Auckland city teens less likely to have part-time jobs – but not because they’re lazy

High-school students in Auckland are less likely to have a part-time job than those in the regions- but it’s not because they are lazy.

A new study by online learning platform LearnCoach found 42 per cent of Auckland students had a part-time job when in high school.

This compared to 56 per cent of students outside Auckland who were employed part time.

But Dave Cameron from LearnCoach said the lower part-time employment in Auckland wasn’t because teens were less willing but because of the impact of Covid-19.

The study of 2000 NCEA level one, two, and three students across the country, found students in Auckland had struggled most to find part-time work in 2020.

“Auckland was harder hit with lockdowns and uncertainty and we have seen that especially in cafe and restaurant work which are the go-to jobs for students,” Cameron said.

“It is the same with retail where businesses are more likely to give available hours to a full-time employee rather than employing a student.”

Just over 28 per cent had a “side hustle” that could include selling clothes and crafts on social media such as Instagram and Facebook.

“There has been a real rise in the side hustle and young people have a real advantage on Instagram and other platforms,” Cameron said.

“You do get young kids putting things on Insta and making money which you never used to have.”

Cameron said this was supported by the 32 per cent of students surveyed who said they wanted more focus at school on how to launch a small business.

“They want their classes to reflect what they are doing in their lives and so there was a decent number who want to know how to turn a side-hustle into a business.”

Cameron said teens in Auckland were also challenged by traffic woes and getting to and from a part-time job without it affecting their school work or sleep.

“A lot have struggled to find part-time work that they can get to easily after school but that also has them home at a decent hour so they can do schoolwork or rest.”

Cameron said the 2021 student survey was to hear the voices of current NCEA students across New Zealand covering key areas such as relationships, learning styles, subjects, personal life, and future career visions.

An overarching theme was the changes and shift in education, coming in and out of lockdown.

LearnCoach also wanted to get information so parents and teachers had a better understanding of their children and students.

Another key finding was the impact Covid-19 had on students’ career paths.

Prior to the pandemic, LearnCoach found 52.9 per cent of students had a clear career path.

Following on from this, four out of 10 students (41.7 per cent) either pivoted or completely changed their career plans as a result of Covid-19.

“A lot of students knew what they wanted to do but because of the impact of Covid-19 on certain industries have changed their minds or decided on further study.

“The number of students who want to go on to university or do further study has increased because of Covid-19.”

Key findings from the LearnCoach Student Survey include:

67.8 per cent of students feel pressure when deciding on their subjects
50.5 per cent felt they had regular or frequent connection with their teachers during the 2020 lockdown
74.7 read the newspaper or consume local news – an increase since Covid-19
86.2 per cent are planning on going straight to university from high school
49.7 per cent have a part-time job
28.2 per cent have a side hustle that us either their part-time job, or on top of working part time

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