Year 10 students Zoe Ball and Sarah Skinner make sure they keep on top of their schoolwork. The pair manages to balance study and part-time work.
Year 10 students Zoe Ball and Sarah Skinner make sure they keep on top of their schoolwork. The pair manages to balance study and part-time work. Chris Ison

Students earn and learn

SPENDING her Saturdays working in a Rockhampton cafe is all part of the learning curve for Zoe Ball.

Zoe, a Year 10 student at Rockhampton Girls Grammar School, works part-time at Cafe Emporio where she earns close to $100 a week and learns about life in the workplace.

She said it was proving an invaluable experience.

Zoe is mindful of getting the right balance between studies and part-time work.

A new study has found students who spend too much time at work pay the penalty with lower grades.

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research, which surveyed 10,000 students, found teenagers who spent more than 15 hours a week in paid work suffered a marked negative impact on school performance.

Conversely, working a moderate number of hours – fewer than 15 a week – can have a positive impact on students’ prospects.

And girls were picking work over play in record numbers – and proving better at the balancing act than boys.

About one in three students aged 15 to 19 does some work outside of school, with Year 10 students on average clocking up the most at 12.1 hours.

“I think part-time jobs throughout high school have a big impact on getting you ready to enter the workplace in later years,” said Zoe, who wants to be a journalist after completing her schooling.

She said it was down to the individual to manage their time and keep focused in the classroom.

Her classmate, Sarah Skinner, agrees.

Sarah, 15, works during her school holidays in her home town at Middlemount.

“Being in a workplace can help develop skills such as communication, responsibility and independence,” Sarah said.

“I find it hard to juggle inter-school sports and school because of the amount of time spent doing other things.”

 

Earn and learn

About one in three students aged 15 to 19 do some work outside of school;

Year 10 students on average clock up the most at 12.1 hours a week;

Girls are better at making work fit in with study

Source: The National Centre for Vocational Education



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