Industrialisation LED to a Significant Increase in Child Labour
“Industrialisation led to a significant increase in child labour, however the fact that kids were employed did not begin during this period. As even before the process of industrialisation begin, children of poor families started to work as soon as their parents could find a job for them. In the pre-industrialised Britain there simply was not much of employment choices available for kids. However, this started to change from the very early steps of industrialisation. The newly opened factories and mines were seeking workforce and had open positions that required the operation of very simple tasks that were easily durable by children as well.
Data shows that at the beginning of the 19th century in Britain, the average age at which children got their first job was 10 years old. However, this varied widely between the different regions of Britain as for example, in industrial areas children started to work on average of 8 years old, while rural children got their first employment typically 2 years later at the age of 10. Child workers in factories usually started as piecers, standing next to the machines and mending breaks in the thread. A few started as cleaner/sweeper sliding beneath the machines to clean the dirt, dust out of them that could potentially cause any disturbance to the machine. Meanwhile the works of young workers at rural areas included bird scaring or driving horses around. In towns, most boys were employed as chimney sweeps, however finding employers who were seeking low aged workers wasn’t so easy in that particular area of occupation. In the mines, young workers started by carrying picks and other equipment for the miners or picking out coals at the pit mouth. Although children started to work from different ages depending on the area/district they were living at, a very important factor bonded them all together, which was how they were facing under the same disadvantages, they were earning extremely low wages, they had to perform jobs that put their own lives into serious danger and they had to work in dark isolated dirty locations unusually overtime on a day to day basis”
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