Part-time jobs damaging student studies

A study by the UK’s only student-employer matchmaking site has found that 27% of students regularly miss lectures due to working part time jobs, with just 8% of the jobs applicable to the student’s chosen degree and prospective career path.

According to a study of 1,339 students by the UK’s only student-employer matchmaking site, 27% of undergraduates miss lectures regularly by their own admission to work. Given that recent figures show that there are more than 2.2 million 3.7 million students in post-secondary education in the UK, www.studentgems.com, the site which commissioned the study, estimate that nearly 1 million students regularly miss lectures in a bid to work.

Three in five of the respondents said they worked part time, of whom, just 8% said they missed lectures because they were otherwise participating in relevant work experience. 92% of the working students said their job bore no relevance to their chosen education/career path.

The top part time jobs for students included working at the Student’s Union, retail, restaurants, supermarkets, call centres and in catering, amongst others.

Of those who have done work experience placements, just 11% were paid for their time and effort. 86% of students were unaware that employers who offer unpaid work experience placements are operating illegally.

On average, students admitted to skipping 20% of lectures, with reasons ranging from part-time jobs through to hangovers. One in three students said they believed missing lectures to be detrimental to their studies.

Sue Harrison, co-founder of studentgems.com had the following to say, “The economic climate has affected students too, with many no longer able to rely on the time-honoured bank of mum and dad.

“Some are now in so much need of extra cash to fund their studies that they are skipping lectures to work. Whilst experience in the commercial world is valuable for any CV, studying should remain the number one priority for students. The vast majority are not working in areas relevant to their future career and often end up working in mundane low-paid low-skilled jobs.”

She continued, “Businesses are always looking for talented people and provide opportunities for students to gain paid experience in relevant sectors doing one-off jobs and projects. Doing this sort of work gives students more money and flexibility to fit the projects into their timetable, avoiding the need to miss lectures.”

She concluded, “It’s not a one-way street. Employers benefit from using bright, enthusiastic and well-motivated students who are learning the latest sector trends and developments. They also cost less than their qualified equivalent; a real bonus to cash-strapped businesses during the recession.”

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