The Child Permit Registration System, whatever its flaws, does provide data on the number of youngsters employed part-time whether as paper boys and girls or in ‘Saturday jobs’.
The numbers have declined rapidly over recent years with the number of child work permits issued nationally to businesses who want to employ children aged under age 16 falling from 29,498 in 2012 to 23,071 last year – a fall of over 21%.
South Thanet’s MP, Craig Mackinlay, wants to encourage more local businesses to offer this valuable experience to Thanet youngsters.
Craig Mackinlay MP commented:
“Many of my generation worked part-time and benefitted enormously from the discipline and social interaction of these experiences - as well as earning valuable extra money. My father, who ran greengrocers in Medway, took me to work from the age of 10; it gave me the most solid grounding and built self-confidence. I strongly feel that the steady decline of the Saturday job over the last five years is something that should concern us all – Government, employers and parents.
“Achieving good GCSEs and A-levels is important to secure a place at university, but there is no substitute to having good quality, real world work experience at a young age to prepare for later life.
“Of course, strict safeguards need to be in place to prevent the exploitation of young people, but being able to demonstrate a keenness to work is also important to future employers, as well as colleges and universities, and will stand out on any CV.
“Skills learnt at work complement those learnt through formal education and so I call upon businesses to reverse this worrying trend.”