That's good then VivMac - he's lots of experience unblocking and cleaning toilets on Scout camp, can cook, and is a trained young leader, and is great at getting along with people. You just get a bit of a skewed view of the world on MN sometimes
Don't panic BackforGood, in the real world we like people that can unblock shower drains and do practical things and use commonsense. In the long run cuddling a certificate is not the same as being able to make a decent stew or know that the old lady next door needs her lawn mown.
I really, really do hope people put importance on all those things, as my ds has that kind of experience aplenty. It's the exam results I'm more concerned about - will he even get the chance to show he's done all these things as he's not an A or A* student ? It's not the impression I get from all the MN university threads
I've been helping teenagers pull together CVs recently and am struck by how important it is for them to have some kind of life experience: babysitting, gardening, monitoring the bouncy castle at a summer party etc are all things that develop practical skills and self-confidence and so give them something to put on a CV. As parents we need to make sure our teenagers DO something in the long summer break and, could be trickier this part, as adults we need to give other people's children a chance - to garden, babysit, paint sheds etc. It doesn't have to be for (much) money but does need to involve an element of timeliness, appropriate clothing and responsibility. Lots of things like DoE and Scouts already provide these opportunities and many kids do do things, but lots don't and, IMO, they should ...