Esther McVey says young Brits need Saturday jobs to get ready for work

Posted On: 
31st March 2018

British teenagers should take up Saturday jobs to learn about the world of work, according to the Work and Pensions Secretary.

Esther McVey worked for her family's firm on Saturdays and worked in a bistro during university
PA Images

In an interview with the Telegraph, Esther McVey said the decline of young people working on Saturdays meant they lacked the “soft skills” later required for work.

"Let’s not put ourselves down, we've got a very hard-working nation, we've now got record numbers of people in employment and nine out of 10 are UK nationals doing those jobs, that has increased significantly", she said. 

"What you've seen from the 1980s, particularly in this country, is far fewer people doing Saturday jobs and doing jobs after school. It's about people understanding what a boss wants and what you want out of a job and I think we've come a long way in supporting people in that and that's why you've seen more people getting employed and more British people getting employment."

Her comments follow research from the government’s immigration advisers, which found Britons were seen as less hard-working than European immigrants and had greater absenteeism.

She also suggested the means-testing of pensioner benefits remained a possibility: "We will always have to talk about retirement age because we are all living longer, that's part of the conversation that started in 2010 and it's important, but before we make any decisions to change anything we need to know how [universal benefits] are utilised, how people appreciate them and need them, so it will be part of a bigger general discussion.