Are Saturday jobs a thing of the past – and what was yours?
If you were among the army of papers boys and girls who got up at the crack of dawn to deliver papers, or if you pedalled off to the local store to earn pocket money at your Saturday job, you are part of a dying breed.
Up and down the land, throughout the decades, teenagers have delivered papers, picked fruit and had other part-time jobs for sweet money. But apparently, the Saturday job is becoming a thing of the past.
New figures attained by the BBC under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to all local authorities across the UK responsible for issuing child employment permits, show that the number of schoolchildren with a part-time job has fallen by a fifth in the past five years. The law dictates that employers need to apply for a licence to hire staff under the age of 16.
More than 140 authorities responded to the FOI request for the numbers of permits issued between 2012 and 2016, which showed a steady, 20 percent downward decline over that period.
Cause of drop-off in teenagers working
So what should we put this fall off down to? Are teenagers given too much pocket money so they don’t need a Saturday job? Are they too busy checking their phones and social media profiles? Maybe – and this is probably more likely – the pressure to succeed at school and pass exams means they can’t, or won’t, to spare the time.
So is part-time work for youngsters a good thing? Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, told the BBC: “Properly regulated part-time work is a good way of helping young people learn skills that they will need in their working lives.”
But he added: “It is vital that young people, and their parents, ensure that any part-time work they are undertaking leaves them with sufficient time for study and rest.”
We’d be inclined to agree. Work is part and parcel of life as an adult, and if you have some experience of work and the discipline that work brings, then that is a great skill to take into adulthood.
We asked around our office to find out what sort of Saturday and part-time jobs our team took as teenagers: we had papers boys and girls, babysitters, shop workers and – this was an unusual one –dressing up as the bunny a mascot at Thorpe Park.
So what did you do to earn a bit of pocket money? We’d love to know. Just get in touch with the team here at 24-7 Staffing.