The moral economy of unemployment : working on, & participating in, the Youth Training Scheme (Co. Durham 1983-1986)
This thesis is concerned with the initiation, development and operation of the Youth Training Scheme (Y.T.S.) in Co. Durham, 1983-86.Employing a multiple strategy of methodology, comprising participant comprehension, questionnaires and interviews with key informants, the changing nature of the school-work transition and local labour markets, is identified in the attitudes and actions of those working on and participating in the Y.T.S. A major focus of the project was the evaluation of the role of the supervisor working on the Y.T.S. The work of the local Accredited Centre (A.C.) charged with training the trainers was examined as was the work of nine supervisors working on eight selected schemes. As a consequence of this the progression of trainees incorporated in the study from the Y.T.S. was analysed. By identifying and analysing the manner in which a number of individuals managed the rapid change brought about by the Y.T.S. the research concluded that the Y.T.S. both perpetuated and created divisions in local labour markets reinforcing the significance of educational qualifications as a predictor of success both on and of the Y.T.S. A hierarchy of schemes evolved with high status schemes being those with prior involvement in recognised and regarded forms of training. It became apparent that the differing market and work situation (Lockwood, 1966, p. 15) of supervisors represented an image to trainees of their future. Ultimately the Y.T.S. must be regarded as the first shift in training policy, introduced by the post 1979 Conservative Governments, marking the beginning of a broader strategy linked to the management of the economy and unemployment. The state took on a major role in stipulating and directing training policy which was organised on a contractual basis locally. Within that strategy it was the individual who was deemed to be culpable for their lack of skills or unemployment. Please note that the names of the Schemes and individuals that participated in the study have been changed.