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Title: Work on the New Deal for Young People : an ethnographic evaluation of the voluntary sector option in London between August 2001 and June 2002
Author: Mitchell-Smith, Geraldine
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis examines the experience of participants in the Voluntary Sector (VS) option of the New Deal for Young People (NDYP) through a survey of London providers and two case studies between August 2001 and June 2002. By 2001, the government had already claimed that the NDYP was a success. However, extensive evaluations identified increasing numbers of its participants churning between the programme, unemployment and the labour market and that 'harder to help' participants were concentrated in the VS. While their complex and multiple barriers were acknowledged, a supply-side perspective focused on welfare dependency and negative attitudes to work. A welfare state, newly reformed and providing increased choice and attention to individual need, was presented as enabling these young people to improve their employability, while work was promoted as their route to social inclusion. An ethnographic approach combined observation at provider organisations with qualitative interviewing of their clients and staff. Clients discussed their personal and work histories, attitudes and aspirations and experiences of the option. Staff gave their perspectives on clients, implementing the contract, relationships with delivery partners and the option's referral, training, placement and jobsearch stages. The thesis contributes to further understanding of the mechanisms of churning in welfare to work. It looks at how participants' sources of support can conflict with participation in welfare to work and the labour market and how past and current disadvantage create barriers to participation. VS staff were limited in their capacity to acknowledge and address these barriers as a consequence of structural pressures and constraints in implementing the VS contract. Moreover, aspects of provider and placement provider provision replicated their clients' negative experiences of both personal and labour market disadvantage, with the effect of reinforcing their barriers to participation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available