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Safety in stereotypes? The impact of gender and 'race' on young people's perceptions of their post-compulsory education and labour market opportunities

Beck, Vanessa and Fuller, Alison and Unwin, Lorna (2006) Safety in stereotypes? The impact of gender and 'race' on young people's perceptions of their post-compulsory education and labour market opportunities. British Educational Research Journal, 32 (4). pp. 667-686. ISSN 0141-1926

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Abstract

This paper examines the impact of gender and ?race? on young people?s perceptions of the educational and labour market opportunities available to them after they complete their compulsory schooling in England. Its findings are based on a study of the views of girls and boys about the government-supported ?Apprenticeships? programme, which, because it reflects labour market conditions, is highly gendered and also segregated by ethnicity. The research shows that young people receive very little practical information and guidance about the consequences of pursuing particular occupational pathways, and are not engaged in any formal opportunities to debate gender and ethnic stereotyping as related to the labour market. This is particularly worrying for females who populate apprenticeships in sectors with lower completion rates and levels of pay, and which create less opportunity for progression. In addition, the research reveals that young people from non-White backgrounds are more reliant on ?official? sources of guidance (as opposed to friends and families) for their labour market knowledge. The paper argues that, because good quality apprenticeships can provide a strong platform for lifelong learning and career progression, young people need much more detailed information about how to compare a work-based pathway with full-time education. At the same time, they also need to understand that apprenticeships (and jobs more generally) in some sectors may result in very limited opportunities for career advancement.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The paper draws on data from a study of gender segregation in the labour market funded by the Equal Opportunities Commission to concdptualise the different ways in which teenagers in school perceive their post-school and labour market futures. The paper argues that young people appear to retreat to the safety of stereotypical views of gendered futures due to the woeful lack of careers education and guidance and the lack of opportunities to discuss and debate equality issues in and outside school.
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Lifelong and Comparative Education
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (1)
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2010 16:00
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2014 14:28
URI: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/2326
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