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Navigating an Uncertain Labor Market in the UK: The Role of Structure and Agency in the Transition from School to Work

Schoon, I; (2020) Navigating an Uncertain Labor Market in the UK: The Role of Structure and Agency in the Transition from School to Work. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science , 688 (1) pp. 77-92. 10.1177/0002716220905569. Green open access

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Abstract

This article reviews the evidence on young people in the UK making the transition from school to work in a changing socioeconomic climate. The review draws largely on evidence from national representative panels and follows the lives of different age cohorts. I show that there has been a trend toward increasingly uncertain and precarious employment opportunities for young people since the 1970s, as well as persisting inequalities in educational and occupational attainment. The joint role of social structure and human agency in shaping youth transitions is discussed. I argue that current UK policies have forgotten about half of the population of young people who do not go to university, by not providing viable pathways and leaving more and more young people excluded from good jobs and employment prospects. Recommendations are made for policies aimed at supporting the vulnerable and at provision of career options for those not engaged in higher education.

Type: Article
Title: Navigating an Uncertain Labor Market in the UK: The Role of Structure and Agency in the Transition from School to Work
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0002716220905569
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716220905569
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: school-to-work transitions, social change, structure, agency, UK, cohort analysis, the “forgotten half”
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10096909
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