Most Israeli teens opt not to work

Majority of teens don't hold jobs or receive allowance.

311_Israeli teens (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
311_Israeli teens
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
More than half of Israel’s teenagers do not hold down part-time jobs in order to earn their own income and the majority do not receive pocket money from their parents either, a first-of-its kind study published Monday has revealed.
Commissioned by the First International Bank of Israel’s Turning Point project, which aims to teach youth from low income backgrounds how to manage their money and break out of the poverty cycle in their future, and carried out by the Geocartographia Institute, the survey questioned some 400 teenagers aged 12-18 of all backgrounds on their financial status.
The study’s main findings showed that only 33 percent of teens under 18 receive pocket money and that number decreased with age; in addition, the study showed that only 39% had some type of employment, with older teens tending to work more than those under 16.
“The goal was to investigate what the trends are currently among teenagers,” Sharon Schaefer, Director of Turning Point, which is funded and run in conjunction with Matan Matan, a non-profit organization that connects community and business, and the American Jewish-Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) Ashalim, which specializes in the treatment of at-risk youth.
“If we know what they are doing then we can work out how to help them with their finances and give them training for the future,” added Schafer.
Turning Point, which has been in operations for four years only, currently runs nine different types of programs, including the Israel branch of NFTE, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, and other projects such as special training camps that aim to develop creativity and management skills in business.
“Our programs help underprivileged teens get back on track and create for themselves a normal life,” pointed out Schafer, adding that helping them to succeed with their initial foray into the world of work was the key to improving their lives in the future.
If teens are working and earning their own incomes, she said, “then they are learning how to be independent and our work has already shown that they are more likely to succeed in their studies and in other areas of life.”
Turning Point recently obtained funding for two additional years.
“It is much more than the money,” stated Schafer. “Working is also a great way for them to become involved in another framework outside of school and encourages them to be independent, instead of just sitting opposite a TV or a computer every day.”
The study examined what fields Israeli teens were most likely to find work. The majority, 27% and mostly girls, said they earned money by babysitting; 12% worked in restaurants and cafes as waiters; 7% as salespeople in stores or food chains; 6% in computers or web design and 5% made an income by giving private lessons.
Girls are more likely to find work than boys, the survey results showed.