Teen treks 10 miles in snow for job

How many unemployed teenagers would trudge 10 miles in the snow and ice for a minimum wage job interview? Out-of-work 18-year-old Jhaqueil Reagan couldn't even afford the bus ticket for his interview at a US fast-food chain.

Reagan's interview didn't even go as well as he'd hoped. Then, luck struck.

Hard up

En route for his interview, Reagan asked directions from a Cajun restaurant owner, Art Bouvier, busy shovelling snow. Bouvier advised him to take the bus, but Reagan kept on walking. Later that morning, Bouvier saw him again walking on the side of the road and offered him a lift.

"I said, well how come you're not on the bus?" He said, 'I can't afford the bus until I get a job," HLN reported. Bouvier learnt from Reagan that he'd had to support his siblings after his mother had died two years earlier, forcing him to leave school to scrabble around for what work he could find.

Bouvier was so impressed he offered Reagan a job, then publicised the encounter on Facebook. "The next time somebody hands me a sob story about needing money for this or that, because they really want to make their lives better... I hope to be able to introduce them to Jhaquiel."

Long-term problem

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), almost 15% of young Americans qualify as 'NEET's' - youngsters not in training, education or unemployment.

Part of the problem is that US apprenticeships are often focused on manufacturing and construction, compared to a long history of guild and craft apprentices offered in Europe (though the UK is now attempting to catch up, though progress is painful).

In the UK, youth unemployment is currently running around 20%; around one million 16-24 year-olds are unemployed. Many are sold short. But many would not trudge 10 miles in grim weather for a McJob. "He's one of the hardest working new hires I've had in a long time," Bouvier said, quoted in Today.