family money but that can't continue as the money is gone. She's currently staying with me and my husband. I really appreciate all the advice so far!

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