The UK’s Number 1 School.*

*According to the EL Gazette rankings based on
British Council inspectors’ publishable statements.

Read the article which explains what makes ELC Bristol the number 1 ranked UK school.

ELC Bristol is a family-run school, offering intensive General English and examination preparation courses in Bristol, a lively university city in the South West of England.


We understand that many of our students want to better their English to improve their job prospects and some want to stay and work in the UK and maybe even in Bristol. 

Bristol is a prosperous city with relatively low unemployment, especially in the Clifton area, so it is comparatively easy for you to find a part-time job, provided you are legally allowed to work, you have at least an intermediate level of English, a smile on your face and you don’t mind what you do!

The Regulations:  

Only students from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein may work in the UK. Students from other countries are not allowed to work, unless they have a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa.

ELC Job Club:

Students who are entitled to work in the UK and would like help to find a job in the UK can join the ELC job club. On Wednesdays for 1 hour after school - every 2 weeks (3 weeks in every 4 during the summer courses). Runs in cycles with 3 sessions per cycle. Aims to help students who are entitled to work in the UK find a job. We also offer some 1:1 support to help students with CVs and cover letters.We have put together some very useful study materials and background information. We do arrange job placements directly but with the information and support from our Job Club teacher, many of our students have found work in Bristol and other cities.

Download our Job Club booklet in PDF format

Getting a National Insurance Number

If you want to work, you need to get a National Insurance Number as soon as possible.  Although you are allowed to work without a national insurance number for up to 6 months, if you do not have a national insurance number, you will be taxed at the emergency rate (higher rate).  To apply for a national insurance number, you must telephone the department of Work and Pensions 0845 6000643.  They will ask you a few questions: name, address in Bristol, postcode etc, then they will give you a reference number and arrange an interview with you in the City Centre at Eagle House, Saint Stephens Street, Bristol BS1 1EN.  At the interview, you will have to show your passport and also confirmation of your postal address in Bristol.  They will then send you a national insurance number in the post.  The process normally takes up to six weeks.

The ELC web site shows you how to write a simple CV and the language you may need when applying for a job.  We also keep a register of places where our students have worked in the past.

There are 3 different types of work:


It is relatively easy to find work either in a bar, restaurant or shop.  
You should look at the school notice board and also at the small advertisements in the windows of the local ‘corner shops’.  You can also go to the local Job Centre on Queen’s Road, or to one of the many Employment Agencies.

UK National Minimum Wage

25 and over £7.83
21 to 24 £7.38
18 to 20 £5.90






  • There are two types of casual part-time work, paid employment and voluntary jobs.  Which do you want to do? The school keeps records of both.
  • Start by looking at the school records and see where students have worked in the past.
  • Look in all the local shops, cafés, pubs, clubs and hotels.  Often there are little ads in the windows saying ‘part-time staff wanted’.
  • Look in the windows of corner and newspaper shops. You will find little advertisements posted there.
  • Go to the local job centres.
  • Look in the local paper, the Evening Post, on Wednesdays.  Make sure the job is local.  It wouldn’t be convenient to travel to the other side of Bristol.
  • If you tell prospective employers you will only be in Bristol for a short time, there is less chance of you getting a job.
  • Don’t expect too much – casual jobs can be quite boring!!
  • Dress smartly and wear clean clothes.
  • Smile, be positive and confident, especially about your ability to speak English well.

For more information, see our Job Club booklet.

Examples of places our students have worked in the past:

Las Iguanas (restaurant)
113 Whiteladies Road
Tel: 0117 973 0730
Riverstation (restaurant)
The Grove
Tel: 0117 914 4434
Café Gusto
Clifton Down Shopping Centre
Tel: 0117 974 7277
Pret a Manger (cafe)
29-30 Queen’s Road
Tel:0207932 5293
The Hophouse (pub)
16 King Street, Clifton
Tel: 0117 9237390
Avon Gorge Hotel
Sion Hill, Clifton
Tel: 0117 9738955
Eat (cafe)
32 Alma Vale Road, Clifton
Tel: 0117 907 7459 
Subway (cafe)
15-19 Queen’s Road
Tel: 0117 925 6164
Clifton Hotel
Saint Paul's Road, Clifton
Tel: 0117 9736882
The Bristol Hotel
Prince Street
Tel: 0117 923 0333
Channings Hotel
20 Pembroke Road, Clifton
Tel: 0117 973 3970
Clifton Down
Tel: 0117 973 2069
Falafel King
6 Cotham Hill, Clifton
Tel: 0117 329 4476
9 Cotham Hill, Clifton
Tel: 0117 200 2888
Baldwin Street, Bristo
Tel: 0117 321 0322

Good Luck!


Over the years our students have worked in the following areas - in charity shops (Oxfam), in flower shops (Clifton Flowers), as care workers in nursing homes (St Peter’s Hospice and Cancer Research UK) in the hospital canteen (Bristol Royal Infirmary) and as conservation volunteers for the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and also for WWOOF - World wide opportunities on organic farms.

Voluntary Opportunities

BTCV – British Trust for Conservation Volunteers

This is a practical conservation volunteering charity providing opportunities for volunteers and communities to improve their local environment through a wide range of projects.  It is a great way to get exercise, meet people and gain practical skills.

Meeting Point:  The Create Centre

Dates: Contact BTCV for more information

Remember to wear suitable clothing!

To find out about the latest projects, visit this web site:

Simply enter the school postocde, BS8 3DT, and select the icon on the map closest to the school, or you can contact Claire Dinsdale (Avon Project Officer)

Tel: 07739447995

If you are planning to join the Saturday activity, please make sure you call Claire before to confirm you will be coming. Due to the nature of the work, times and dates can change. So keep in touch with Claire!

For more information about WWOOF, please see this website



There are many charity shops in Bristol who are very happy to take volunteers including:

British Heart Foundation
148 Whiteladies Road BS8 2RS
0117 973 9274
Contact: George Forrester
Brunel Care
159b Whiteladies Road BS8 2RF
0117 973 0171
Contact: Visit shop 
Cancer Research UK
138 Whiteladies Road BS8 2RS
0117 923 7286
Contact: Visit shop 
The MIND Shop
40 Cotham Hill BS6 6LA
0117 973 7958
Contact: Kathy King 
11 High Street BS8 4HW
0117 973 9684
Contact: Brian Lenahan 
Oxfam Bookshop
26 Princess Victoria Street BS8 4HW
0117 946 7926
Contact: Sylvain 
Oxfam Books and Music
1 Queens Road BS8 1QE
0117 929 4890
Contact: Michael or James 
62 Cotham Hill BS6 6JX
0117 946 7443
Contact: Maria DaSilva 
5a Clifton Down Shopping Centre
Whiteladies Road BS8 2NN
0117 923 8600
Contact: John Timmons 



After finishing their course at ELC Bristol some students go to work in companies specifically related to their own professions. Work is generally unpaid but it can be excellent experience.  Placements are not arranged by the school but by a professional work placement company. 

The fee for finding such a job starts from around £450 but varies according to the job type, location and the length of the internship or work experience.

Professionals UK provide internships or work placements and can also arrange accommodation. All of this can be organised at the time of enrolment at ELC Bristol, or while you are studying here. Of course some notice will be required, especially for more difficult placements.

For more details, please see the link below.

Professionals UK