Weekends and summer jobs may not be the first thing on every teenager’s mind, as they get excited about having time away from teachers and homework. However, it appears that it is less likely now more than ever that teens will enter the world of work early.
Decline in Teen Workers
The Office of National Statistics has reported that 85% of teenagers aged 16 or 17 are not in any kind of part time work. This decrease in workers, 15% more than in the year 2000, implies a lack of willingness to coincide education with work, decreasing the chance of learning new skills and developing knowledge of basic working practices.
Not only are Saturday jobs a great opportunity to earn money; they are invaluable if young people are to grow both personally and as employees. Paper rounds, retail and hospitality are all industries that benefit young people, challenging them to quickly learn what characteristics they need in order to be successful – including some that they may not be able to learn in school.
Why the Decline?
1. There are many reasons why teenagers do not feel as pressured as they once did to find a part-time job while they are in education, one of which could be a lack of interest in current job markets. Teenagers living in a society of technology and social media are perhaps disillusioned by conventional ways of earning money, rather favouring the ideologies of those making money via internet-based platforms such as blogging, video channels and ecommerce.
2. Having said that, it appears to be the male of the species that is finding it hard to get into work, with two thirds of those in Saturday jobs being female. While the idea of working hard so early in life when the pressures of adulthood have yet to appear can seem unfavourable, young people must be aware of the multitude of benefits that await those who have work experience.
3. Leaving secondary school and starting university is a huge part of any teenager’s life, however the stress of maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle on just a student maintenance loan can be rife. If teens have already had the experience of studying and working, they could be less likely to find the transition difficult as they are already used to splitting their personal time.
Future Job Prospects
Of course the main benefit of having worked throughout teenage years is the increased level of prospects upon leaving full-time education and finding a full-time job. Employers and recruiters will be impressed with candidates who have had previous experience, particularly at a time in their life when it was not imperative, signifying a dedication to the world of work and the power of earning.
Saturday jobs are also valuable ways of building connections with potential employers later in life and increasing the references available when it comes to finding their first position. If two eighteen year old candidates apply for a job with the same grades and basic qualifications, but one has spent the past two years working every weekend at a local shop, it may well give them an edge.
Encouraging young people to work will hopefully inspire them to look at employment not just as a necessity but also as a source of enjoyment, passion and personal growth.
"Paper rounds, retail and hospitality are all industries that benefit young people, challenging them to quickly learn what characteristics they need in order to be successful – including some that they may not be able to learn in school."