Getting In and Getting On in the Youth Labour Market: Entry Practices, Under-Employment and Skill Formation in Regional Economies

4.30 pm to 6.00 pm, 27 June 2017, Room 639, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

Presenters: Pauline Leonard and Rachel Wilde

A number of ‘Youth Labour Markets’ now exist in the UK providing differentiated opportunities for an expanding age group (16-26) seeking and preparing for different forms of work. Mass youth unemployment has been paralleled by a growth in under-employment, with many young workers on temporary part-time contracts, many struggling at the same time to enter a career of choice. Young people are also competing for often limited and highly competitive places through the growing use of different forms of extended entry practices (internships, voluntary work placements, enterprise schemes, employability programmes and apprenticeships) across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

This seminar draws on new qualitative research conducted by Professor Pauline Leonard and Dr Rachel Wilde of the ESRC LLAKES Research Centre, which aims to examine the extent to which strategies for regional economic growth and regeneration depend on, exacerbate or ameliorate these entry route practices for young people; and how young people fare across different regions of the UK in terms of transitioning from education into sustainable work and careers.

Pauline Leonard is Professor of Sociology at the University of Southampton; Director of the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership and Fellow of the Academy of Social Science. She has longstanding research interests in the sociology of work and organizations and particularly how aspects of social identities based on difference and diversity affects workplace outcomes and opportunities in both national and international contexts. She is author of Gender, Power and Organisations (with Susan Halford); Negotiating Gendered Identities at Work: Place, Space and Time (with Susan Halford); Expatriate Identities in Postcolonial Organization: Working WhitenessMigration, Space and Transnational Identities: The British in South Africa (with Dan Conway).Rachel Wilde  is a Lecturer in Education at UCL Institute of Education. Trained as a social anthropologies, she has a special interest in organisational ethnography. Her main research interests are concerned with the world of work and the relationship between work and education (informal and formal) and the role organisations play in our lives, how they shape us, as we shape them back. She has conducted research in international NGOS, British charities, British private, state and free schools, and in businesses in engineering, retail and professional services sectors.

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