Teenagers are choosing to study over Saturday jobs, new report suggests

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by yorkie, 16 Jun 2015.

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  1. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Nobody, but it's still higly damaging for people like me in a way that an actual graduate tax would not be, as I just said.
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Speak to your University. They may be able to help you. Don't just go on silent and fail, as you really *will* have wasted it then. Better to find a way to do another 2 years than to come out with no degree at all. Or arguably better to drop out (ideally at the end of a year to avoid problems with any grant you may get) than to waste another year and fail. But only you can answer that - but don't suffer in silence.

    It's a bit harder if you are 2 years in, but people changing course after the first year is *very* common.

    An actual graduate tax would have lots of issues, such as what to do about those people who paid actual upfront fees (which were a problem for those less well-off) under the old systems. Provided we don't accept the idea of either additional subsidy or a reduction in student numbers (I would prefer a balance of both of these in order to allow a return to free higher education), I think the present system is more than acceptable.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    No it isn't. Because it is zero-risk (no earnings=no pay), it has no impact on getting a mortgage, car loan etc other than that it reduces your earnings for the calculation.

    The "damage" is entirely psychological, and anyone who doesn't go to uni purely because of that (and not because another path is better for them) is restricting themselves.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jun 2015
  3. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    It's almost impossible to change courses two years in.

    The maximum amount of student funding you can get is the length of the course + one year - any previous study.

    That means that if you drop out at the end of year two, you will only be entitled to get funding for two of the three years of a new course, unless you can transfer into year two at a new University. And the SLC back-load the funding, so you'd have to self-fund the first year of the new course.

    When it was £1000 or £3000 it was bad enough, but at £9000 self-funding really isn't an option for most people now.

    That's why the £9000 fees are worse than a graduate tax.
     
  4. lemonic

    lemonic Member

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    For someone who is intending on getting a good degree from a good university, I don't think it is necessary to do a part time job whilst you're still at school as the experience won't be any use when applying for graduate job interviews.

    However, gaining work experience whilst at uni is very important - I wouldn't have got my current well-paid graduate job without any work experience even if most of my work experience wasn't in a directly related field. Graduate job interviews are full of competency questions 'Name a time when...' and if you haven't had any work experience, it will be very difficult to answer some of these.

    Regarding work experience, I believe it is quality not quantity that is important from an experience point of view. 2 weeks unpaid work experience can be more valuable than working in a supermarket part-time for 2 years if it gives more relevant skills to put on your CV.
     
  5. meridian2

    meridian2 Established Member

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    It's a common trend I'm afraid; choosing to study over jobs is symptomatic of an education system placing qualifications over practical experience. Most employers aren't interested in whether you've got a PHD in nuclear physics if you can't back that up with pertinent practical experience. You're just another unnecessary overhead for their company.
     
  6. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    I don't think it's necessary to have a part time job while at school, but in some cases it can be useful.

    I think it's vital these days to get a fair bit of work experience while at University. I did that 20 years ago, and if it's even more necessary now. Very few of my course mates didn't do some kind of work at some point, but from memory those that had the wider experience gained by having several jobs generally found it easier to find paid wrok of some sort after graduating.

    I went to Uni as a mature student at the age of 29. I found this very useful. Not only did I miss the pressure of having to attain particular grades at A level, but I also had a greater idea of what I actually wanted to do. Also, I had some money behind me!

    This won't work for everyone, of course but it worked for me. I wasn't mature enough at 18 to go on to Uni, and I resisted the pressure to do so. I'm glad I did, and even though I took a ten year gap, I think that even a shorter period between school and higher education would be helpful to many people. There is a lot of pressure these days to go straight on to further study or to travel around for a while.

    I think that a period of paid or voluntary work, or a mixture of both, would be more helpful to some people. An apprenticeship or vocational study alongside a job would be even better for some. I feel that too many young people feel shoe horned into having to go to Uni, even though they aren't ready for it, or aren't really that enamoured by the idea in the first place.
     
  7. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    A supplement to your tax would come and go as your earnings waxed and wained. The loans, on the other hand, hang over you like a sword of damaclese, all the while accruing interest and then hit you in one go. It's still debt, and in my opinion, ones early twenties are far too early to be getting into major debt. This should come when one is settled and ready to take on debt, typically at a later time in life.

    There's also the issue that the current level of fees, simply doesn't represent value for money for taxpayers:
    http://www.theguardian.com/higher-e...t/15/tuition-fees-government-taxpayer-savings

    As per usual in this sorry excuse for a country, ideology has caused us to replace an existing system with one which is not only worse, but in reality offers less value for money.

     
    Last edited: 19 Jun 2015
  8. transportphoto

    transportphoto Established Member Quizmaster

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    I'm studying for A Levels at the moment; so far I've had two jobs. One full time as an Office Assistant in the tourism industry, temporary contract, zero hours basis; every week over that summer I done 40 hour weeks. I was quite lucky and walked into this job, I knew the company, I'd volunteered for them for a long period of time in the run up.

