Auckland schoolboy Peniata Junior Endermann is just 16 years old but already works 25 hours a week to help keep his siblings in school and provide the basic necessities for his family.
The Edgewater College student works from 5pm until 10pm Monday to Friday as a cleaner earning $13.85 per hour.
Between school, his job and homework Endermann puts in 16-hour days.
What great dedication to his family. That is a lot of responsibility for a 16 year old, and ideally no 16 year old should *have* to work 25 hours a week.
And the story states that he does *have* to work 25 hours a week so his family can make ends meet, but gives absolutely no details on which people can judge if that is the case.
The forum heard that one-parent working families were now experiencing severe financial hardship, young people were being forced into work through poverty and employment opportunities for school leavers were declining.
Endermann said he helped his mother, who also worked as a cleaner, to provide for his family and three siblings aged 15, 13 and nine.
“It is very hard to survive on my wage as it is not enough,” he said.
What we are not told, is how much income the family gets from:
- The mother’s job as a cleaner (I’d assume $27,000 a year if FT)
- Working for Families (I estimate $388 a week or close to $20,000 a year net)
- Accommodation Supplement
- Income from the Father
- What their outgoings are
Now I’m not saying that if we knew all this, that the story would be wrong. It may be that the family really has no choice but to have their 16 year old son work 25 hours a week. My point is we are not given any information on which to make any sort of independent judgement – which makes the story more propaganda than information.