Decision making in the careers service with specific reference to health and other attributes: Labour market transitions from mainstream schools

McDowell, Ann (1995) Decision making in the careers service with specific reference to health and other attributes: Labour market transitions from mainstream schools. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This research examines the way selection operates during the course of young people's transitions from mainstream school to youth training (YT) and the labour market, with particular reference to health and other attributes, including, appearance, personality, speech, physique, and academic ability. Among the network of school/post school gatekeepers, the Careers Service is identified as a crucial mediator during this process, in that it is strategically placed to negotiate both with school leavers and educationalists, and also with the providers of YT schemes and employment opportunities. At present, a focus on the Careers Service is particularly relevant; youth training schemes form a more permanent bridge between school and work, and unemployment affects a growing number of school leavers. Within this context, the Careers Service is under great pressure to service the needs of employers and managing agents, whose recruitment criteria based on the above attributes have become increasingly rigorous. At the same time, and in line with their unique 'client-centred' orientation, the Careers Service attempts to play the role of advocate and proactively to meet a range of client need. This constitutes the dilemma of careers staffs' role; by being what it is (a pre-selection service to employers) and by its duty to fulfil what it should be (a client-centred service committed to individual need), the Careers Service faces in many directions at once. Research has identified certain characteristics associated with young people making a successful transition into the labour market; however, debate continues over the extent to which area or client characteristics (particularly young people's qualification level and fathers' employment status) have the greatest effect during the transitional process. In the present study, an integrated theoretical framework is developed to incorporate alternative theories of entry into employment, wherein the role of opportunity structures is identified as vital, as well as the role of personal attributes. A central issue concerns whether the Careers Service responds effectively to those with health problems and other (negative and positive) attributes, in the sense that careers staffs' decisions make a difference to placement outcome when opportunity structures are taken into account. Analysis of careers offices in contrasting labour market contexts is seen as essential, and the study is therefore located in two areas, one with good training and employment opportunities (Area 1) and a more disadvantaged area (Area 2). In order satisfactorily to place young people with health problems into available vacancies, careers staff require relevant information. In contrast to pupils in special schools where detailed information (Record of Needs) and formal structures (Future Needs Assessments) exist to prepare young people on leaving school, in the mainstream setting the communication of health information and advice to the Careers Service is problematic, particularly from the School Medical Service, and to a lesser extent, EMAS (the Employment Medical Advisory Service). Following the Warnock Report, more young people with health problems were integrated within the mainstream system. The evidence of the present study shows that a large volume of health references was recorded in Careers Service units, and health problems were mentioned for at least 20% of school leavers. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Vocational education.
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: West, Dr. Patrick
Date of Award: 1995
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1995-71861
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 09:31
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2021 10:59
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.71861

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