Getting a job

Getting a job

When looking for a job, you might come across new or confusing words that you might not have read before. Get your your head around this new language with our list of helpful words below.

Check out the Manchester City Council website to find more resources on finding work for the first time, retraining or starting your own business.

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On an apprenticeship, you're employed to do a real job while studying for a formal qualification, usually for one day a week either at a college or training centre. Different apprenticeships last for different amounts of time anything from 1 year to 6 years. You will be paid at least National Minimum Wage.

Find an apprenticeship.


When you start any job, you’ll need to sign a contract. There are a few different types:

Permanent contract

Permanent contracts are usually for employees who work regular hours and are paid a salary or hourly rate. They are ongoing until ended by either the employer or the employee. They could be full-time or part-time.

Fixed-term contract

Fixed-term contracts are similar to permanent contracts except they have a ‘fixed’ end date. Contracts can last for any amount of time e.g. one year or six months. You’ll often see Maternity Cover contracts which are fixed-term.

Zero-hour contract

Zero-hour contracts are a form of ‘casual contract’ and are usually paid by the hour. The contract does not guarantee a set number of hours per week. These contracts are not exclusive meaning you can work zero-hour contracts for a number of different employers.


Freelancers can hold multiple contracts at the same time. If you’re a freelancer this means you are self-employed and negotiate contracts each time you agree to a piece of work. This could be anything from construction work to tutoring. Most freelancers are responsible for their own tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs).


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