Tuesday 24 January 2017

In memory of the 'summer job' - where hard cash was earned and lessons were learned

Published 11/06/2016 | 02:30

All day long we would be stooped over picking strawberries and, when the raspberries came into ripeness, we were switched to them (Stock picture)
All day long we would be stooped over picking strawberries and, when the raspberries came into ripeness, we were switched to them (Stock picture)

Anyone remember Alice Cooper singing 'school's out for summer'? Nowadays, the kids are hanging around their bedrooms glaring at screens and overdosing on social media.

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Whatever happened to the 'summer job'? What used to be one of the great training grounds for young teenagers is no longer legal for most of them in this new world of health and safety, where we treat kids under 16 as if they need to be kept wrapped in cotton wool.

My first job was at the age of 12, picking fruit on farms in north county Dublin - I don't know who came up with the idea, because we lived in deepest south county Dublin. But off we went on the first bus to Tara Street, where we would join a river of inner city kids on a special train to Donabate.

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