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Work for Food - Pret's new plan to recruit School Teens..

Discussion in 'Personal' started by slingshotsally, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter


    Over 25 yrs ago, my 14 year old sister was working a Saturday job at the Co-Op for £2.50ph and a MASSIVE discount on shoes (we were all well shod from this for the 4 years she worked there).

    I did a cleaning job for 2 hours a day, Mon-Friday for £2.50 from 16 to 18 whilst studying for A Levels to pay the shortfall on the mortgage (mum worked besides me).

    The most insulting part of this is that they think School teens work and earnings don't matter- I'm seething! I don't believe in Internships either...

    Friggin p£££ed me right orf!
    Laphroig and sbkrobson like this.
  2. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Sadly, unpaid internships have become common in journalism and fashion. :(
    sbkrobson and slingshotsally like this.
  3. Bo_de_Seer

    Bo_de_Seer New commenter

    Pret are dependent on cheap EU labour. The only advantage of their scheme is that kids can do unpaid work for a mean employer to find our what a minimum wage job is like. Afterwards, it may encourage them to be more ambitious.
  4. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    It certainly had that effect on my siblings who did awful jobs as teenagers and through University.

    I, on the other hand, became a teacher- a noble profession, but currently under terrible management.
  5. Bo_de_Seer

    Bo_de_Seer New commenter

    Teachers are not always well-equipped to manage other adults.
    Like most people they would benefit from working in a low wage hourly paid dull job, to know how to deal better with people.
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide


    Nor me, and unpaid internships are very discriminatory too, but in this case I think the criticism of Pret is overstated. It's only a one week placement, I wouldn't call that an Internship. And in one week the young person won't be doing a "proper job", they won't be doing work that otherwise a paid employee would do.

    It's more like an extended careers fair!
    slingshotsally likes this.
  7. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    And so many other sectors, too.
    One of my daughter's friends has got a great job as a sports scientist with one of our national teams in a major sport. She travels the world with the team, and it would be a dream job for many. But after her BSc she had to finance herself through a Masters, and then undertake an unpaid internship with a club for a year to be in a position to get where she is now. So many people would simply be unable to finance themselves over that period of time.
    slingshotsally likes this.
  8. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I think the only people who can realistically do these roles are those who don't need the money and it's not dissimilar with volunteering.
    slingshotsally likes this.
  9. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    I agree that is only one week @Rott Weiler

    That is still a job- someone would have been paid to do it if the Teen had not been hired.

    A week paid at £4ph ( £4x 37.5hrs = £150.00) means that these children (because that is what they are until 18) are losing out and Pret is benefiting from this labour. Working them for free means Pret don't have to train them properly, who designs an effective and worth while training program for children who will not be there for very long?

    It's a shoddy joke- either hire them for the summer, ensure they get their food hygiene certificate, learn effective costumer service skills. OR hire an adult who would do that job properly at an attractive wage.

    The more I think on it, the worse my anger gets.

    There are teenagers, like my siblings and I were, who would do that job to help fund our text books, clothes, shoes ( my siblings) or pay the rent/mortgage to keep a roof over their collective heads (my case).

    Pay these children a decent wage- give them training worth a damn and experience that would benefit them all their lives.

    It's an insult to ambition, an insult to work ...

    Slaves worked for food.
  10. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    All good points. How to devalue labour. It's such a shame.
    Pret is one of those places that might serve anybody prepared to pay for more than the basics. It aint Greggs.
    They will get the 16-18 year olds who are unable to source paid work elsewhere.
    A 16-18 year old who may possibly have never worked before requires induction.
    a 16-18 year old requires knowledge of food hygiene regulations.
    And a 16-18 year old will have very limited knowledge of customer service.
    If they turn up, say, with nail varnish they will have to remove it-deduct part of the week for that. (Just one example of why not to offer a post for one week only)
    If they drop something not wrapped it will need to be binned. They will be flustered. it will cost.
    if they are abrupt or rude then customers will complain. That will cost.
    Will they be on time? Will others be able to rely on them? That might cost.
    None of this is unusual, but it's the sort of thing you have to teach your staff out of, over a period of induction.
    In terms of the quality of workforce, they just wont be able to get it, not 16-18 year olds for one week only.
    On repeat on a weekly basis.
    And paid staff will surely complain about the responsibility.

