Young people and precarious work – ESRC Seminar Series – Coventry 23 Sept 2011


Friday, 23rd September 2011

In the UK and beyond, young people face a particularly difficult time as a consequence of the economic difficulties arising from the financial crisis of 2008. Young people are far more likely than other groups to be struggling to find work and, when they do, the work is more likely to be precarious and insecure. The effects of precarious employment are particularly invidious on young workers as problematic early experiences of transitions into work are more likely to be associated with a general reduction in life chances. This series of four seminars examines the particular challenges facing young workers and society more widely as a consequence of these difficulties. The seminars will be multi-disciplinary, bringing together academics, practitioners and policy makers.

Please register for this event in advance by emailing:



University of Warwick – Woolfson Research Exchange, University of Warwick Library


A limited amount of funds are available for UK-based PhD students who wish to travel to the seminars if no other source of funding is available. Please contact us for further information.



Dr Lefteris Kretsos:

Professor Miguel Martinez Lucio:

Dr Melanie Simms:


10 to


Tea and coffee



10.30 to 10.45 Melanie Simms   Welcome and introduction


10.45 to


Ilias Livanos and Imanol Nunez Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick


Temps by Choice? An analysis of reasons for temporary employment among young European workers
  Alessandro Gentile Spanish National Research Council (CSIC – Madrid) Labour Market Instability and New Patterns of Transition to Adulthood: Spanish Young-Adults in Times of Crisis


  Robert MacDonald and Tracy Shildrick Social Futures Institute, Teesside University Poverty traps not stepping stones: young adults’ long-term experience of precarious work


  Ronald McQuaid, Emma Hollywood and Valerie Egdell Employment Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University


The capabilities approach as a framework for labour market information on young people
12.45 to 13.30 LUNCH


13.30 to 15.00 Edward Granter and Jeremy Aroles Manchester Business School, University of Manchester


Precarious work goes digital: visions of the global immateriat
  Stevphen Shukaitis Essex Business School, University of Essex Whose Precarity Is it Anyway? Workers’ Inquiry, Militant Research, and the Ambivalence of Sociological Conceptualization


  Steve Roberts School of Education – University of Southampton Precarious in all but name? Young male workers’ experiences of the ‘retail trap’ in the south-east of England


15.00 to 16.00 Final discussion, tea and coffee    


Seminar 2 Friday 23rd September 2011 at University of Warwick

Causes of Precarious Work amongst Young People

The second seminar in the series focuses on seeking to explain why young people are so much more likely than older workers to experience precarious employment and the consequences of that on their future lives.

Speakers will develop a critical appraisal of the causes of the rise in precarious employment among young people. The analysis here is interdisciplinary drawing on research from labour economics, industrial relations, sociology, youth studies, education, labour geography and political economy. The intention is to develop themes related to youth labour market transitions, specifically paths of entry and exit into and out of the labour market, wages, trade union representation, skills, employment protection etc. Employer policy will also be of direct relevance here and the intention is to understand the broader socio-economic context that recognises the importance of labour market and policy influences on behaviour.

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