One in three students will head off to university unable to boil an egg, it was revealed yesterday.
A new study has uncovered a string of basic chores the average 18 year old can’t do, including making a pot of tea, putting on a white wash and buying a train ticket.
Indeed, a fifth of students would struggle to make themselves toast for breakfast, while 23 per cent wouldn’t know how to make the bed in a morning.
A further 35 per cent of 18-year-olds don’t feel competent in folding and storing their laundry, and 42 per cent wouldn’t know where to begin in ironing a shirt.
In contrast however, cash-strapped students are more than capable at balancing the books with 63% of mums and dads having every confidence their children will cope well with budgeting.
They are also adept at keeping ahead of the digital age with over half of students able to set up a laptop with broadband and upload photographs. And if they are lucky enough to have a car, a trip home to see mum and dad may well be on the cards as 46 per cent of students are able to use a sat-nav.
A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s, which conducted the poll of 934 parents of children aged 18 to 25 said “Despite feeling like fully fledged adults, the reality is that a whole host of students heading off to college this month need a crash course as to how to set themselves up for their new lives.
“Teenagers are more than capable of looking after themselves but the vast majority don’t even own a saucepan!
“With the right leaving home equipment and some pointers from mum and dad, life in student digs will be much more comfortable”.
The study shows many students will go hungry during their first term, as 48 per cent are currently unable to make a simple dish such as spaghetti bolognese, while a third are bemused by baking a potato.
Students are being sent off to college lacking the most basic equipment with only a third owning a saucepan, 17 per cent owning a wok and 20 per cent counting a casserole dish amongst their belongings. It’s no wonder then that Sainsbury’s sees sales of instant food, such as ready meals and quick noodles go up more than two fold by students during the university term times.
And when it comes to the cleaning, mum might be visiting to help out at the end of term, as 35 per cent of 18-year-olds have never touched a vacuum cleaner, 50 per cent can’t use the tumble dryer and 31 per cent are more than happy to bypass learning how to dust.
Even tasks such as setting up a direct debit (44 per cent) and paying a bill (35 per cent) confuse some students.
As the research indicates, visiting the supermarket is sure to bewilder most teenagers, as two thirds wouldn’t have a clue which cleaning products to buy and 42 per cent aren’t clear about ‘use by’ dates.
And there are still many household gadgets 18-year-olds won’t have got to grips with including the washing machine (23 per cent), iron (22 per cent), kettle (17 per cent) and toaster (18 per cent).
Despite there being a multitude of tasks the average students aren’t confident at, they are surpassing older generations with their technological and financial skills, including saving money, installing apps on a smart phone, downloading movies and videos and editing photos – perhaps now deemed by young people more vital to the modern age than household chores.
The Sainsburys spokeswomen continues: “The thing to remember is that while many students or 18-year-olds might not be pros at carrying out basic household tasks, they are incredibly competent at using gadgets and technology, and have also become really savvy with money.
“Times have changed, and although household tasks may not be the priority for youngsters today, they are proficient at doing many other things, and these skills will carry them through their university years and beyond.
TASKS THE AVERAGE 18 YEAR OLD CAN’T DO:
Boil an egg 30 per cent
Make toast 18 per cent
Make a pot of tea 26 per cent
Cook a full English 43 per cent
Make a spaghetti Bolognese 48 per cent
Cook a jacket potato 30 per cent
Make a bed 23 per cent
Iron a shirt 42 per cent
Do a white wash 44 per cent
Dust a room 31 per cent
Fold clothes neatly 35 per cent
Vacuum a room 35 per cent
Sew on a button 53 per cent
Set up a direct debit 44 per cent
Buy a train ticket 23 per cent
Pay a bill 35 per cent
Set up a DVD player 33 per cent
Use a tumble dryer 50 per cent
Know which foods can be reheated 66 per cent
Know how to look at ‘use by’ dates 42 per cent
Know which cleaning products to buy 62 per cent