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Title: And so to work : an investigation of the 'occupational choice' process of junior secondary school leavers
Author: Haystead, Jennifer
ISNI:       0000 0001 3549 7393
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1977
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This is an examination of the extent to which existing conceptualisations of the occupational choice process describe the way in which young people who leave school as soon as they are old enough, enter their first occupation. Three areas of general agreement are examined. Firstly, that there is generally some element of choice involved in entry into an occupation (Chapters 3 and 4). Secondly, that this process is largely irreversible (Chapter 5). Thirdly, that the premises on which a decision is based are: the individuals' knowledge about occupations; their values and attitudes; and their self-conceptions (Chapter 6). It was found that for some early leavers the conscious decision making element in the transition from school to work was minimal. There were two main reasons for this. Many of them simply assumed that they would be leaving school as soon as they were old enough because they knew that they would not be entered for any S.C.E. '0' grade examinations. The occupations that they could enter were delimited by the local employment situation and, because they lacked the entrance qualifications for large, sections of it, they were left with very few alternatives. Some respondents chose between 'jobs' rather than 'occupations' because they never considered entering anything other than, for example, factory work. Because they were leaving school when they were so young, and because they were entering occupations which did not require any specific qualifications, the process of choice spanned only a very short period for them. Thus, they did not have the opportunity to become committed to any particular occupation and therefore the process was only irreversible in the negative sense of there being large sections of employment that they could not enter. It did not seem to be very important to some early leavers which occupation they entered. They actually entered occupations that they had not previously expressed any interest in and left attempts to find employment until just before or when they left school. Some of them simply took a job offered to them by the Youth Employment Officer. Although they did not go to any trouble to find out about possible occupations, many of them were familiar with the kind of work that they were thinking of doing because this was what friends and relatives did. Some attempts were made to match personal characteristics with perceptions of the requirements of different kinds of work but some of the respondents did not think that the work that they would do would require any particular abilities. Finally, it was unlikely that these early leavers had engaged in any complicated balancing of alternatives in reaching a decision because some of them seemed to have had very little opportunity to practise making decisions, and because it did not seem important enough to them to devote much effort to it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available