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Title: Equal opportunities for women in construction trades : issues of education, training and employment in Northern Ireland
Author: Lisk, D. R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 1164
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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This study seeks to identify the factors that influence young women to take up a career in the construction trades in Northern Ireland and to gain a better understanding of the perceptions that lead them to decide on a career in construction. The study focuses on the views, perceptions, understandings and experiences of young people and utilises a mixed methods approach, consisting of a large scale quantitative study of 14-16 year olds along with follow up qualitative interviews with young women and other key stakeholders in the construction industry. Within the context of this study, Roberts' notion of opportunity structures is used, and extended with Bourdieu's concepts of 'habitus' and 'field', as a way of exploring how young women have come to internalise taken-for-granted ways of thinking about occupations that reflect their wider experiences and relationships at home, school and in the world of work. The study found that the young women's attitudes and perspectives were influenced by the family and their peers. The study also identifies entrenched attitudes, where girls are discouraged, prevented and inhibited from accessing opportunities to explore particular career choices by careers officers and teachers. The study highlights how women on construction sites might be undermined but also highlights that young women are confident in their own abilities. This study is one of the first to consider a range of construction craft career choices for women to contemplate. The implications of this study include the need for schools and colleges to provide equality of opportunity for girls to participate in careers talks and vocational sampling programmes. It is suggested that sector bodies must also seek to promote and support women in construction apprenticeship programmes and that construction sector employers must implement improved monitoring and support mechanisms for female workers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available