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Summer Jobs in Cornwall

With world-famous surf, student bars, and sunset suppers, Cornwall is a popular destination for backpackers.  Cornish tourism is healthy – great news for student summer jobbers.  And there are a lot of them.  So you’re looking for a summer job here too?  Read our guide first...

Types of seasonal work in Cornwall

The Cornish economy, once heavily dependent on mining and fishing, has undergone a transformation during the last eight years.  When unemployment soared in the 1990s, Cornwall was injected with EU funding to help improve the situation for local businesses.  Funding helped do two key things: firstly, combine and improve Cornwall’s higher education, merging various institutions to create a stronger resource for students and employers.  Secondly, the funding brought broadband connections to the county, vastly improving circumstances for service businesses and self-employed people (18% of the workforce).

Today, the service industry generates the biggest proportion of the region’s income.  Top of the pile is manufacturing (10%, including food processing), with tourism (10%) following very close behind.  Income and employment figures are very closely linked to the seasons – in other words, summer work is easier to come by.  Cornwall’s summer unemployment rate stands at 1.8%.

So what type of work can you expect to find in this lovely corner of the world?  Reception, bar, waitress, housekeeping, porter and catering staff positions at holiday camps and hotels; tourist information officers and tour guides for local councils and tour companies; lifeguards and sports instructors at leisure centres and beaches; tea room staff, ski instructors and apple pickers. 

Theme Park and Stewarding Jobs

If you’re an adrenalin fiend you could work on the rides at Crealy Adventure Park – supposed to be the region’s biggest – whose seasonal recruitment drive begins in late winter.  Don’t forget, either, that Cornwall hosts several festivals in the summer months, and stewards are required to shepherd visitors in and out of events, sell tickets and supply refreshments.  For both types of work you will usually be trained on-the-job – no qualifications required. 

Fruit Picking in Cornwall

Cornwall’s most famous berry producer, Boddington’s, hires extra pickers for the months of June and July, dependent on the crop and conditions.  Other growers also hire help, including flower and apple farmers.  Check whether accommodation is provided or if you’ll have to arrange your own; and find out how you’re paid before you arrive.

Newquay to Bude, Falmouth and Truro

The surf coast is flooded with optimistic students and travellers in the summer.  So how do you maximise your chances of finding a job?  Firstly, start looking early: flag up the local Jobcentre (and use the search tool online).  Telephone holiday camps on the roads to the town, and send them your CV as early as possible.  By April, shops and bars are advertising for staff and the best thing to do is get there in time: these positions fill fast, and employers know it.

Where to find temporary jobs

  • Use the Yellow Pages: You can find telephone directories for every UK region in your nearest reference library. 
  • Write to companies operating in your area or region of interest: holiday camps, childcare companies, tour operators, beach cafes, surf and souvenir shops.
  • Charm offensive:  Because of the large number of summer job-hunters, shops and bars will usually just pin up ‘Help Wanted’ signs.  Pack your widest grin and sell yourself hard.
  • Pick up the jobs pages: Local publications including the Western Morning News and the Western Daily Press have a combined website with jobs section at thisiscornwall.co.uk.

Cornwall

Vacancies within 20 miles of Cornwall

Review added by: Season Workers