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Is £24k salary worth dropping out of school?! Watch

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    So I've been offered a job by a family member as a live-in carer, paying £24000 (tax free and all bills paid). I'm sixteen and have just started my A-levels, but I'm thinking that if I take this job I can continue studying for them from my relative's house and take them all the same. I'm also thinking about Open University as an option, or just returning to school after working for a couple of years. As far as I can tell, the pros are:
    •A _lot_ of money for a sixteen year old
    • Independence from my family (we don't get along)

    And the cons are:
    •Lack of social life
    •May have to delay university/not go

    I'd appreciate thoughts and advice on breaking schooling, studying for public exams from home, meeting people with a 24-hour job, whether I would make more in the long run if I went to uni, opportunities for employment without uni and with caring experience, and basically IS IT WORTH IT

    (By the way, I am very capable of doing this job, so don't worry! I've been caring for this family member 24hours in most of my school holidays for a few years now)
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    What are your career ambitions? For some jobs, university would be the only route, whereas others you can find another path. In terms of studying, you will have to manage it around your work. Without the routine and teaching from school, self study can be difficult if you are not committed, which is something to consider. Another problem is you will find it extremely hard on your social life, what with studying and working. Would you get time off for yourself?
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    As a 16 year old you need to think how such a responsible job may affect you, could you cope with all the stress that it will bring? And does the job you wish to do when you are older require you to go to uni? However, 24k is a hell of a lot of money for somebody your age, and personal study may be an option. This work experience could also actually help you get into uni or further jobs in the future, especially any healthcare or medical courses/jobs. So there are some pros, but the cons are that your social life (which is really important) may be somewhat strained
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    How is it going to be tax free? Are you planning on siphoning it through Switzerland?

    Jokes aside, its a fantastic opportunity, especially with you being 16 because you will be in the position to save a lot of money and have enough for a substantial house deposit in a few years. Of course that's a massive generalisation that you want to go down that route, but you understand what I mean.

    The key things to consider are, what do you want to do in the future? If you want to get into care, then, superb, go for it. If not, then you need to weigh up your options.
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    Without wishing to be unkind, if you are being asked to be a live-in carer, is it for someone with an illness or with a disability. If for an illness, it may not be a job for many years.
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    I thought it was now compulsory to continue in education or training until age 18?

    https://www.gov.uk/know-when-you-can-leave-school
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    This sounds like a very gray area legally - between the above requirement to be in education/training until 18, as well as the somewhat shady nature of the presumed under the table cash payment which is the only way it's going to be "tax free" (which is, incidentally, tax avoidance or fraud). I would advise caution in the first instance.

    Given that based on the sound of it, it's not going to be a formally salaried position, you will end up with very limited legal protections as most employees have if the person paying you decides to turn around and pay you only £2 an hour, or require you work 24/7/365 with no holiday, time off, or independence yourself. You may want to read up on some aspects of modern slavery, and carefully reflect upon the proposition.

    Additionally, consider even if it is legitimate - what are the progression opportunities? Pay increases? Holiday and benefits they'll provide? If it's just, 24000 with no progression, then even tax free, you would be earning comparable amounts a few years after graduating with a good degree in a numerate subject on average, and more moving forwards as your career progresses. Additionally caring roles are very demanding, physically and emotionally - even for mature adults. Many choose not to pursue these even if they do have lucrative remuneration packages.
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    Nope but if it was an apprenticeship I would go for it
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    (Original post by avamaeh)
    So I've been offered a job by a family member as a live-in carer, paying £24000 (tax free and all bills paid). I'm sixteen and have just started my A-levels, but I'm thinking that if I take this job I can continue studying for them from my relative's house and take them all the same. I'm also thinking about Open University as an option, or just returning to school after working for a couple of years. As far as I can tell, the pros are:
    •A _lot_ of money for a sixteen year old
    • Independence from my family (we don't get along)

    And the cons are:
    •Lack of social life
    •May have to delay university/not go

    I'd appreciate thoughts and advice on breaking schooling, studying for public exams from home, meeting people with a 24-hour job, whether I would make more in the long run if I went to uni, opportunities for employment without uni and with caring experience, and basically IS IT WORTH IT

    (By the way, I am very capable of doing this job, so don't worry! I've been caring for this family member 24hours in most of my school holidays for a few years now)
    Depends what opportunities there are for progressing in terms of career/salary. You don't want to end up with no qualifications and be stuck on £24,000 job for your whole life, however tempting it is.
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    (Original post by avamaeh)
    So I've been offered a job by a family member as a live-in carer, paying £24000 (tax free and all bills paid). I'm sixteen and have just started my A-levels, but I'm thinking that if I take this job I can continue studying for them from my relative's house and take them all the same. I'm also thinking about Open University as an option, or just returning to school after working for a couple of years. As far as I can tell, the pros are:
    •A _lot_ of money for a sixteen year old
    • Independence from my family (we don't get along)

