The training needs and aspirations of a group of young black and white women on the One Year Youth Training Scheme in 1984-1985
This thesis addresses the training needs, experiences and aspirations of a group of young Black and White women on the One Year Youth Training Scheme (YTS) in the mid-1980s. The thesis takes as its starting point the role of the State and the Manpower Services Commission in fostering a new training scheme, based on social market principles and a deficiency-centred model of young people. In turn this process of labelling young people as deficient is subjected to a critical analysis, especially in relation to the youth labour market and the rise in youth unemployment from the late 1970s up to the beginning of the research period in 1984. Thereafter, the issue of training in the context of the sample's past experiences of schooling and the labour market is examined in order to identify the most salient factors involved in their selection of the Youth Training Scheme. A focus on two case study training schemes is undertaken, where the main objective is to explore the nature of relationships between the various actors involved, ie. Black and White female trainees and staff. In doing so the central argument pursued by this thesis is that the nature of such relations determined the quality of the training received by the sample group on the two schemes in an area of West London between the summer of 1984 and 1985. In conclusion the thesis argues that based on the research evidence, the labelling of young people as deficient in employment skills is misleading, because it fails to take into account the complexity surrounding the transition from school to work.