Learning to work : The intermediate labour market response to social exclusion.

PARKER, Gordon F. (2012). Learning to work : The intermediate labour market response to social exclusion. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Since New Labour was elected to government in 1997, policy-makers' responses to the complex problems of social exclusion have been almost exclusively focused on promoting paid work as the best way to address the issue. Policy measures in areas such as employment, education, and lifelong learning have all tended to prioritise the improvement of labour market supply-side skills as a means of moving people from social exclusion, characterised as long term unemployment and inactivity, towards successful engagement in the labour market. One measure which has been put in place to address issues of social exclusion is the Intermediate Labour Market (ILM). ILMs are holistic work experience interventions which aim to improve the employability of people who are at some distance from the labour market in order to move them into sustainable employment. They offer a period of temporary, paid employment together with a range of personalised support measures which aim to counter an individual's barriers to work. While focused on improving labour market supply, ILMs also create a 'market for intermediate labour' in which new, temporary jobs are developed, especially in the voluntary and community, or social enterprise,'third' sectors.During the years 2001 to 2004, Objective 1 in South Yorkshire financed a large ILM programme (SYCON ILM) which operated across the South Yorkshire sub-region and which was the case study example for this research project. The study developed a realistic evaluation approach, informed by critical realism, in order to assess the 'structures of employment' which SYCON created. It aimed to better understand the roles of individuals who participated in the programme, and to assess the enabling mechanisms which were triggered by their participation. This study has contributed to knowledge of realist methods and approaches, especially by developing an analytical framework, based on isolating contexts and mechanisms, with which to assess realist data collected from a variety of sources. It has also contributed to academic literature in the field of skills and learning, especially in relation to debates on the value of low level vocational qualifications, and those around aesthetic and emotional labour. The study engaged with discourses of 'the underclass', 'Chavs' and 'NEETS' but found no evidence of a widespread 'benefits culture' among the previously disengaged ILM participants. The implications of the study for policy interventions have been outlined and further research suggested.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2012.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:21
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:21
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20188

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