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Title: The demand for aesthetic skills in interactive service work : the implications of this demand upon unemployed job seekers' access to this work
Author: Cullen, Anne Marie
ISNI:       0000 0001 3399 9920
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2008
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It is suggested that one of the forces of social exclusion is the decline in manual employment and the shift to a service economy in the UK. Moreover, the growth of employment opportunities in interactive service work occurring alongside high economic inactivity and unemployment rates, in cities such as Glasgow. are a cause for concern. More specifically, the demand for aesthetic skills in much interactive service work is impacting upon unemployed job seekers access to this work. Although employers' demand for aesthetic skills has received attention in the literature there is a need for research to examine the impact of the demand for aesthetic skills in relation to exclusion from or access to this work. Therefore this thesis presents an examination of the impact of the demand for aesthetic skills upon unemployed job seekers access to this work. The theoretical framework for this study utilises three related strands of literature, namely: developments in the UK labour market, focusing on the shift to a service economy; employers' skills demands in interactive service work; and the concepts of social exclusion and employability. Utilising these three strands of literature allows an examination of the main impacts and implications resulting from the change in the nature of much work, with particular attention given to access to work. Utilising the focus group and interview methods this thesis develops a qualitative analysis of employers' skills demands in the interactive service sector and an examination of the effectiveness and appropriateness of training provision for the unemployed for interactive service work. Moreover, it also offers an examination of the views of unemployed job seekers regarding work that involves aesthetic skills. The main findings of this thesis suggest that there are substantive reasons why the unemployed are not accessing work in the interactive service sector, including employer discrimination, the lack of effective and appropriate training provision and unemployed job seekers' negative perceptions of work that requires interaction with customers and view of this employment as being poor quality. This thesis therefore offers a valuable contribution to ongoing debates surrounding the changing nature of work and employment, employability and access to work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral