Students worked 11 hours a week on average in Q3

Labour | 12-12-2023 14:12

In the third quarter of 2023, two-thirds of pupils in secondary education (VO) aged 15 or older had a part-time job. They worked almost 11 hours a week on average, often as shelf stackers, waiters and waitresses or kitchen assistants. Half of them said they mostly or always worked evening shifts. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on the Labour Force Survey (LFS) in the Youth Monitor.

At 81 and 76 percent respectively, side jobs were more commonplace in senior secondary vocational education (MBO) and higher education (HO, comprising HBO and university). These students also worked relatively more hours at 23 and 19 hours per week, respectively.

The average number of hours worked by pupils and students in a normal or average working week has remained virtually stable over the past few years. At the same time, a distinct seasonal pattern can be seen among secondary school pupils in particular and, to a lesser extent, among students in higher education. The third quarter includes the summer holidays, which is when students work the most hours. Students tend to work fewer hours in the first and fourth quarter.

Students in MBO gain practical experience as part of their vocational training. As such, their number of working hours is spread out more evenly across the quarters. The so-called block or day release programme (BBL) in MBO even means that students are primarily working jobs throughout the academic year while they usually attend classes one day a week. In the third quarter of 2023, BBL students worked 30 hours a week on average. Students enrolled in the vocational training programme (BOL), which is focused on theory, worked an average of 17 hour a week.

Shelf stacking tops the list of 3 most common side jobs

In the third quarter of 2023, the majority of secondary school pupils worked as shelf stackers. Retail sales jobs topped the list among MBO students. In higher education (HO), most students were employed in retail sales as well. Almost half of working secondary pupils had one of the top 3 most common side jobs. Among MBO and HO students, the top 3 applied to slightly less than a quarter. This means that proportionately more students had jobs outside the top 3.

In 2022, the majority of secondary pupils with side jobs worked outside regular working hours; 50 percent usually or always worked evenings, 44 percent on Saturdays, and 25 percent on Sundays. Relatively few worked at night. In MBO and higher education, relatively few students mainly worked in the evening, but slightly more reported working night shifts.