Talking about work: school students’ views on their paid employment.

Sandy Hobbs, Niamh Stack, Jim McKechnie, Lynn Smillie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Seventy 15‐year‐old students in rural and urban Scottish schools, who had previously answered questionnaires about the extent of their part‐time employment, were interviewed. Work appears to be the norm in their communities, 79 per cent having worked and most of the others anticipating working before leaving school. Although the interviewees’ accounts of their jobs give some support to those who argue that most of the paid employment school students undertake is routine and boring, it was also found that most of the young workers found their work satisfying and believed that their experience of working helped to prepare them for adult life. It is proposed that research on the meaning of employment for school students should be extended and that the self‐report techniques currently employed might be supplemented by observational studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-135
Number of pages13
JournalChildren & Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • school
  • paid employment


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