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Gender and ethnic minority exclusion from skilled occupations in construction: a Western European comparison

Byrne, Justin and Clarke, Linda and van der Meer, Marc (2005) Gender and ethnic minority exclusion from skilled occupations in construction: a Western European comparison. Construction Management and Economics, 23 (10). pp. 1025-1034. ISSN 0144-6193


Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01446190500310759


Women and ethnic minorities remain seriously underrepresented in skilled construction occupations despite European Union policy to overcome labour market segregation and despite their increasing participation in the economy-wide labour market. The paper seeks to account for differences in female and ethnic minority/migrant participation in both the deregulated, craft-based construction industries of Italy and Spain and to an extent Britain and in the regulated industrial and training-based industries of Denmark and the Netherlands. We found that the only entry route for women is to obtain formal qualifications, with the Dutch and Danish education and training systems being especially pivotal to inclusion. Those from ethnic minorities and recent migrants, whilst proportionately overrepresented in Italy and Spain, face more vertical segregation in being largely confined to the bottom of the job ladder. Key obstacles confronted by both groups are the opportunity to undertake work-based training, output-based wage systems, informal methods of recruitment and lack of proactive implementation of equal opportunities policies. The conclusion drawn is that European and national authorities and social partners need to address equality of access and of employment conditions to ensure that regulation overcomes exclusion.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Online ISSN 1466-433X
Research Community:University of Westminster > Westminster Business School
ID Code:2238
Deposited On:29 Jun 2006
Last Modified:17 Oct 2011 13:09

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