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Temporary Work in FE: Advice to Those Looking

23 August 2022 Candidate Blogs

As we approach the start of the academic year, FE Colleges recruit staff at pace, to cover permanent gaps, sickness and respond to student enrolment. To help the community we’re releasing a two part series on temporary work in FE and how to find the right jobs and talent, the first in our series explores finding work.

FE Colleges have a huge range of courses and learners available, so there are often plenty of part time and temporary positions available. Temporary work is a great opportunity for those looking for flexibility, who may have their own business, have child care responsibilities  or are semi-retired and want to continue to work part time in their industry area.

There are some do's and don'ts to finding temporary work in FE and some benefits you might not have realised. Read on to find more information on temporary work and some tips to improve your chances of landing the job you want and getting the most out of it.

Finding the right temporary job for you

Make the most out of agencies
Registering with recruitment agencies may seem daunting at first and you may think it will require lots of work. However agencies will prioritise candidates they are working with on a more exclusive basis, and thus increasing your chances of finding the perfect role.

At first you may think registering at every agency you can find would increase your chances of finding a job, however it can be tricky keeping tabs on different contacts at multiple agencies, providing vetting information to multiple companies and having your referees contacted by multiple people. We recommend you choose one or two agencies; enabling you to build a good relationship with the agency and the agency’s staff, so that they can fully understand your requirements and match you with the College that’s right for you.

Be flexible
Try to be flexible in your requirements, your recruiter will try and find you the most suitable job based on what you are looking for, however the ‘perfect’ job doesn’t always exist. It may be you need to travel a bit further than you ideally wanted to, teach a broader range of levels, pick up an extra day's work or look at shorter term contracts.

You will likely miss out on opportunities if you aren’t receptive to needs, as temporary staff recruitment moves very quickly, as colleges do everything they can to accommodate their learners.

Be available
This one may seem obvious, but being available is crucial when it comes to temporary work, as Colleges will recruit new staff quickly to cover sickness and student enrolment, you may miss out on job opportunities if you are not keeping on top of your correspondence. So make sure to keep your phone on you, keep on top of your personal emails and keep in touch with your chosen agencies.

Nail the basics
With so many people competing for the same jobs it’s important to stand out from the crowd. So make sure you’ve got the basics covered, your CV needs to be kept up-to-date and it’s a good idea to brush up on your interview skills, so that when you’re applying for jobs, you’re confident and prepared. You can find extensive guides available here:


Now you’ve found temporary work

Express your availability
Just because you start a position on a part time basis, due to the size of some colleges provisions, you may find you are offered more hours after you start work, either in the same or different departments. So if you’re looking for more hours, make your manager aware you would be interested in picking up more work and they can try to accommodate you and introduce you to other managers who can utilise your skills.

Keep in contact with your agency
If there’s no additional work available in the College you are initially placed in, make sure to ask your agency to keep you posted about work at other organisations that fit around your timetable. It's often hard for agencies to find someone who can work for 1-2 days per week, so knowing a candidate who is already working for them and looking for additional hours can work well for both parties.


Unsure about temporary work?

If you are newly qualified or have recently finished a permanent job and are ideally looking for a new permanent opportunity, make sure to keep an open mind about temporary work as this can often lead to longer term opportunities.

Misconceptions in FE Temporary work
Temporary teaching work in the FE sector is generally not the same as day to day supply teaching, most synonymous with schools. Generally, unless there is a very short gap to be covered, there is an expectation that temporary Lecturing staff in Colleges will complete and undertake lesson preparation and marking for their classes, which is usually included in the hourly or daily rate. A temporary lecture job in FE isn’t just about managing the class.

Benefits of FE Temporary work
You will be an integral part of the team when approaching a temporary contract in FE. You will be included in team meetings and often gain access to CPD opportunities, and will play an important role in the success of your department and the learners.

Possibility of permanent
If you’re ultimately looking for permanent work, make sure to find out from your agency about why there is a vacancy. If it is because someone has left a permanent role or they have been unsuccessful in recruiting for the permanent equivalent, then this creates a great opportunity for you to go in and demonstrate your skills and aptitude for the job to the College, putting yourself in a great position to be offered a permanent role.


Find your next job

By applying the tips in this article, you’re sure to find the right job for you in no time.  If you are looking for a new role in FE why not reach out to our Education Recruitment Team, they have over 100 years combined experience and are proud to be a key supplier of staff to FE. You can email our team at or why not explore the vacancies we’re currently recruiting for.


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