HR · 2 December 2015

Countdown’s Rachel Riley returns to weekend job ahead of Small Business Saturday

Rachel Riley spent a day re-living her teenage Saturday job by working in a cafe in South London
Rachel Riley spent a day re-living her teenage Saturday job by working in a cafe in South London

New research carried out by American Express ahead of Small Business Saturday has revealed that 60 per cent of adults in the UK had a Saturday job when they were younger – and over two thirds said that their part time work was the making of them.

Almost half of those with experience of weekend jobs believe they had learned lessons they continued to use – with customer service and teamwork the most cited skills developed.

To highlight the importance of small firms on the high street in the run up to Saturday, television presenter Rachel Riley spent a day re-living her teenage Saturday job by working in a cafe in South London.

“My shift in the cafe was loads of fun but it was more tiring than I remember from my own Saturday job,” she said. “Small businesses add personality and individuality and are vital for local communities, so I’m fully behind this campaign to celebrate and support small traders around the country, she added.

Some £504m was spent in small shops across the UK on Small Business Saturday 2014 – and independent retailers are expecting 5 December to be just as successful this year.

Heather Laverne, a vice president of American Express, said: “Small businesses contribute so much to their local communities and economies but it can be hard for them to get a share of the limelight at this busy time of year. Small Business Saturday is a great way to recognise their vital role and we hope as many people as possible feel inspired to shop small this Saturday, and beyond.”

John Allan, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), added: “Small Business Saturday has gone from strength to strength and we are excited to support it for the third year running at every level of the FSB – nationally, regionally and locally,”

Statistics released recently by the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) showed that small UK shops’ turnover increased for the fourth consecutive quarter between July and September 2015.

Additional research carried out by the Association of Convenience stores (ACS) in September 2015 found that almost a quarter of convenience store employees were under 24 years old – and the majority worked part time.

But American Express found that less than a quarter of those aged between 18 and 22 today currently have a Saturday job – warning that they might be missing out. And a study published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in March 2015 found that smaller businesses were much less likely to employ a young person than larger organisations.

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Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics – as well as running a tutoring company.

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