Research and analysis

The death of the Saturday job: the decline in earning and learning amongst young people in the UK

In 1997, 42 per cent of 16-17 year old students were studying and working. By 2014 this figure had declined to 18 per cent. This report describes and explains the long-term fall in young people combining work with study.



The benefits of ‘earning and learning’ for young people are clear and well documented. Those who combine work with full-time education are 4-6 percentage points less likely to be not in employment, education, or training (NEET) five years later than those just in education. Part-time jobs are also excellent ways for young people to gain experience of the working world, a factor which 66 per cent of employers say is important when recruiting.

The aim of this report is to explain the factors contributing to this decline, or the ‘death of the Saturday job’.

The report consists of a number of strands of research.

  • analysis of OECD international data and the UK Labour Force Survey to assess the characteristics of young people in different employment and learning situations
  • results of an online survey of 1000 young people across the UK on their personal, training, and employment characteristics
  • four online focus groups on earning and learning.