Intra Urban Variation in the Early Labour Market Experience of Minimum Age School Leavers: The Role of Area of Residence

Heafey, Maryanne F (1991) Intra Urban Variation in the Early Labour Market Experience of Minimum Age School Leavers: The Role of Area of Residence. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The aim of this thesis was to investigate firstly whether the early labour market experience of minimum age school leavers varied systematically across a section of the urban area of the Glasgow conurbation and secondly, if variation proved to be the case, then the aim was to assess the role of area of residence in this phenomenon. The study looked at 16 year old school leavers in the south east corridor of Glasgow, drawing from schools in areas close to the city centre (the Inner South), a peripheral housing estate (Castlemilk), and a new town (East Kilbride). These three urban environments offered a range of social and economic conditions and most importantly were believed to vary in terms of access to local employment opportunities. After detailing the various theoretical frameworks that attempt to explain the transition from school to work, we compare and contrast the early labour market experience of various groups in the sample. The early labour market experience of the young people was found to vary along the dimensions of both gender and area of residence. Variation existed in:- the levels of young people moving into employment; the types of employment entered; the rewards obtained in employment, and levels of training in the job and promotion prospects; the levels of young people still on the YTS up to 22 months after leaving school; the proportion of young people moving directly into employment from the YTS; and the levels of all young people with experience of YTS in employment at contact. Not all of these differences, however, provided to be statistically significant. Multivariate analysis was undertaken to assess the explanatory power of personal, household and area level characteristics in determining employment status at the time of the survey. For the purposes of the analysis the distinction was made between the employed and the nonemployed with both YTS youngsters and the unemployed in this latter category. It was found that the greatest part of the variation in employment chances was due to variations in personal and household characteristics of the young people in the three areas, with educational attainment (at the level of three O' grades and above) and having a father classified as non-manual being particularly important. Experience of part-time employment for females was found to be significant in determining employment chances, and in this respect was more significant than that of academic attainment (at the level of three or more 0' grades). This latter observation could be construed as an 'area effect' if the lack of locally available employment opportunities made it particularly difficult for school girls to obtain part-time work. However, it could also be argued that the same personal and household characteristics that were shown to be important for success in the full-time labour market, were also the major determinants of who obtained part-time work and who did not. Given the results of the multivariate analysis, it is probably the case that variation in personal and household characteristics were largely responsible for the variations observed in early labour market experience between area groups. There were, however, a number of problems with this analysis. Firstly, the small size of our sample was restrictive and may have led to results being spurious in some instances so caution is exercised in drawing conclusions. A further problem was the lags involved in the fieldwork, which took place over a period of four to five months and the point in time at which we entered the field when a majority of the group had already been in the labour market for between 18 to 22 months. A It may be that any adverse impact of area of residence is dissipated over that period. Finally, the very wide variation in personal and household characteristics of the sample in the three areas. It is possible that any disadvantage that existed due to residence in a peripheral housing estate say, was completely swamped by the disadvantage associated with stark differences between the groups in terms of educational attainment, and other factors. A more effective test of the impact of residence on employment chances would compare similar individuals (in terms of a range of characteristics) in the three areas. We were unable to do this because of the small size of our sample and the stark variation in characteristics that existed. Tentative conclusions and policy recommendations then are drawn on the basis of our results. These include a review of the ways in which educational attainment of school leavers in the Castlemilk estate could be improved. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Alan McGregor
Keywords: Labor relations, Labor economics
Date of Award: 1991
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1991-76396
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 14:44
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 14:44

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