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Title: Young people’s and employers’ perceptions of equal opportunities in the world of work
Authors: Malhi, Harshinder Kaur
Advisors: Taylor, A
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Brunel University School of Sport and Education PhD Theses
Abstract: This study investigates how young people and employers perceive equal opportunities in the world of work. Events such as the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (Macpherson, 1999), the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and other legislation to promote equal opportunities, for example, Employment Equality Regulations, 2003 (Phillips, 2007, p.36) have placed this issue high on the political and education agenda. This study also investigates how young people perceive the message of equal opportunities in employers’ recruitment material as employers often declare in recruitment advertising that they are an equal opportunity employer (Dickens, 2000, p.138). A qualitative approach is taken using semi-structured interviews with thirty students in the sixth form in five secondary schools and five employers (The Army, The Fire Service, Metropolitan Police Service, British Airways and Mars UK) in West London. Policy documents on equal opportunities were also collected from the selected schools and employers. All the sources of data, that is the interviews with students and employers and the documentary data were analysed using a thematic approach. This study provides an in-depth insight and a snapshot at a local level of the national picture on equal opportunities in the world of work in relation to gender and ethnicity. The findings are that the young people, employers and the documentation of employers and schools show common understandings but also differences in their perception and portrayal of equal opportunities in the world of work. This study has also found that young people do not perceive the message of equal opportunities in the recruitment material. The implications of these findings are considered for both Careers Education and Guidance in schools and employers. This study concludes that the consensus is inspiring as it shows that young people and employers have a common vision of equal opportunities in the world of work and this consensus is followed through in policy documents. However, the differences, whilst they add variation to the perception and portrayal, need to be addressed if equal opportunities in the world of work are to progress further. To address these issues a model of Embedded Mutual Partnership is recommended between schools and employers.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Education
Dept of Education Theses

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