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Just A Quarter Of 16 & 17 Year Olds In The UK Have Had A Job

06 Jan 2020

Just A Quarter Of 16 & 17 Year Olds In The UK Have Had A Job

New figures from the thinktank Resolution Foundation have revealed that just one quarter of 16 and 17 year olds in the UK have had a traditional part time job like shelf stacking, waiting tables, delivering newspapers or working in a shop.

The decline of the so-called ‘Saturday job’ has been steep, with the proportion of young people taking up a paid position halving in the last two decades.

In 1999, the number of 16 and 17 year olds who had a conventional job was 48.1 per cent. That figure has now fallen to 25.4 per cent and isn’t showing any sign of slowing down any time soon.

Career industry experts and employers are warning that, by not gaining valuable work experience at an early age, young people simply aren’t doing their best to make themselves employable in the future.

The Confederation of British Industry recently produced a report which showed that almost half of UK employers believe that the youth of Britain is not ready for the world of work.

Commenting on their findings, the Research Director at Resolution Foundation, Laura Gardiner, said: “The rising number of people who have never had a paid job has been driven by the death of the teenage Saturday job and a wider turn away from earning while learning. With young people today expected to end their working lives at a later age than previous generations, it's understandable that they want to start their working lives at a later age too.”

“But this lack of work experience can create longer-term problems, particularly if they hit other life milestones like motherhood or ill-health before their careers have got off the ground,” said Mr Gardiner.

The chief executive of education charity Transformation Trust, Amy Leonard, also commented on the research, saying: “School leavers and university graduates coming into the workplace too often lack key skills like resilience, team working and general awareness of appropriate workplace behaviour.”

“Particularly with young people from socio-economically disadvantaged areas, it’s not just about developing the right skills, it’s about demystifying the world of work and helping them to develop the confidence to take that next step from education into work,” added Ms Leonard.

So, if you want to make yourself much more employable than your peers, then it makes sense to find some part time work to gain skills and work experience to make your CV stand out from the crowd. Take a look at the latest Weekend Jobs in your area now!

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