Saturday, March 31, 2018

Esther McVey is right: Saturday jobs are good for teenagers

Esther McVey says it is a good thing is teenagers have Saturday jobs.

Though the reasons she gives are too narrow - all about readying themselves for the world of work - she is right.

Because such a job teaches teenagers things about people and the world they won't learn in the classroom. And if, like me, you come from a poor family, the extra spending money is very welcome.

As a teenager myself, I first had a job I didn't much enjoy in a gentlemen's outfitters and then one in a secondhand bookshop where I thought I had died and gone to Heaven.

My Twitter timeline is full of outrage at the idea. But I can't help noticing that some of the most prominent opponents went to public school and thus had teenage years very different from those experienced by the rest of us.

On a similar note, I wonder if the fact that Nick Clegg and David Laws were packed off to prep school at a tender age means they did not grasp just how much a public library means to an intelligent child from an average home. Hence their savage cuts to local government funding.

Anyway, if the Conservatives want to see teenagers take Saturday jobs they are going to have to start dismantling the superstructure of testing and homework that has been erected over state school over the past three decades.

The BBC report on McVey's remarks interviews some teenagers who make it clear how hard it is to combine school and a job of any sort.


Anonymous said...

For once I agree with a Tory politician - young people acquiring soft skills needed for work is a vital part of education.

By the way please make your CAPTCHA less time consuming and onerous!!!

Frank Little said...

It is possible that the author of this blog can do little about the CAPTCHA. I have noticed this getting worse in the last year on virtually every blog which uses it (including my own).

Jonathan Calder said...

That's right, Frank. I have tried turning CAPTCHA off from time to time, but always get deluged with spam comments.

Maybe I will try doing without it again and see if things are any better.

Phil Beesley said...

Shsh -- in case the "something must be doners" decide that teenage jobs provide an advantage. Or that teenage jobs, already regulated for safety, should be measured in other ways.

Employers should complete six point performance tests which ensure that all joy is removed from a young person's job; if the job is inherently joyless, pocket money should be deducted. Eloquence should count more than ability.