UAL’s in-house temp agency set up to help students and recent graduates develop their employment skills has now paid out £1 million in salaries since 2009.

ArtsTemps is now the preferred supplier of temp staff across the the University. Based within the Student Enterprise and Employability service, its primary aim is to give students the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to succeed in the competitive graduate jobs market. The service is also open to alumni up to two years following graduation, allowing them to gain money and experience while they look for permanent work or set up their own practice or business.

Stephen Beddoe, Head of Student Enterprise and Employability at UAL, says:

“Most students need to juggle work and study in order to make ends meet, and universities are major employers. So rather than see our students and graduates take non-professional jobs that are not related to the careers they want to enter, why not give them the chance to work with us and get really good skills and experience? We all know that graduates face an uphill struggle to get their first post-university job at the moment, and we have a responsibility to give them all the help we can.

“At the same time, the University gets a pool of reliable, talented and creative temporary staff. It’s a win-win situation and I would really encourage other universities to give it a go.”

ArtsTemps provides competitive rates of pay starting at £8.04 per hour and increasing depending on the experience required for the job.

See more about ArtsTemps here.

Read UAL Vice-Chancellor Nigel Carrington’s views on his blog here.

What students and graduates say:

Joe Easeman, 23
BA (Hons) Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art and Design (2011)

“I am currently putting together a business plan to open a gallery with a fellow ex-Chelsea student, and Arts Temps has given me the financial breathing space to do that.

“Since graduating, the team has found me part-time work in college shops at London College of Fashion, Camberwell College of Arts and Chelsea College of Art and Design. The roles have covered stock control, bookkeeping and serving customers. The exposure to the different art products has really developed my own practice as an artist (I have a studio in south London and specialise in video performance).

“The bookkeeping experience – particularly the relationship between cost and selling price – will be invaluable when my business gets off the ground.”

Kristian McComb, 38
MA Conservation, Camberwell College of Arts (Part-time)

“ArtsTemps has been a lifesaver for me. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to continue my part-time MA without the jobs they have found me. I signed up two years ago and after various roles I now have a permanent, part-time position as a library assistant at Camberwell College of Arts.

“The work has fitted in very well around my studies. It has also broadened my skills. I deal with enquiries from students, provide IT support, and have also learned more about time management and effective communication. These are transferable skills that I hope will help me find work as a paper conservator when I complete my degree.”

Rabia Aqeel, 23
BA (Hons) Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art and Design (2011)

“The insight into the professional workplace that my ArtsTemps jobs have given me has been invaluable, particularly my most recent contract working on the switchboard in the University’s Information Services department. Dealing with enquiries from potential students and their parents has increased my confidence, broadened my CV and highlighted the areas I need to gain more experience in.

“The ArtsTemps team has been very supportive, and found me a variety of roles since graduating, including assisting with events organisation at Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion. I’m hoping this will increase my chance of gaining a full-time job in my chosen career as a gallery or artist’s assistant.”

Remi Merchant, 23
BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting, Wimbledon College of Art (2011)

“ArtsTemps is particularly important for graduating artists. The nature of what we do means we don’t work in a conventional, 9 to 5 way, and if it had not been for the part-time, temporary work the team found me I would not have been able to develop my paid practice work as an artist (I specialise in medium-format photography, but have also worked in theatres, including the Young Vic, where I was employed as a project assistant on a production of BABEL).

“One of my recent ArtsTemps positions was as an administrator for Artquest (a support organisation for visual artists hosted by University of the Arts London). I have also worked as an information assistant at Chelsea College of Art and Design. ArtsTemps has supplemented my income, and my skills.”