Paths to Work? Youth Training, New Deal and Further Education

  • Robert MacDonald
  • Jane Marsh


Despite moves towards more encompassing analyses, the study of school-to-work careers remains a mainstay of youth research and economic aspects of transition remain crucial to understanding the wider experiences of youth (Roberts, 2000). As described in chapter 2, changes in the ‘structures of opportunity’ facing school leavers have helped create pathways to adulthood that are more extended, complex and fluid than in previous decades (Coles, 1995; Jones, 2002; Mizen, 2003). Key among these developments has been the proliferation of routes for working-class youth through further education and vocational training programmes. For most young people in Britain, quick-step entry to the labour market of jobs — once typical of working-class youth transitions — has been postponed, subsequent to the completion of courses in the new institutional panoply of post-sixteen ‘options’. Chapter 1 showed how dominant British policy analyses present worklessness as the key cause of social exclusion. For young people ‘at risk’ of social exclusion — like those young men focused on in chapter 4 — the main government effort has been towards engaging them in pre- and post-sixteen training and educational courses, thereby increasing their employability and their likely incorporation into more socially inclusive transitions.


Labour Market Young People Social Exclusion Career Adviser Business Administration 
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Copyright information

© Robert MacDonald and Jane Marsh 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert MacDonald
    • 1
  • Jane Marsh
  1. 1.University of TeessideUK

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