Is the Traditional Saturday Job Dead?

From working on the broccoli line in a Morrisons fresh produce warehouse to cutting out the labels of a popular clothing brand with that of an independent clothes store, our team have had an eclectic mix of Saturday jobs. However, we could be an age of was-teenagers that are fizzling out with the employment rate of 16 to 17-year-olds with weekend jobs almost halving – a new study carried out by Resolution Foundation has seen a decline of teenagers with Saturday jobs going from 48.1% in 1997-99 to 25.4% in 2017-19.

Teenagers used to be visible working in hairdressers, newsagents, cafes – where have they gone?

Times have changed – not too long-ago society agreed that it was useful and necessary for teenagers to learn about the responsibilities of the adult world through getting a job. Cafes, local supermarkets, hairdressers were entrusted with the task of introducing teenagers to the daunting enigma of Real Life. In recent times, many teenagers and their parents have been prioritising homework and education and with the rise of the influencer, many young people are turning to social media to earn money while fitting around their studies.

Teenagers could be missing out on character building lessons – a level of financial independence, they get paid for their work and if they miss a shift then they don’t get paid. If they are late, not dressed correctly, impolite, or lazy, then the boss will call them out on it. On the back of that, they could get praise or respect for doing well. While some young people aren’t seeing the benefit in working in say, the local cafe, Penny Applegate, from the Department of Work and Pensions, disagrees: “It’s important as employers are hungry for a strong work ethic and learned experience which is why the reported demise of the Saturday job is a call to action”.

The think tank at Resolution Foundation found that one in twelve working age adults have never worked a day in their lives which is an astonishing 50% increase from the past twenty years. This is believed by Laura Gardiner, from the foundation, to be a knock on affect of young people dismissing Saturday jobs: “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”.

Whatever it may be, a job is a job and deserves equal respect. One of our Directors outlines this when describing working on the broccoli line at the Morrisons fresh produce section as a learning curve that has stayed with him. He talks of the long days, the poor money, the (actual) green bath water and how his experience gave him huge respect for those co-workers who got up every morning to work the broccoli line.

Notable mentions from the team:

· Working at Jump Nation, which can only be as fun as it sounds

· Pot washing

· Tesco night shift stacking shelves

· Paper round

· Working in a pharmacy

· A popular coffee shop that shall remain unnamed

· Early Learning Centre (R.I.P)

· Leaflet dropping for the local takeaway

· Selling chocolate, sweets, and drinks at school! Ever the salesperson

Did you have a Saturday job? Do you think you would have got the same job if you were a teenager today?

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