Should schoolchildren have jobs?
When you were at school, the last thing you probably wanted to do was spend your weekends going to work. There was homework to do, sport to play and fun to be had. But our parents probably persuaded us to find a job to earn some money and get some life experience. When I was a teenager I had a paper round: delivering newspapers to people's homes. I then progressed to a Saturday job in a supermarket: stacking shelves and working at the checkout.
Today in the UK you are allowed to work from the age of 13, and many children do take up part-time jobs. It's one of those things that is seen almost as a rite of passage. It's a taste of independence and sometimes a useful thing to put on your CV. Teenagers agree that it teaches valuable lessons about working with adults and also about managing your money. So, that's no bad thing!
Some research has shown that not taking on a Saturday or holiday job could be detrimental to a person later on. 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. But despite this, recent statistics have shown that the number of schoolchildren in the UK with a part-time job has fallen by a fifth in the past five years.
So, does this mean that British teenagers are now more afraid of hard graft? Probably not. Some experts feel that young people feel going out to work will hinder their performance at school, and they are under more pressure now to study hard and get good exam results - and a good job in the long term. However, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, told BBC News that "Properly regulated part-time work is a good way of helping young people learn skills that they will need in their working lives." In reality, it's all about getting the right balance between doing part-time work and having enough time to study and rest.
Many young people actually want to work because it gives them a sense of freedom. One 13 year-old girl called Rachel, who has a Saturday job in a shop, told the BBC that "I enjoy my job because I'm earning money and it helps my confidence speaking to people and socialising with people I work with." That seems like something worth getting up for on a Saturday morning. Did you do a part-time job when you were at school?
rite of passage
sense of freedom