Drop in students seeking holiday work rings alarm bells with Jobshop UK

Frances Miles and Tracey Wood, director
Frances Miles and Tracey Wood, director's of Jobshop UK who are asking, "where have all the students gone?"

With increased financial pressures on students to fund their own courses, and with a reduction in student grants overall, Jobshop UK directors, Tracey Wood and Frances Miles are encouraging students to seek holiday employment to top up their funds and gain valuable workplace experience.
Frances Miles says: “At Jobshop UK, we have been supplying businesses with temporary and permanent members of staff for 20 years now – and in the last few years, the number of students looking for summer jobs has been dropping lower and lower.  At Jobshop, we used to see an influx of students from June onwards – most of whom would return the following year having had a great experience and eager for more temporary summer work.  However, this has drastically tailed off and rings alarm bells.
“Earning your own money is not only an amazing feeling, and additionally, working in a professional environment helps young people grow their self-esteem and self-worth, which will help enormously when it comes to seeking that all important job after studies are finished.”
Research by Business Insider UK, states that the peak of ‘the summer job’ was in 1978 with a staggering 71.3% of teenagers in education also working.  However, 2017 figures show only 43% of teenagers in work.
Some research suggests that students and young people struggle with the commitment side of having a job due to the pressure to study hard and achieve high grades in order to secure university places.  Often parents may be more willing to subsidise their student son/daughter with an allowance whilst in education due to this pressure, and hence another reason why students are less motivated to work than before.  
The process of job hunting can also be daunting to a young person, as Frances Miles explains:
“Some teenagers feel they don’t know where to look for short term temporary summer opportunities.  Online applications can be lengthy and complicated, and if a young person completes a long application form and then hears no feedback, it can feel very disheartening.
“Schools are measured by the government on the number of teenagers that go on to higher education rather than those who successfully enter the world of work through apprenticeships or learning on the job, and we are now paying the price for this.  These days, students and young people have very little or no previous work experience and a real lack of understanding of acceptable work ethics and behaviours.  There is a huge disconnect between school leavers’ and graduates’ expectations and that of employers, and at Jobshop UK, we have been aware of this as a growing trend for the last few years when recruiting staff for our clients.”
A Confederation of the British Industry (CBI) report for July stated that; ‘The British economy is being put at risk because large numbers of teenagers are leaving school and college ‘underequipped for life,’ according to the UK’s biggest business group. Too many school leavers are entering the workplace lacking basic literacy, numeracy and communication skills, poor self-management and low levels of customer awareness.’
The damning report claimed that an over-emphasis on passing exams meant large numbers of teenagers were unable to function in real life, leaving companies with a shortage of decent employees. The study – based on a survey of almost 300 businesses – also found ‘worrying areas of weakness’ among university graduates, with one-in-seven companies criticising their use of English language, and a third claiming ex-students struggle to manage their time.
Standards of basic skills are so poor that more than a quarter of companies now run their own remedial training courses in the 3r’s for young staff, it emerged.
Frances Miles continued: “We really need to call on the government to do as much as possible to ensure that our educational institutions better equip our young people for the world of work and encourage them to take up temporary and summer work in their breaks.  Nothing speaks more positively to a prospective employer than someone who shows willingness and motivation to work and gain experience.  
“At Jobshop, we understand this can be overwhelming to young people with little or no experience, and encourage students to come and chat to us to see how we can help them in their search.”

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