    I'm now working part time for a Supermarket, permanent contract on a set amount of hours per week, worked set shifts over weekends. I got this job because of the experience I had.

    But I now find myself in a dilemma. I don't get a day off of doing something, I don't get a day to myself and I also feel that I'm not getting enough time to dedicate to A Levels and thus feel my grades suffering. But what do I do? Keep working and gain the experience as I'm not looking at going to Uni, or do I drop some hours at work and focus on having a social life and working on A Levels?

    Where is the balance? The work life balance is the hardest thing to strike. That's my problem. What's more important? Grades or Experience?

    TP
     
  9. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    How about doing a placement between the second and third years? My university was (and still is) very geared up to industrial placements and about half the students took that year out. The university helped to get students into relevant placements. That work experience should be more valuable than any Saturday job.
     
  10. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Competition for placement jobs is intense; perhaps even more so than for graduate jobs, and the types of work can be limited too depending on what you look for. It was my experience of part-time work whilst at University & between A-Levels and starting University that helped me secure a placement position. Many of my colleagues who had no experience of working had to either go straight to final year, work unpaid, or take up a position completely irrelevant to their degree which could not formally be classed as a placement.
     
  11. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    It is the employers who are prioritising qualifications over practical experience. If you do not have the qualification you won't get the job, regardless of experience. See the number of 2:2 CVs that go in the bin, or try and get a senior management role in many sectors without an MBA, for examples.
     
  12. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    It all depends on how you define stress. In my mind stress is being made redundant with a young family and a mortgage to pay. Unless you have terrible problems within the family home eg parents splitting up whilst at Uni I would suggest that University students do not have many if any stress related problems.
     
    Last edited: 21 Jun 2015
  13. GatwickDepress

    GatwickDepress Established Member

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    Stress is entirely relative to the individual, of course...
     
  14. Nevillehill

    Nevillehill Member

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    Well sorry I would only employ someone with practical skills.
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Ah yes, I can see the point there. But that could be resolved by allowing one additional year of funding; it would not need the current system to be abolished entirely.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    But the previous system involved up-front payment, which *did* cause issues for poorer people. I would be more interested in a comparison with the 1990s (grants and free tuition plus mortgage style loans) than that, as I believe the current system is all in all better than the early 2000s up-front fees system.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Er, the new-style loans do. You don't pay until you hit a certain level of income, and when you do you only pay on the sum of money over that level of income. So in that respect it is *exactly* like a tax.

    The interest is only relevant in that it determines precisely where the cap lies on when you stop paying. Indeed, were it a graduate tax you probably *wouldn't* stop paying.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I'd go for the latter provided it will not cause you financial hardship. Get yourself a good reference, and if anyone asks you in interview why you reduced your work commitments explain why. You have had some experience, and you have made a sensible choice for your future. Any good employer will respect that, and if they don't they aren't a good employer and you might in the long term be better off without them.
     
  16. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Fundamentally I believe the amount to be paid is too high. If the fees went back to the previous level but were not paid up front, that would still be an improvement on the current situation, particularly as the increase in fees has not delivered a comparable improvement in value to the taxpayer.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    But you aren't necessarily paying that amount. You're paying what is effectively a tax capped at that amount plus interest. A graduate tax would most likely be open-ended.
     
  18. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    That's a fair point about the graduate tax being open ended. However, I still believe the amount to be too high.
     
  19. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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    As it stands at the moment, very few graduates will pay off their loan at all.
    Only those earning above about £40k (roughly top 15% of taxpayers) will even pay back the £2k+ that will be due in interest this year.
     
  20. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I see Priti Patel has waded in on the issue with her usual proficiency for tact and empathy:

    Conservative Minister Tells Teenagers To Go Out And Get A Saturday Job

     
  21. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    In which case, why bother having such a high up front fee at all. Particularly if people earning that much are likely to get caught by the higher tax bracket anyway.
     
  22. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    You might be unsurprised but I don't see any problem with what she has written, remembering that the Government doesn't control (other than discrimination laws) how employers select employees. It is a piece of advice, and one which is likely to pay dividends when seeking employment. And it is indeed true that pressure of exams etc is nothing new - indeed, in some ways, the increased use of modular courses has reduced this.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2015
  23. Johnuk123

    Johnuk123 Established Member

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  24. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    I don't have any problem with what the minister said either. A few hours of paid work, whether it's on the weekend or in the evening, provides more benefits than just improving your chances of gaining employment in a few years time. There's also the self development aspect, the chance to meet new people and earn a little bit of cash into the bargain.

    The pressure of exams has also always been with us, though I seem to be immune to it! I remember our head teacher telling us all back in 1982 that for four months before our exams at the age of 16, we should spend 8 hours a day studying, 8 hours sleeping, and 8 hours relaxing. I was very happy to ignore this advice. I didn't study at all, instead I helped a relative out by working 20 hours a week in their business, and spent the rest of the time cycling, playing football/cricket, going to the beach, and watching Minder!
     
