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Poverty and insecurityLife in low-pay, no-pay Britain$
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Tracy Shildrick, Robert MacDonald, and Colin Webster

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781847429117

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847429117.001.0001

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date: 19 August 2017

Searching for jobs: qualifications, support for the workless and the good and bad of informal social networks

Searching for jobs: qualifications, support for the workless and the good and bad of informal social networks

Chapter:
(p.100) (p.101) 6 Searching for jobs: qualifications, support for the workless and the good and bad of informal social networks
Source:
Poverty and insecurity
Author(s):

Tracy Shildrick

Robert MacDonald

Colin Webster

Kayleigh Garthwaite

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847429117.003.0006

This chapter explores how motivations to work were put into practice, in searching for jobs. It shows how the local labour market available to informants was instituted through informal social networks and how local knowledge facilitated job search, availability and offer. The chapter shows that this world of association rested more on who informants knew, rather than what they knew. The chapter highlights how statutory, voluntary and private sector agencies were all used by informants in searching for jobs, with mixed outcomes and assessments. Some, in the voluntary sector particularly, were found to offer effective, welcome, practical help, perhaps because less driven by a targets culture and ideological assumptions about the unemployed. On the other hand, private employment agencies, in particular, seemed explicitly designed to feed the offer of low waged, precarious work, again shifting the risks and costs of employment to employees. Statutory sector agencies – Job Centre Plus – fared badly with plentiful evidence of negative attitudes by agency staff toward job seekers and the unemployed generally – attitudes readily reciprocated by the local unemployed The chapter shows how the informality of participants’ job-search methods fitted well with the casualised recruitment methods of employers at the bottom of the labour market and the nature of the work on offer.

Keywords:   Job search, Employment Agencies, Social Networks, Education and skills

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