There has been a recent newspaper article about how the number of school children who have part-time jobs has fallen by a fifth in the past five years. This has gotten people talking about how having a Saturday job used to be a rite of passage for many children and about how this might affect there future.
Now I am not saying that when I was a kid everyone had a part time job but I certainly had my fair share. While I was growing up I had all kinds of jobs, I guess it started when I was really young with one of my older brothers giving me some of his paper round pay if I would help him, I had no idea what he was paid but if I helped him for a bit then he gave me enough for some sweets or a comic book. In all honesty it was kind of neat, I got to spend time with my brother and then could go home to watch Transformers. Years latter when I was about 15 I worked for an auction, I held things up, I took money on the door, I then made money by using an industrial carpet cleaning machine to clean shop carpets as my sort of own mini business on the side. I went from this to being a cleaner for Safeways, then I was a cleaner for an old peoples home and finally I was a cashier at a CO-OP, All of these jobs were before I finished my A levels.
So why are less kids getting part time jobs? Well according to Dr Angus Holford from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex young people in compulsory education are fearful that a part-time job could hinder their performance at school he said that "Teens are being told evermore that you need to get good GCSEs and A-levels to get a good job in the long term," Now having a 15 year old daughter who is currently sitting a second bunch of mock GCSE's and has brought home what must be the 47th progress review. She seems to constantly be being reviewed in some way shape or form and being told how important her grades are, having each and every teacher try to tell both her and me how there lesson is the very most important lesson and how my daughter should do her very hardest to try and make sure that this is the lesson she truly excells in and gets the very best grade in. On top of this there is so much home work compared to when I was young, she proberbly gets the homework in a week that I would have gotten in a month. School also seems to have become obsessessed with both credits and demerits. You can get demerits and detentions for the stupidest of things, one PE teacher wanted to give my daughter a dention because she had forgoten a PE sock, one singular sock. When I was a kid you basically had to do something serious like tell a teacher to fuck off or be continuously disruptive in order to get a detention. Is it any wonder that lots of kids dont feel that they can or want to work part time on top of all of this? Also one of the major types of employment for youngsters used to be paper rounds and with the availability of news online paper sales are down so theres a lot lower need for delivery boys/girls.
Are kids missing out by not having a part time job? Well apparently research has shown that not taking on a Saturday or holiday job could be detrimental to a person later on in life. A 2015 study by the UK Commission on Employment and Skills found that not participating in part-time work at school age had been blamed by employers' organisations for young adults being ill-prepared for full-time employment. It also said this had negative implications for workforce productivity. I think the truth of the matter is that there are certain skills you learn in the world of work that cant be learned in a class room or from a book. I ended up being a supervisor when I was quiet young, but I had worked my way up from the ground, despite getting a degree I also became a manager off the strength of my work not from my studies and I think this made the people under me have a lot more respect for me. We got a lot of graduate managers come into the business and in all honesty they were often cringe worthingly bad because despite having one set of knowldge book smarts they didnt have a whole bunch of other skills.
So am I worried about my daughter? Not in the slightest as she took it upon herself to go and get a job working for a charity shop. Not only does this mean that she is working with diffrent people and learning skills she otherwise wouldnt the nature of the business and her volunteer status also means that they dont put undue pressure on her or try to get her to increase her work scedule. She gains the same skills she would from a paid job but is also free to say she wont be coming in around exam periods and on top of this she has the satisfaction of knowing that she is making a positive impact on the world around her while managing to maintain her studies.
I have to admit that I think more kids should get involved in charity work for the above reasons. So many people are focused on work for pay but the skills you can learn can be worth far more in the long run, charitys need volunteers to survive and kids need the experiance to develop its a symbiotic relationship in which everyone benefits. Not all kids are going to see the value in this but that proberbly says more for the bad shape society is in than anything.