Disability and Dyslexia Service

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What is a Non-specialist Support Worker?

Disabled students often require some additional support in order for them to participate fully in their programme of study, and, in many cases, this support is carried out by a Non-Specialist Support Worker.  At QMUL we recruit, wherever possible, Non-Specialist Support Workers from our own student population.

Both the type and level of support which a student might require can vary greatly according to a number of factors, such as the student's disability and the nature of the course which he or she is undertaking. Therefore, a variety of well-paid positions are available depending on experience and tasks undertaken:

RoleRole DescriptionQualifications/Experience RequiredRate of pay per hour
Practical Support AssistantTo assist students with access to QMUL buildings and facilities, e.g. to open doors.Some experience/ understanding of providing support for disabled adults; thorough knowledge of the campus; good interpersonal skills.£9.40
ReaderTo read aloud course texts.Clear reading voice and sufficient skills to cope with the demands of the text; including any technical jargon. Some understanding of the HE context.£9.40
Workshop / Laboratory AssistantTo facilitate students’ activities in a workshop or laboratory.Knowledge and experience of the particular educational setting, e.g. laboratory or workshop. Sufficient knowledge in the requisite practical area.£11.22
Note TakerTo handwrite or word process notes in lectures.Clear and legible handwriting at speed if providing handwritten notes; accurate spelling and grammar skills; familiarity with subject specific vocabulary and technical language; and disability awareness. A standard of education to at least second year degree level is expected.£12

We receive regular feedback from many of our existing Support Workers, which shows that they find the work both stimulating and satisfying.  As well as supporting disabled students and ensuring that they can fulfil their academic potential, you will also develop skills that will look very good on your CV.

How to apply?

To apply to become a Non-specialist Support Worker please complete our Non-Specialist Support Worker Application Form (NB: all students who apply must be eligible to work in the UK) and return the completed questionnaire via email to dds-esw@qmul.ac.uk.  

Once you’ve submitted the questionnaire, you will receive an email informing you that your details will be stored on our database until appropriate vacancies become available.  Should suitable work arise, you will be invited to interview, and, if successful, you will then be asked to complete our online training programme.

It is important to point out that we cannot guarantee that we will find you work just because you have applied to become a Support Worker.  The number of disabled students which come to QMUL can vary greatly each academic year, as can the nature of support which those students might require.

How and when do I get paid?

All of our Non-Specialist Human Support Workers are employed by Randstad, an external employment agency. Your contract will be with Randstad and they will pay you.

In order to get paid you will need to record the hours that you have worked on Opus, Randstad’s online timesheet system. This system effectively replicates a traditional timesheet in an online form and once you have entered the hours and times that you have worked it will send the student you are supporting a message, inviting them to authorise those hours.

Once the hours that you have worked have been verified, Randstad will pay you. Like all employees you will pay tax and national insurance at source (i.e. it will be automatically deducted from your pay).

What mechanisms of support are in place for me as an employee?

If you experience any problems with any aspect of the work which you are carrying out, there will always be an opportunity for you to come and discuss the issue with one of us.

If you cannot work because of illness, work pressure or other matters, you need to let us know as soon as possible. Ring 020 7882 2756 (please do leave a message if we cannot take your call) or email us.

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