  25. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    I worked several different types of jobs while at school including at a well-known supermarket chain where I had a falling out with the manager. I, at 16/17/18, had more qualifications than him which made him feel threatened; especially when I started pulling him up on procedural failures and offering advocacy to colleagues who felt the end of his arbitrary decision making ;)

    They were good fun jobs, helped me meet people from different walks of life, let me deal with people in the real world and offered me some money to spend on the football/beer but had no real bearing on the world of work, at least the world of work I wanted. I already had a good understanding of what was expected in the work place (behaviour/timekeeping/work ethic etc) through parents and education. At university I didn’t have a job as such (although I worked cash in hand on building sites and in pubs etc during the holidays). I was in uni 9-5 Monday to Friday for 4 years so there wasn’t much spare time - the pitfalls of undertaking a professional degree/qualification.

    In the sphere of employment I was formerly in no one would have cared if I worked at shopco or costabucks while at school. They cared about the level of your degree, your understanding of the role you we relooking for, your character and your exposure to the professional environment you were seeking. Today, if I was looking to recruit into a very low level entry job, I would look at school work experiences but otherwise it wouldn’t really bother me. The character, transferable skills & attitude of someone is the most important thing.
     
  26. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Emeritus Moderator

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    As a few others have said, pressure of exams is nothing new. Those of us who are a bit older than many will have done 'O' levels - I did the last year of them before GCSEs took over. For 90%+ of subjects, 'O' levels were based purely on the exam, not on any coursework. It could be argued that this meant there was less pressure over the 2 years of 4th & 5th year (or years 10 and 11 as they are now known), but the pressure during those 3 weeks of exams at the beginning of June....

    While I was in sixth form, I had a job in the local supermarket and it certaily taught me a lot - it was probably as useful as my A levels. Dealing with other staff members (who were a very mixed age range from 16-60s), the public, management, managing my own money. I had to ut down on my 'free time' activities, largely railways, as I worked most Saturdays (and Some Sundays in summer, when we were allowed to open), so it was a case of making decisions on how to balance my time in life - another skill which some people seem to struggle with.

    I also agree with what the minister said - sometimes it's good to be blunt with the truth!
     
  27. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    What she should have said was that you are encouraged to work wherever you can, secondarily to maintaining a good balance of health and realising whatever your full potential for studying is. Not get a job even at the expense of your qualifications. Her comments are in line with government policy though, to get as many people in low-skilled, low-paid jobs as possible, even though it doesn't help develop the economy, because it allows the Prime Minister to claim umployment is falling.

    Perhaps you're all a little detached from youth (sorry) to see that growing up while being told that you must always be better than you are is unhealthy. This is just another way in which that pressure manifests itself on people in my generation. It could just be my own predisposition to worry about things and get stressed easily, but I do wonder where we will be in 30 years of time with the workforce we are now 'nurturing'.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2015
  28. me123

    me123 Established Member

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    Here's an interesting article about university, which is relevant.
    BBC news

    Interesting reporting. It focusses in the 4:10 who say that the course is not good value for money, but glosses over the fact that the majority of students do believe that their course is good value for money.

    Still, for a £27,000 investment, 40% saying that the course does not provide value for money is a worryingly high number (and, let's not forget, that number climbs up to £45,000 for some five year courses, such as medicine and engineering - although I hasten to add that figures for these vocational courses are not quoted - I suspect that these students will be much less unhappy).

    With this in mind, surely having part time employment would be considered even more beneficial? If you don't feel that you're getting benefit from the course, and will still have to pay back £27,000 at the end of it, surely you're going to benefit from employment - both as a means of earning money to sustain you, and as experience going forward.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I agree with the minister in broad terms too.

    It's certainly true that weekend work is beneficial. But, as I've said, getting a good Saturday job that works around your studies is increasingly difficult. I was lucky to find a job with sympathetic employers who were willing to work around my degree within reason, and of course I was able to help them out when I could. I had low hours during the term time. At Christmas and over the Summer, I was able to do many more hours due to the increased trade and increased annual leave at those times respectively. We had a mutually beneficial situation that on the whole worked perfectly well.

    However, employers seem to be relying less on weekend staff than they were in days gone by. I know plenty of people who got a weekend job on a 9-10 hour contract, and they were soon getting pressured to work 20hr+ weeks without any consideration for their study commitments during the week; in some cases, being threatened with termination of employment if they don't comply. This is probably, at least in part, making weekend work more difficult for young people.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2015
  29. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    As somebody who will graduate this summer, I can't see a problem with her advice.

    As has been said earlier in the thread, it's about finding a balance. Not always easy I appreciate, but I don't believe it is work or study.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    This is true - in order to work and study, we need employers who recognise that young people need to strike a balance and offer appropriate terms and conditions.
     
  30. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    It's all about finding a balance. Perhaps it is more difficult these days to find and get a suitable part time job. Maybe that has contributed to the lower numbers of young people with a part time job alongside their course.

    There has always been pressure on young people to do well. I don't think that pressure has increased, although I do agree that conditions are more difficult. That said, when I was 16 we were in a bad recession, and while previous generations may have found it easier to get work, there were many disadvantages that they had to put up with.
     
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