    And the cons are:
    •Lack of social life
    •May have to delay university/not go

    I'd appreciate thoughts and advice on breaking schooling, studying for public exams from home, meeting people with a 24-hour job, whether I would make more in the long run if I went to uni, opportunities for employment without uni and with caring experience, and basically IS IT WORTH IT

    (By the way, I am very capable of doing this job, so don't worry! I've been caring for this family member 24hours in most of my school holidays for a few years now)
    It is a lot of money for a 16yo, but could limit you in the future. It's tempting, but I would work on yourself first.
    It's not a great deal of money for an adult and it's also unlikely to be a long term job (like one you will have for decades).
    There is no way being a full time carer will not affect your studying. It's a lot of work and stress and that will mean you don't do as well as you could.
    Once you're older or that job is gone you'll be stuffed if you have no Alevels.

    If it were a matter of delaying uni then it would be more tempting, but I would not ditch/ risk Alevels for it cos they're a lot harder to do as a mature student.

    Also, although i'm sure you are capable of it, it is a lot of pressure for anybody let alone somebody so young. It could cause you a lot of stress which you could obviously do without. Alevels are stressful enough.

    That's my take on the matter at least. At the end of the day it's your call and you may decide your current situation is more stressful than that one or something. You know your life better than me.

    If you do go for it, make sure it's all official so you can count it as experience and previous employment. Also to cover you just in case there are any issues. That means making sure it's a formal contract and anything like insurance etc is sorted (I'm not sure what the requirements are for this type of work).
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    Thanks for the reply! It'll definitely be a formal contract and everything. It's interesting that you said a levels are harder as a mature student, i never thought about that :/ But, I'm thinking I could study for them over a period of three or even four years, do you think that would take the strain off? Or do you think, if i take it, it would be better to immediately start on a open university degree and skip a levels altogether? If you have a degree do you need a levels?
    You mentioned it might not be a long-term but if I took it I would absolutely stick at it until I couldn't provide an adequate level of care anymore (the condition is sadly terminal). I'd feel too guilty to do anything else! So the job potentially could be quite long-term, although that is a worry for me as I may miss out on social aspects of my 20s...I'd be less worried if the job was only a few years because I could just rejoin college afterwards and continue..
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    (Original post by aytuiq)
    Depends what opportunities there are for progressing in terms of career/salary. You don't want to end up with no qualifications and be stuck on £24,000 job for your whole life, however tempting it is.
    Thanks for the reply I know £24k isn't that much, but I think its just slightly more than the average grad salary, so logically I feel silly passing it up to continue studying, get into £30k student debt and then make less than this anyway?
    But yeah, I'm kind of worried about what I would do next. I know a lot of care jobs don't require qualifications and I'd obviously have experience...i'm just not sure though...
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    (Original post by avamaeh)
    Thanks for the reply I know £24k isn't that much, but I think its just slightly more than the average grad salary, so logically I feel silly passing it up to continue studying, get into £30k student debt and then make less than this anyway?
    But yeah, I'm kind of worried about what I would do next. I know a lot of care jobs don't require qualifications and I'd obviously have experience...i'm just not sure though...
    If you enjoy caring for people this could be a good starting point and experience for going into nursing. I believe now you can do nursing apprenticeships. In nursing there are definitely many options for advancing your career - some nurses even are able to prescribe medications and some earn similar salaries to doctors. So if you enjoy caring and nursing you could consider that too.
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    There are a number of obvious issues here:

    1. After the age of 16 you're required to either do A-levels, an apprenticeship or continue with part-time education while working
    2. You'll be required to pay tax on a £24,000 salary (£19,600 take home if you don't pay into a pension) and to not declare this income is illegal.
    3. £24k is actually a pretty miserable salary, especially when it offers no training, progression and is ultimately of a limited duration.
    4. That actually sounds like a very tough and demanding job with no clear hours or contract leaving you in a very exploitable position. What would your rights be in regards to leave, sick pay, notice, pension etc?

    The bottom line is, to sacrifice your education and future for this awful offer is utterly stupid.
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    How will it work with tax if you have a formal contract? Any job will require you to pay tax so I think you will find that you will need to pay tax on that salary.

    That said - it's still a lot of money for you age and will probably give you a really valuable experience.

    There are a few things to consider:
    1. how will you study independently for your exams, where will you sit the exams? will you be registered with a college still? will you have any support if you struggle? I think (depending on the A levels) it's possible to learn A levels independently if you're very intelligent but if you're not you'll struggle to self teach them. You will also have to ask yourself whether you're the sort of person who will be able to motivate themself to study when there's no fixed timetable or deadline.

