Summer jobs in Devon
Types of seasonal work in Devon
As well as traditional agriculture, Devon’s local economy now relies quite heavily on tourism. Large chunks of the region are protected against commercial development – Exmoor in the North and Dartmoor in the South – where tourist operations, shops and bars are sparse.
Large student populations in Exeter and Plymouth have centred the business and commercial focus on the South; the North coast is wilder and better preserved, although it’s very popular with holidaymakers. So, for summer jobs with a rewarding social life, look in and around Exeter, Plymouth and Torquay – at their busiest during the summer months. Unsurprisingly, there’s a job surge in spring when the tourist machine clanks into gear: so begin your search in-person if you can, travelling into the tourist towns and looking out for ‘Help Wanted’ signs.
Theme Parks and Stewarding
As part of its ongoing tourist drive, Devon hosts a number of festivals in the spring and summer. Have a look at Discover Devon to see a list of forthcoming events. Some of the biggest festivals are Exeter Summer Festival, Exeter South West Food and Drink Show, the Devon County Show and Dartmoor Folk Festival – and many provide stewarding opportunities. If you fancy working with candyfloss and roller-coasters, look up Crealy Park in mid Devon, which recruits on a seasonal basis: start checking their website in January for summer jobs.
Holiday Camp Jobs
You could be teaching outdoor pursuits or serving burgers and pints, either way Devon is a good place for holiday park and outdoor jobs. Try PGL, which runs a centre in Torquay, and ICC, which has a ‘floating centre’ in Salcombe. Both offer a wide range of jobs for the summer months.
Seasonal Live-in Jobs
In more rural areas (think hotels on cliff-tops), hospitality jobs are sometimes offered on a live-in basis. You can work as a receptionist, waiter, bartender or chef, particularly if you arrive with relevant qualifications. Commis chefs are usually in high demand, as these jobs have a high turnover.
Fruit Picking Jobs
Although it’s hard work, fruit picking is being sold as ‘soul food’ for city workers. The National Farmer’s Union has set up a scheme offering ‘breaks’ to harassed executives to come and pick fruit in the South West. Fruit picking is a popular option among jobseekers too, so start your search early. Devon also has a thriving wine-making industry, so try contacting one of the vineyards dotted around the mid and south of the county- Yearlstone, Down st Mary, Manstree and Sharpham.
Where to find temporary jobs
- Devon County Council maintains its own online directory of jobs, including childcare and playscheme posts.
- Use the telephone directory: Telephone holiday camps, farms and campsites directly to ask if they have vacancies.
- Pick up the jobs pages: the Exeter-based Express & Echo publishes jobs on Wednesdays and lists online at This Exeter. The Western Morning News, which has a wider focus on Devon and Cornwall, prints a job section on Thursdays.