THE student tradition of the summer job is under threat, according to recruiters who say parents are increasingly willing to support their offspring during the long break.

Tracey Wood and Frances Miles, director of Bournemouth-based Jobshop UK, say students could be missing out on valuable experience as well as on opportunities to shore up their bank balances.

Research by Business Insider UK suggests the peak of the summer job was in 1978, when 71.3 per cent of teenagers in education were also working. In 2017, only 43 per cent of teenagers work.

Frances Miles said: “We have been supplying businesses with temporary and permanent members of staff for 20 years now – and in the last few years, the number of students looking for summer jobs has been dropping lower and lower.

“We used to see an influx of students from June onwards – most of whom would return the following year having had a great experience and eager for more temporary summer work. However, this has drastically tailed off and rings alarm bells.

“Earning your own money is not only an amazing feeling. Working in a professional environment helps young people grow their self-esteem and self-worth, which will help enormously when it comes to seeking that all important job after studies are finished.”

Some research suggests young people struggle with the commitment a job requires because of the pressure to achieve high grades and secure university places. This can make parents more willing to subsidise their offspring while they are studying.

Frances Miles said: "Schools are measured by the government on the number of teenagers that go on to higher education rather than those who successfully enter the world of work through apprenticeships or learning on the job, and we are now paying the price for this.

“These days, students and young people have very little or no previous work experience and a real lack of understanding of acceptable work ethics and behaviours. There is a huge disconnect between school leavers’ and graduates’ expectations and that of employers, and at Jobshop UK, we have been aware of this as a growing trend for the last few years when recruiting staff for our clients.”

A Confederation of the British Industry report for July said the economy was being put at risk because large numbers of school and college leavers were “under-equipped for life”. A survey of almost 300 businesses also found “worrying levels of weakness” among university graduates, with one in seven companies finding fault with their use of English, and a third claiming graduates struggle to manage their time.