Letter: Earning and learning

August 24, 2001

I understand the need to provide your readers with the full facts of student life, but your article on students combining work and study ("Odd jobs are ever more common", THES , August 17) did not acknowledge the existence of jobshops, that is, student employment services.

I do not doubt the veracity of the individual cases profiled, but these days most universities have a student employment service of some sort that advertises student-friendly jobs and vets employers and conditions to varying degrees.

I would like to draw to the attention of the government, vice-chancellors, lecturers and university purse-string holders the importance of these often underfunded, undervalued initiatives.

The government and institutions do need to be embarrassed into taking student development and student finances more seriously.

These jobshops offer a valuable service to the many students who remain optimistic about finding suitable work they can do while they are studying.

Students who have part-time work experience are more employable than those without, or so graduate employers tell me.

Perhaps The THES could publish a future article on jobshops and how part-time work offers not only the opportunity to make money but also to acquire valuable life skills. This would then provide reassurance to students and their parents.

I would fully endorse any attempt to remind government and university decision-makers of their responsibilities - but please remember to make them a clear target.

Sean Ireton
Jobshop coordinator
University of Kent

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