Teenagers shunning part-time jobs because of exam pressure and 'apathy' towards work

Daily Mail: While their parents probably all had jobs washing the dishes in a pub or delivering the morning paper, teenagers today are rejecting weekend jobs in favour of working on their studies – or doing nothing at all.
The number of 16-17-year-olds working has more than halved in the last two decades – according to data from the Office of National Statistics.  Exam pressure, apathy and more of a desire to hire adults are among the contributing factors to the decline in working teens – as well as the fact that far more are staying in school.
In 1992, just under half of the 16-17-year-olds had jobs, as opposed to around 20 percent today. The number of working on a Saturday or over the summer is down to around the same proportion – whereas it used to be double that. This shows that teenagers are not only shunning jobs in favour of education, but also deciding not to work alongside their studies.
Mark Beaston, Chief Economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, believes Saturday jobs are being rejected because of increased pressure to succeed academically, as well as a change in the labour market.
More people are now happy to work unusual hours, while those under 16 cannot drive or work before 7am – meaning many employers prefer to give jobs like delivering newspapers to adults.

Anne Bingham, from the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, told the Financial Times: “There are still paper boys but a lot of our members are moving to employ adults.”

However, some teenagers admit that the reason for not working in their free time can just because of the lure of going on extravagant summer holidays – or even plain idleness.

“There’s an apathy among the youth, most want to have these amazing holidays in the summer,” said Dan Cohen, a student working two jobs – as an office temp and waiter. “During term time there’s a massive emphasis on studying. And then when summer comes it’s like you’ve got two months to chill out.


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I guess exam pressure must weigh heavier on current students given academics have been dumbed down in recent decades. It’s soooo hard to get through Spring exams they just have to have summers off without expectations to secure a job in order to recuperate. How lame is this? Even with the bad economy, most students can find a part-time job.


Even though I started training as a career workaholic at age 15, both in school and working outside of it, after more than thirty years I decided that stance wasn’t really very useful or helpful to my relationships, so I took four years off to re-evaluate matters. It’s likely A Good Thing for all of us who live that way to take a real break and step back from the rat race –to better see what it’s done to us, our friends, and family– well, those we have left, anyhow. Isn’t that why the Lord rested –as if He needed… Read more »


Great post, DCG! I’m really unhappy when I’m not industrious. If more people were working hard, perhaps we wouldn’t need so many people on antidepressant medicine.


Wait, they can’t get a job because they’re busy *studying*?!? Why do I picture John Lovitz here?
“I can’t get a job…. because I’m busy…. studying…. for exams…. yeah, that’s the ticket.”