Thursday 23 May 2019

Jobs cutting into study time for school workers

na Mulhall and John Walshe

MORE female than male students work part time in school, right up to their Leaving Cert.

At the height of the boom three years ago more than two thirds of females were working part time while in their final year, the latest School Leavers Survey reveals.

The report, which is published by the Economic and Social Research Institute today, found that the long part-time hours worked by students were having a seriously detrimental effect on their studies.

Based on those who left second-level education in the 2004-2005 academic year, the report shows more than half (53pc) of second-level students held down a part-time job during the school period.

Some 87.7pc of girls and 84.1pc of boys in their fifth year held part-time jobs while still in school.

One of the authors of the report, Dr Selina McCoy, said the situation had changed since the economic downturn, but a large percentage of second-level students were still working.

Michael McLoughlin of Youth Work Ireland said: "Part-time employment can be a positive experience in the sense of character building, getting into the habit of work, and taking home a pay cheque, but only if it is done within reason."

He said it was increasingly likely that more students were now working "out of complete necessity" to provide their families with financial support.

"Working for a couple of hours in the evening is perfectly fine, but if students are under pressure to support their families there is greater temptation for them to take on extra hours and this will interfere with their schoolwork," he said.

Dr Delma Byrne, Dr McCoy, and Dr Dorothy Watson wrote the report.

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