    So, happily, I'm expecting the whole idea to just bite them on the bum and not run again next year.
  11. Bo_de_Seer

    Bo_de_Seer New commenter

    The cost will be very small. You can be sacked for most of the above in casual work, let alone, If it's 1 week unpaid internship, There is no reason to keep them on.
    Staff complain? In Pret? Have you ever worked anywhere like Pret?
  12. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Then again, my school does arrange a few days/week work experience in Y10 in aspirational occupations....
    slingshotsally and sbkrobson like this.
  13. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    You work in a private school, so I reckon these aspirational occupations might be law, courts, advertising, media, museums, architecture, film editing, creative director on a photo shoot, lighting director at a theatre, costume design or make up artist on a TV show or film... (I do hope I'm not being stereotypical, and I apologise if I am)

    Would your school consider sending any child for work experience on the shop floor in Greggs, Pret or Starbucks or work in the back washing up and cleaning?

    I'm not sure they would.
  14. Bo_de_Seer

    Bo_de_Seer New commenter

    It would do better to send them to work inn hourly paid or 16-school-leaver job. It would give them a better idea of how it is for the majority, It might make them more understanding when dealing with such people in the future.
  15. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    They must be worried that if they lose immigrant labour they will have to boost pay to attract local labour. This way they can even lower their wages bill. Mustn't be enough people living rough or just out gaol to fill their apprenticeship places.
    slingshotsally likes this.
  16. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    You're not ;)

    EDIT - I think my point was an abstract 'introduction to the world of work' but I do think Pret are taking the proverbial pee-pee....
    sbkrobson and slingshotsally like this.
  17. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Around 50 years ago, when I was that age, I had a job in an electronics shop which paid £2.00 per day. This was quite a good rate at the time, but it wasn't just the money. It gave me an interest in electronics, that subsequently set me on the path of an interesting career.

    I was contacted by two schools one year to see if I would take on work experience kids. They must have caught me on a good day, because I agreed. It was an interesting experience, as one school had a very good reputation and the other the poorest in town. Neither school asked what the kids would be doing, nor had any idea what my business did.

    During their fortnight of work experience, I discovered that neither had been taught any making skills in their D&T lessons, so explained in detail what was required and gave them a variety of engineering tasks, which they appeared to enjoy. Towards the end of the second week, the kid from the duff school asked if he could make something for himself, so I showed him how to do about it.

    In terms of how each performed, they were equally diligent and productive, equally interested in what they were making. Only the kid from the duff school had a teacher come to see what he'd been doing and seemed astonished that he'd achieved so much during the fortnight.

    I offered them both the chance of a Saturday job, which they both snapped up and they then worked for me on that basis for a year. After that the kid from the better school went to university and I found the other a job with one of my customers.

    I took the view with those kids that if they were interested enough, as I had been at their age, I'd teach them some useful skills that might inspire them too to consider a career in technology, as the people I worked with at their age had done with me.

    What I wonder, might Pret be offering in terms of future career inspiration?
  18. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Funnily enough it was precisely my work experience teacher visits which led me to post as I did. I suppose it was all the other end of the spectrum, low aspirations, not even 100% response in the paperwork they had to fill in to indicate their preferred sort of place. We derived our own furtive sense of glee by sending the non-responders (all 15 year old boys wot were not bovvered) to the local ironing service shop

    The only flavour of local business who repeatedly and happily subscribed to the near-mythical symbiosis of Work Experience was the local nurseries, where staff reported they benefited from the input of the Y10s in work terms. Aside from that there were only limited repeat subscribers. Plenty of businesses wrote and complained-"Scruffy! Arrogant! Rude! and, my personal favourite "I have had to instruct my daughter to not accept his repeated offers of a date".
    A nursery is rather different from a customer service based food outlet,so aside from them there were frequent comers and goers from the local businesses. None of whom were Pret a Manger.
    Heh heh, they have no clue what's coming.
  19. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    There was an item on the radio news earlier where they said that of course they always intended to pay (at minimum wage) for these people, it was everyone else who misunderstood, everyone, they all got it wrong. :rolleyes:
    Laphroig and slingshotsally like this.
  20. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    Modern day term, internship with free food.
    Old term was the work house, bring back Victorian values.
    racroesus and slingshotsally like this.

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