Parents think extra-curricular activities are as important as education

  • Emma Finamore
  • Last updated 17 Aug 2015

Better get brushing up on those paper round skills.


New research shows that the majority of parents think work experience and other extra-curricular activities are just as important as education when it comes to finding a job.

The research, from graduate recruitment company, GTI media, and professional services firm, EY, surveyed of 1,018 parents, and looked at their role in giving careers guidance, their attitude towards schools, and whether young people are adequately prepared for the workplace.

Like many employers, parents recognised the importance of work experience and other extra-curricular activities as a means of young people developing skills that will later benefit them in the workplace.

Over three quarter of parents (76%) said that what their child does outside of school is “as important to their development as formal education”.

Earlier this year, The Telegraph, ran a feature arguing the advantages of Saturday jobs: “The jobs instilled a little fortitude, patience and humility in my hitherto blithe soul.

“More than that, they gave me hard cash, taught me how to get along with colleagues and instructed me that money is the swiftest path to teen freedom: I was no longer totally reliant on my parents’ largesse in order to travel, or buy clothes, or go to the cinema.”

Despite this, only 39% of parents surveyed said their children had a paid part-time job or worked as a volunteer.

Maggie Stilwell, Managing Partner for Talent at EY, said: “As the competition for talent increases, it is ever more important for school-leavers to have developed key life skills such as communication and collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving.

“These are some of the strengths that we look for as part of our recruitment processes.

“This doesn’t have to mean a month-long internship though, or a gap year in Tibet. These are skills that can be honed at a Saturday job in a supermarket or even on the school football or netball team.”


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