Setting the Standard for Good Student Employers with New Charter

25 October 2023

Written by: vsimons

A new initiative developed by tourism specialists to help champion best practice among employers who regularly recruit students will launch next month.

A new initiative developed by tourism specialists to help champion best practice among employers who regularly recruit students will launch next month.

Research suggests more than half of UK students now work part-time jobs to supplement their income while studying at university* with many taking on roles in hospitality, leisure, events, tourism or retail businesses.

The Good Student Employer Charter aims to enhance the culture of student employment by empowering students and businesses to build more positive and mutually beneficial relationships, while equipping businesses with the tools they need to create fair and more inclusive work environments for young part-time employees balancing work and study.

Officially launching in Lincolnshire on Thursday 2 November 2023, the Charter is a collaborative project between the University of Lincoln, Destination Lincolnshire and the Institute of Hospitality. Led by Dr Agnieszka Rydzik, Associate Professor in Tourism and Work at the University of Lincoln, the scheme is underpinned by research on the experiences of students working on zero-hour contracts in the hospitality sector.

Dr Rydzik said: “Our research shows some students had very positive experiences of working in hospitality, developed very good relations with their employers and stayed several years in one workplace.

“However, there were also many students who found it difficult to combine work and study. These were often their first ever jobs, and they struggled with communicating with their employers and understanding expectations.

“We are launching the Good Student Employer Charter to help address some key challenges and foster better relationships between employers and student-workers so that students can better manage work and employers can have more committed workers.

“The aim is to create a network of student-friendly businesses and bring closer collaboration between universities, student unions, students, employers and the industry”.

It is free for employers to join the Charter and after completing an online training programme, signatories of the Charter will be granted access to a range of resources and promotional materials to display in the workplace as well as digitally on websites and social media.

Charlotte Goy, CEO at Destination Lincolnshire, said: “For Lincolnshire businesses wishing to get involved in the Good Student Employer Charter, there are countless benefits.

“Businesses will be able to access a student workforce through the University of Lincoln and other places that offer higher education, developing a two-way working relationship with a younger workforce to not only satisfy both employer and employee but bring new talent into local businesses and the wider visitor economy.

Generating billions of pounds for Lincolnshire and supporting thousands of businesses county-wide, the importance of the visitor economy cannot and should not be underestimated. Therefore, it’s easy to understand why ensuring the next generation is actively ready to move into the industry to pursue rewarding careers is a top priority for us.”

The Good Student Employer Charter centres around the 8F Framework which outlines eight principles in student employment. The framework is based on findings from the research which identified the key challenges students on zero-hour contracts face, including the need for employers to bring in fairer forms of flexibility and practices to reduce income unpredictability.

Robert Richardson FIH MI, Chief Executive at the Institute of Hospitality, said: “The Institute of Hospitality, as the award-winning, global professional body for the hospitality industry, is proud to support the Good Student Employer Charter in partnership with the University of Lincoln.

“This Charter provides a real opportunity to help make the hospitality sector a fairer place for everyone, offering all the resources needed to assist workers, businesses, and hospitality organisations review and assess work practices and their impact on student-workers.”

Hospitality, tourism, events, leisure and retail businesses in Lincolnshire are invited to attend the charter launch event at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, Lincoln, on 2 November 2023 from 2pm-4.30pm.

For more information on the Good Student Employer Charter and to book your place at the launch, please visit: