New research shows paid part-time work while at school can assist students in making informed decisions about life beyond schools.

According to Associate Professor Stephen Billett, from Griffith University’s School of Education and Professional Studies, the experiences gained while working part-time at school provide a rich resource for students to learn about the world of work.

“Up to 70 per cent of Australian high school students engage in paid part-time work and these experiences can assist students to make informed decisions about the life beyond school,” Professor Billett said.

“These experiences are likely to be freely available in every senior high school class, thereby reducing the need for school-organised work experience programs.”

The study surveyed students from four Queensland and two Victorian schools who reflected on their paid part-time work in classroom sessions. The overwhelming majority reported that paid work was beneficial in helping to understand post-school work.

It also assisted them in making informed choices about different work options, whether they were suited to a type of work or post tertiary and higher education work options.

“Integrating students’ paid work within the school curriculum can provide a vehicle for recognising and acknowledging workplace competence developed through those experiences,” Professor Billett said.

The study will be published in the British Journal of Education and Work this month.