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Over half of young people in Scotland working alongside their studies as students look to earn income from their smartphones

Posted: 17th July 2019

-54% of young people in Scotland currently have a part-time job, higher than the UK average

-Nationally, part-time jobs are making way for new ways of working as over 670,000 UK students are using online avenues to earn cash

-After retail and manual work, reselling products online is now the third most popular form of income booster for younger people, worth over £11million a year to the UK

 Young people in Scotland are among the most likely in the UK to have a part-time job with 54% earning money alongside school or college compared to a national average of 50%, according to research* from LifeSkills created with Barclays. The East of England has the highest level of young people working with 57% while the South West came lowest with 44%.

Nationally, the number of young people with a traditional Saturday job appears to be falling compared to previous generations, as tech savvy teenagers turn to online ventures to boost their income.

Paper rounds, babysitting and doing odd jobs are falling out of favour with younger people, as they increasingly focus on their studies and look for highly flexible forms of work that fit around their education.

An estimated 670,000 of UK students (aged 14-21) now regularly make money through online avenues, with buying and selling products online (such as clothes) becoming more popular than babysitting or dog walking as a way of making extra cash. These online ventures are collectively worth £11million a year to the UK economy.

Overall, the research** found that nationally, just half (50%) of young people in education currently have a part-time job, compared to previous generations (68%). On average in the UK, young people between 14-21 years who have a part-time job work 8 hours a week and earn £62.50 a week – adding up to over £162million a week.

Motivations and challenges to working

Across the UK, young people say the main reason they have a part-time job is because they want some financial independence, to gain experience to improve their CV and skills, along with the chance to meet new people.

However, the reasons cited for not working part-time are:

-44% don’t have a job because they get an allowance or income elsewhere such as pocket money from parents.

-44% say they need to focus on their school work rather than work.

-22% of young people without a job want to earn money but don’t know where to start.

-17% say there is a shortage of part-time employment opportunities in their area and 16% have applied for work but were unsuccessful.

The next generation could be missing out on vital skills as a result, with young people who do have part-time jobs ranking responsibility, communication and teamwork as the top three skills gained from this experience.

Online part-time jobs and the changing world of work

The national picture shows that a desire for greater flexibility coupled with advanced digital skills is driving many young people to find new ways of making money through part-time activities.

While half (50%) of the previous generations said they worked in a shop or business when they were teens, in comparison just 37% of young people with jobs do the same today. Shop work is still the most popular type of job for young people followed by manual work, and online ventures are growing in popularity.

Of those earning money through an online job or project, over four in ten (44%) say they do this over traditional work because it provides them with more flexibility and 30% say their skills are better suited to earning money this way.

Meanwhile, a fifth (21%) say they choose to work online because there is a shortage of traditional jobs in their area, and a further 19% say it allows them to be more entrepreneurial.

Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills created with Barclays said: “The nature of part-time jobs may have changed from thirty or forty years ago, but they remain a crucial way for young people to strike out on their own and gain the valuable skills and experience they will need for the rest of their working lives.

“It’s really encouraging to learn that so many young people are finding new routes, other than traditional part-time work, to boost their experience, skills development and earnings while being able to plan their hours around their studying. Parents, educators and businesses can also help them to kick-start their career skill set before they’ve even left school or college. Barclays LifeSkills can support with that, offering lesson plans and interactive tools on how to build key employability skills.”

Baroness Karren Brady CBE, Chair of the LifeSkills Advisory Council, said

“The humble Saturday job can be the start of great things. My part-time job at a hair salon taught me the skills that put me on the path to a successful career in business; problem solving, proactivity and hard work. Your first job is more than just a point for your CV, it’s a life lesson.

“Finding a job alongside school or college isn’t as simple as it was in the past, but the opportunities out there are evolving quickly. I recommend that every young person think about taking on work while still studying; whether it is cashing up in a shop or selling your creations online, the experience will have valuable things to teach you.”

Supporting young people to be successful in the future workplace, LifeSkills created with Barclays offers advice and guidance online to help young people prepare for their future careers, including a virtual work experience tool. Here are some top tips from Head of LifeSkills, Kirstie Mackey on how to prepare yourself for the world of work:

Top tips:

  1. Know your skills

Identifying your skills is really important when you’re deciding which career is right for you. Try taking the Barclays LifeSkills Wheel of Strengths test to find out where your strengths lie.

  1. Do your research

Doing your research is essential as you begin your job search – but you don’t have to do this on your own. Check out Barclays LifeSkills’ online Advice Map, and interactive tool to help you find the right advice from the right places.

  1. Get interview-ready

Interviewing can be one of the most important (and nerve-wracking) parts of applying for a new job. Use LifeSkills’ Virtual Interview Practice tool to prepare and hone your skills.

A collection of interactive tools and tips on everything from CV writing and interviewing skills, to building enterprise and business skills is available online at

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