'Making the 'Precariat': Unemployment, Insecurity and Work-Poor Young Adults in Harsh Economic Conditions'

Series Name School of Management
Type Conference
Starts at Jul 14, 2014 09:30 AM
Ends at Jul 14, 2014 04:00 PM
Venue College Court Conference Centre
Open To University staff and students
Ticket Price Free
For Bookings Contact Register via the conference website.

In the UK, as well as in other parts of Europe, levels of unemployment among young people are disturbing. Youth unemployment is higher now than at any time since the 1980s recession (ONS, 2012), affecting over a million 16-24 year-olds with significantly higher rates among vulnerable populations such as early school-leavers.

In many ways the situation is not new: in the 1980s (and in earlier recessions) youth unemployment (which is always two to three times higher than all-age unemployment) was a major cause of concern, leading to talk about a ‘lost generation’ and discussion about the extent to which the experience of unemployment leaves ‘scars’ that impact on later employment careers. At the same time, a large body of research into the lives of young people leads us to suspect that situations have changed to such an extent that research carried out in the past may be a poor guide to contemporary conditions.

Whereas earlier approaches to the study of difficulties encountered in the transitions from education to work had focused on the experience of unemployment, especially long-term unemployment, the greater complexity of transitions calls for a new approach and suggests the need for fresh understandings of vulnerability in the context of early careers. Moreover, rather than casting aside valuable knowledge produced in earlier periods, we believe that valuable lessons can be learnt through re-analysing older data through a contemporary conceptual lens.

This one day conference will begin to address some of these issues by focusing on the 1980s, using historic datasets, and the present day, using contemporary data from Understanding Societies, in order to enhance our understanding of unemployment, insecurity and work-poor young adults in harsh economic conditions.

View the conference programme

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