Our goal as parents and teachers of adolescents is to have them develop into mature, productive, responsible members of the community. One way for them to assist with this is for them to have a part-time job. Part-time employment helps teenagers to develop their identities, obtain increased autonomy, achieve new accomplishments, develop work experience, and become more independent. 

Teens want to work for a variety of reasons, but more than half report their involvement in work is motivated by the desire to buy things for themselves. Typically, teens spend their money on mobile phone and/or car expenses, recreational expenses, clothing and technology. 

 There are great benefits, but also some drawbacks to part-time jobs for our young people. 

 Benefits of teens holding a part-time job 

  • Obtain valuable work experiences, which are excellent for a resume. 
  • Learn how to effectively manage finances. Even if the teen is simply using their earnings to pay for their own expenses, they will learn to budget between clothes, movies, and car expenses. 
  • May provide networking possibilities and set them on a rewarding career path. 
  • Provide constructive use of free time.  
  • Learn time management skills. 
  • Form good work habits. 
  • Gain useful, marketable skills such as improving their communication, learning how to handle people, developing interview skills and filling out job applications. 
  • Instil new confidence, sense of responsibility and independence. 

Drawbacks for some teens of holding a part-time job 

  • Less time for homework. Some working students may not have or make the time to complete their work. 
  • Higher rates of absenteeism and less school involvement. Fatigue from employment may place constraints on the student’s study and sleep time.  
  • Lower grades in school. Students who work more than 20 hours a week have grade point averages that are lower than other students who work 10 or less hours a week. 
  • Increased stress. Balancing work and school can prove to be too much for some students. 
  • Some employers push teenagers into working long hours. 

It is really important to note that research suggests that students who work 10 hours or less a week gain the benefits of employment, while students who work over 20 hours a week may suffer the negative consequences.  

Part-time work guidelines for teens in Tasmania 

There is no minimum age to start casual or part time work in Tasmania. However: 

It is compulsory for children to be in full-time education to the age of 18, and children of compulsory school age are not permitted to be employed during school hours. 

At Marist Regional College, we are legislated to have all students at school full-time.  Senior College students are allocated a Study Line to assist with managing their workload and for receiving assistance and tutoring.  With parents’ permission, we allow Senior College students to leave the campus to study at home for agreed Study Lines.  Senior College students are not permitted to work during these times and nor should employers be enabling this. 

Part-time work is fantastic for adolescents and has many benefits.  Our children have the rest of their lives to work in the career of their choosing.  Study and setting themselves up for that career should be the priority whilst they are at school.    

Mrs Tracey Rogers  

Deputy Principal Pastoral Wellbeing