Don’t restrict jobs for teens

Turned strong feelings about efforts to restrict work for teens in Canada into my first twitter essay.

This @globeandmail article about imposing restrictions on jobs for teens got me thinking.

Canada ratified the Intl Labour Organization Minimum Age Convention & set minimum age for work at 16 yrs, starting in June ‘17.

Now provinces are debating jobs for teens and what restrictions they will impose to comply with the Minimum Age Convention.

I got my first non-babysitting job at 15, working at a retail outlet. I’ve been employed ever since. I encourage all teens to hold a job.

My parents encouraged me to work and I paid rent when I had a full time job after high school. I became autonomous.

Dissatisfaction with my job is what motivated me to pursue postsecondary education.

I get that we don’t want teens to drop out of school to go to work. But some are out of school. Don’t we want them to work?

Someone I love dearly is out of school. Her job is helping her build her confidence & autonomy and get back on her feet.

Governments are worried about youth who are not in school, education or training. So why are we putting up barriers to work for teens?

Jobs help teens get a competitive advantage later in life says @marcdavidseidel.

“Working can offer educational and developmental opportunities that prepare adolescents for the real world” says @marcdavidseidel

It’s also a question of justice. Why would we discriminate against young workers by limiting the number of hours they can work?

I know that we want to protect against child labour. But 16–18 year olds are not children.

If, in ratifying Convention 138, Canada has set the minimum age at 16, let that be the only restriction on employment.

Rachel Gouin

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