Traditional jobs for teenagers disappearing

Written by admin on 05/07/2018 Categories: 南京夜网

Newsagencies and other small retail businesses are struggling. Photo: Geoff Jones Teenagers finding new challenges when it comes to job hunting. Photo: Kerrie Leishman
Nanjing Night Net

Teenagers finding new challenges when it comes to job hunting. Photo: Kerrie Leishman

Teenagers finding new challenges when it comes to job hunting. Photo: Kerrie Leishman


Every year, hordes of teenagers are despatched by their schools to get some work experience. It seems most do eventually find a billet somewhere, due mainly to the generosity of employers, who should be celebrated. They do not have to take these young folks in. It creates more work for the employer, not least in completing the paperwork that would make the Warren Commission files seem like no more than a tweet.

Where do young people look for work experience or, for that matter, Saturday jobs? The most obvious employers are the small businesses in retail and hospitality – the places young people see in shopping centres and near bus stops. Clothing shops, restaurants, newsagents, pharmacies and print shops. Most local area commercial strips will have these businesses.

The trouble is that these mainstays of local communities are, to a greater or lesser extent, struggling to remain viable or relevant. I took my kids out for a meal at a local restaurant recently. When we arrived, we found the place boarded up. Three days later, a local printer within a stone’s throw closed its doors. The news agency has also closed.

The government’s Job Outlook data reveals that digital printers have experienced a 17.5 per cent decline in employment over 10 years. The outlook is for “decline”. This bleak picture is being played out in every local community, with small printing businesses going to the wall, faced with exponential growth in home printing capability, highly competitive large operations backed with corporate money and, of course, massively discounted offshore internet operators. The result? No jobs.

Newsagencies might also disappear from the local community. Long ago, they lost their monopoly on newspaper sales, but it is the internet that has decimated their businesses – people now get their news and top-shelf requirements online. Increasingly, they spend their gambling dollars online, too. According to IBIS research, newsagencies have experienced close to 3 per cent revenue declines for the past five years. In Britain, at the end of the last decade, 10 newsagencies a week were closing down.

Clothing shops? Online trading and super-cheap imported clothes in large chains are having a huge impact. Pharmacies? Even here, with an ageing pill-dependent population, the job outlook data suggests only “moderate growth”. If the supermarkets win the battle to run in-store pharmacies, independent operators will be squeezed between discount pharmacies and supermarket power. The result will not be pretty. And restaurants? Well, that is a courageous choice – about 50 per cent fail within three years, according to Cornell University research.

Maybe when looking for work, or work experience, we should no longer look around at the businesses we can see in our communities, and spend more time online looking at opportunities there. So, adolescents need to spend more time online – I am sure parents everywhere will groan at that suggestion!

Jim Bright is professor of career education and development at ACU and owns Bright and Associates. Email [email protected]南京夜网. Follow @DrJimBright.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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