Letter: Children like having jobs

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The Independent Online
Why create a problem where none exists ("Revealed: scandal of children's illegal jobs", 12 May)? Of course, unscrupulous employers who exploit children should be prosecuted. But most children who have jobs enjoythem and enjoy earning money. It gives them self-discipline. It is surely better for children to spend spare time working on market stalls or doing paper rounds than hanging aimlessly around the streets, sniffing solvents and getting into trouble. Do we want an array of snoopers and bureaucrats invigilating yet another area of our lives?

If there is a scandal involved it is that having cultivated a zealous work ethic, children may find it difficult to obtain constructive and worthwhile employment when they leave school. That is the overwhelming worry for teenagers and something neither of the two main political parties seems able to address.

Michael Masson

London SE15

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