In an increasingly competitive youth labour market, young people's early labour market experience has become progressively more protracted, unstable and fragmented. Between education and employment, unwaged work, temporary work and involuntary part-time work have become a more common for job-seekers, whatever their qualifications. As employers demand evidence of 'employability skills', work placements and internships have become an integral part of secondary and higher education and of early labour market experience.
In Futuretrack, we identified the increasing importance of unpaid work, temporary work, work experience placements during courses and after graduation, in students' and graduates' pursuit of career opportunities and the 'employability skills' that graduate employers seek when recruiting. In this major new ESRC-funded project, we are following up a sample of Futuretrack graduates who had experience of these forms of unpaid work and 'precarious employment', also tracking the experiences of young people who did not enter HE, and investigating the perspectives of employers, in an intensive study of employement opportunities in the Midlands in current and recent years. Members of the research team are also comparing young people's transitions from education to employment during previous periods of recession and comapring these, and the policies and practices that facilitated or obstructed then in their job-seeking, with those of young people today. See www.warwick.ac.uk/paths2work for more information.
Futuretrack Stage 4 research report
The Stage 4 research report examines graduates' experiences of the labour market and further study five and a half years after they first applied to higher education.
Many thanks to everyone who has completed the survey and passed on our message. We’ve had a great response, are now checking out the eligibility of respondents so that we have a final usable dataset from which we can randomly select the prize draw winners. These will be announced this week.