SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (wggb)– According to a report by the Youth Jobs Coalition, just 27% of teens held jobs last year. That’s about half the number of teens who had jobs ten years ago. And the culprit that’s blocking many teens from the now coveted summer job is competition. Something that Bud Delphin, Director of Programs and Services at Career Point is seeing a lot of.
“The jobs aren’t there as much because of the economy over the last several years. And so a number of folks who wouldn’t be interested in the kind of summer jobs that teenagers would be going after, now you have a variety of folks looking at this work,” said Delphin.
Delphin adds that there are several things that teens can do to improve their chances if they land an interview.
“You need to be able to talk about yourself in a clear, effective and convincing way. And so a teenager or any person needs to first think about how to I describe myself in a way that’s going to be effective when I’m applying for a job. And that means what are my skills and abilities and why am I interested in the position,” explained Delphin. He also says it’s important to dress professionally, be polite, turn your cell phone off and do some research on the company you’re applying to.
And although teen employment has plunged to it’s lowest level in 45 years here in Massachusetts, that doesn’t mean you won’t find a job this summer. As we found out at Six Flags New England, the key might be where you apply and how early. Melissa Pinkerton, Communications Manager for Six Flags said they are looking to fill jobs now even though it’s still February.
“We are looking to fill three thousand positions this year,” Pinkerton said.
But although there are thousands of jobs to fill, there’s still a fair amount of competition.
“Well it’s definitely competitive because we want the best of the best. Guest service is our number one priority so we want to make sure when people come here that they’re having a great time. So we want the best and the friendliest guys to come out and have a good time, because it’s a fun place to work too.
Teens and advocates are calling on Governor Deval Patrick to consider directing more money to jobs programs, even though the governor told teens at a 2011 rally that government alone cannot solve the teen employment problem.