Those new service sector jobs, private tutor edition

Education services bring in £17.5bn a year to the UK economy, but what is driving the demand for a British education and why are some parents willing to spend thousands of pounds to secure a “super tutor” for their child?

“It was on the plane over I realised I’d made a mistake,” a 25-year-old private tutor tells me.

He was flying to New York to spend the summer helping to prepare a 12-year-old boy for the Common Entrance exam – a test taken by children applying to private secondary schools.

The boy’s mother had insisted he sat next to the boy so he could spend the flight time teaching him.

He did an hour and then given they were spending the next three weeks together, decided to take a nap.

The next thing he knew, he was being woken up by the mother standing over him, shouting “You think this is some kind of holiday?”.

And here is the economic background:

The Londoner uses the job’s flexibility to fund his real passion of film production and acting. He is unwilling to be named in this article in case it jeopardises future jobs.

Yet he says the money easily makes up for the occasional difficulties. He charges anywhere from £40 to £90 an hour in the UK, although the agencies he is hired through take a 25% to 50% cut of this.

When he takes an overseas job, the fees are much higher to compensate for the fact that he can’t do any other work. Typically he earns between £800 and £1,500 a week.

In three years as a tutor he’s worked in India, Indonesia and Costa Rica, as well as the US.

Here is the full BBC story, interesting throughout, average is over as they say.


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