    2. delaying uni is really not a big deal but you want to get your A levels done within a couple of years of the 'normal' time or you may struggle to get back into education

    3. the experience this gives you will depend on what you want to do, working in care is a pretty crap job but this could be experience for social work, medicine, nursing etc which would really strengthen your application

    4. 24k is more than a starting graduate makes (on average) but remember most graduates will have good job progression and will steadily earn more through their careers whereas this is likely to have little room for increases

    5. if you want to do it make sure you formally organise and negotiate how it will work with time off, holidays etc... it's a lot to work 24/7 all week so can you get an evening off or afternoon off regularly? how many holidays will you be able to take independently? etc
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    (Original post by avamaeh)
    So I've been offered a job by a family member as a live-in carer, paying £24000 (tax free and all bills paid). I'm sixteen and have just started my A-levels, but I'm thinking that if I take this job I can continue studying for them from my relative's house and take them all the same. I'm also thinking about Open University as an option, or just returning to school after working for a couple of years. As far as I can tell, the pros are:
    •A _lot_ of money for a sixteen year old
    • Independence from my family (we don't get along)

    And the cons are:
    •Lack of social life
    •May have to delay university/not go

    I'd appreciate thoughts and advice on breaking schooling, studying for public exams from home, meeting people with a 24-hour job, whether I would make more in the long run if I went to uni, opportunities for employment without uni and with caring experience, and basically IS IT WORTH IT

    (By the way, I am very capable of doing this job, so don't worry! I've been caring for this family member 24hours in most of my school holidays for a few years now)
    Go for it that way you’re getting a good wage for your age and you don’t need the debt from uni you can just progress through that business and get pay rises over time for loyalty
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    (Original post by Etomidate)
    There are a number of obvious issues here:

    1. After the age of 16 you're required to either do A-levels, an apprenticeship or continue with part-time education while working
    2. You'll be required to pay tax on a £24,000 salary (£19,600 take home if you don't pay into a pension) and to not declare this income is illegal.
    3. £24k is actually a pretty miserable salary, especially when it offers no training, progression and is ultimately of a limited duration.
    4. That actually sounds like a very tough and demanding job with no clear hours or contract leaving you in a very exploitable position. What would your rights be in regards to leave, sick pay, notice, pension etc?

    The bottom line is, to sacrifice your education and future for this awful offer is utterly stupid.
    1. I'd still be doing A-levels full time from home
    2. As I'd still be doing A levels full time, it wouldn't technically count as a salary and rather more like maintenence money. So no I wouldn't legally need to pay tax
    3. It's a big step up from what I earn now haha
    4. I agree with you here actually, but I'd obviously get a contract of some kind first
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    (Original post by avamaeh)
    1. I'd still be doing A-levels full time from home
    2. As I'd still be doing A levels full time, it wouldn't technically count as a salary and rather more like maintenence money. So no I wouldn't legally need to pay tax
    3. It's a big step up from what I earn now haha
    4. I agree with you here actually, but I'd obviously get a contract of some kind first
    On (2), you're dreaming if you think HMRC would view it in that light. That is tax fraud.

    You also wouldn't be paying any NICs, so the years spent working in this job would not count towards the 35 years of contributions that you need to get a full state pension. Whilst you aren't thinking of that now, one day you will be.
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    Job doesn't seem to have much progression. I'd invest in education because you could earn more. If you can work full time ( I don't know your hours but more than 30 and it would be difficult; if it's 30 you're getting paid approximately £16 an hour) and can study A levels than I'd do that.
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    This sounds like a very gray area legally - between the above requirement to be in education/training until 18, as well as the somewhat shady nature of the presumed under the table cash payment which is the only way it's going to be "tax free" (which is, incidentally, tax avoidance or fraud). I would advise caution in the first instance.

    Given that based on the sound of it, it's not going to be a formally salaried position, you will end up with very limited legal protections as most employees have if the person paying you decides to turn around and pay you only £2 an hour, or require you work 24/7/365 with no holiday, time off, or independence yourself. You may want to read up on some aspects of modern slavery, and carefully reflect upon the proposition.

    Additionally, consider even if it is legitimate - what are the progression opportunities? Pay increases? Holiday and benefits they'll provide? If it's just, 24000 with no progression, then even tax free, you would be earning comparable amounts a few years after graduating with a good degree in a numerate subject on average, and more moving forwards as your career progresses. Additionally caring roles are very demanding, physically and emotionally - even for mature adults. Many choose not to pursue these even if they do have lucrative remuneration packages.
    Let's say OP has to work 24/7/365 that's 24 thousand for 61320 hours of work that gives you £0.39 an hour - illegal.
    Let's say 24/5/365 that's 43800 hours so £0.55 an hour - illegal.
    Let's say they get 2 Weeks or so for each major holiday at 24/5/315 rough figures including a break in February and for summer theres 37800 hours = £0.63 pounds an hour once again not legal.


    Very freaking shady
 
 
 
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