Students earn from their smartphones as part-time jobs fall out of favour

British teens are now making money buying and selling items online, rather than through part-time work. Photo: Tim Goode/PA

The number of young people with a traditional Saturday job appears to be falling as tech-savvy teens turn to online ventures to boost their income.

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

Research by Barclays LifeSkills has found about 670,000 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.

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These online ventures are worth £11m a year.

Overall, the research found just half of young people in education currently have a part-time job, compared with 68% of previous generations.

On average, young people between 14- and 21-years-old who have a part-time job work eight hours a week and earn £62.50 – adding up to over £162m a week in total.

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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, and the chance to meet new people.

Of those who don’t have a job, 44% said they have another form of income, such as pocket money from parents.

Another 44% said they need to focus on their school work rather than work.

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

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

But 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

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.

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Of those earning money through an online job or project, over four in 10 (44%) said they do this over traditional work because it provides them with more flexibility, while 30% said their skills are better suited to earning money this way.

Meanwhile, a fifth (21%) said they choose to work online because there is a shortage of traditional jobs in their area.

A further 19% said it allows them to be more entrepreneurial.