Work, rest or play?

Hooray! Exams are over and summer is here. So what will your teen do now?

Will they take advantage of this break and relax, have fun, go out with friends? Perhaps they’ll get themselves organised and set goals for the year ahead or even get a part time job to pay for the things they like to do and have?

It has been reported over the past few weeks that only one in five A-level students take on a part time or Saturday jobs during term time and even fewer 16 year olds during their GCSEs. This is a huge drop in numbers. In fact figures have more than halved over the past ten years. Organisations who rely heavily on volunteers have also seen a decline in the number of teens they take on each year. Some businesses have said that teens view non paid work as a way of scoring points, special rewards or certificates that are only of benefit to them whilst they are at school.

So, why is it that the majority of young students decide not to take on a part time job? Many reports show that students are frustrated by society putting even more pressure on them to perform. These are just a few comments;

“GCSEs, revision, coursework, they all take up so much time. It can be overwhelming. Working would make things worse”

“Doing a part time job or anything outside of school seems like punishment”

“How are we supposed to concentrate on our school work if we have to go out and do paid work. We have expectations put on us by school and no doubt we’ll have even higher expectations put on us at work. When will we have time to be ourselves”

“We’re too young to work we should be enjoying ourselves at this point. With all the exams and all the restraints at home and school it’s tough to be a child of our age. You guys (older people) don’t understand that”

With such comments coming from a range of teens we can see that they feel there is little value in taking on a part time or even Saturday job. However, 20% of teens do choose to take on such responsibilities and find the whole experience worthwhile. When talking to these students they agree that taking on part time or Saturday work, allows them to gain experiences that they are not exposed to during school hours. For example; interacting with people outside of their usual social groups, taking responsibility for activities within their job role, time management and organisational skills, being customer focussed and of course understanding the concept of exchanging time for money. This is what working students had to say;

“I used to feel like I was scrounging off my parents but now I’m working on the weekends I get to do the things I want to do with my cash”

“I was one of the lazy ones. I was told a job would be good for me. To be honest I feel much more confident about myself now than I did before and I’ve started to enjoy being around people of different ages and they respect me too. It’s a good feeling”

“I have definitely become more responsible. Knowing that other people are relying on me to get my job done and do it well, keeps me motivated. I have actually applied some the skills I learnt at work to my studies and I have seen a huge improvement”

There are a lot of benefits in taking on a part time or Saturday job. These skills can be added to a CV. This CV can then be presented to an FE College, University, an application for an apprenticeship, a higher skilled job or a volunteer organisation. These experiences will make students stand out above the rest.

One employer had this to say “We would love to employ more teens but in this day and age where we have a lot of 20+ year olds applying for the same positions it is difficult to take on a teen who either has no experience or has no interest in gaining experience. Therefore, those teens who have had previous work experience and are able to expand on this experience while in training are more likely to be employed in the longer term as they will be able to show progression in their CV. When interviewing for jobs they will appear more confident in their abilities as they have more experiences to draw upon”

Now that we have seen both sides, what will you encourage your teen to do during the gap between exams and the next phase? We know that some relaxation time after exams is needed but lazing about all summer has no reward. We can also see the personal development and financial benefits of working through the summer. There ought to be a balance between work, rest and play.

Those who have just finished their GCSEs will have two months between school and the next step. The next eight weeks, if used wisely, can boost the future skills of your child. Volunteering, working in a paid job or simply helping out around the home will build character. After all, those that work during their youth are more likely to become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Find out how your child can increase their entrepreneurial skills, book your FREE consultation today!

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