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Rewarding responsibility? Long-term unemployed men and the welfare-to-work agenda

Ray, Kathryn and Hoggart, Lesley and Taylor, Rebecca F. and Vegeris, Sandra and Campbell-Barr, Verity (2009) Rewarding responsibility? Long-term unemployed men and the welfare-to-work agenda. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 27 (6). pp. 975-990. ISSN 0263-774X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/c0852

Abstract

In this paper we explore the responses of a group of long-term unemployed men to chronic labour market insecurity and ‘active’ labour market policies promoting individual responsibility for employability. We draw from an evaluation of a recent pilot scheme: the UK Employment Retention and Advancement Demonstration. We identify a range of responses, shaped through experiences which reflect gender, class, and age divisions. Despite significant labour market disadvantage, some of the men responded by proactively engaging with the employability agenda. Drawing on qualitative longitudinal data, we follow the trajectories of the men in work, examining how they fared in insecure, precarious labour markets. We conclude by looking at the strengths and limitations of the current policy agenda, suggesting that more creative ways need to be found to engage some of the most disadvantaged in the reskilling agenda and that employers are currently a ‘weak link’ in the package of support provided.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Policy Studies Institute (PSI)
ID Code:8140
Deposited On:28 Jun 2010 14:40
Last Modified:28 Jun 2010 14:40

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