I have a question about the usage of "undertake employment" here:

There are few employers currently offering a certificate of sponsorship to undertake employment.

I cannot find "undertake" used with "employment" in dictionaries. Could the usage in the example be a regional idiom or an error?

  • 2
    It's a perfectly natural usage, particularly since it echoes explore your eligibility to undertake employment in the United Kingdom two sentences earlier. Why exactly do you have a problem matching the usage to these definitions of undertake? Jun 29, 2015 at 17:11

3 Answers 3


"To undertake" is to commit oneself, sometimes with an implication that what you are committing yourself to is a burden. In this case, to undertake employment is to agree to accept a job, and in this context it is neutral, with no positive or negative connotations.

It is definitely not an error, and if it is a regional idiom it is a very widespread one. I don't find it to be odd or regional at all, though it is a little formal. You would probably never use this in a conversation, or even hear it spoken aloud, but in a document such as the one you are reading it is very common.


The wording sounds a bit awkward to me, but is technically correct.


to warrant or guarantee (followed by a clause):

The sponsors undertake that their candidate meets all the requirements.

So you may be able to reword the phrasing to:

There are few employers currently offering a certificate of sponsorship to undertake warrant employment.

  • 1
    that is the wrong meaning of undertake in this context. It is the employee who undertakes employment, not the sponsor/employer. It does not mean "warrant" here. See the first meaning in the dictionary you are quoting - undertook the job.
    – nkjt
    Jun 29, 2015 at 22:19

The word employment means the work or job you do or give to someone.

The sentence means that there are few employers that offer a certificate of sponsorship (work permit) accepting the responsibility for giving employment (work).

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