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Rethinking the conditions for young people 'getting a job': Kids have something to say

Down, B.ORCID: 0000-0003-4843-0563, Smyth, J., Robinson, J.ORCID: 0000-0003-0958-4973 and McInerney, P. (2014) Rethinking the conditions for young people 'getting a job': Kids have something to say. Australian Research Council/ Federation University Australia/Murdoch University, Murdoch, W.A.

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This report draws on empirical evidence from an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project (LP110100031) entitled 'Getting a job': Identity formation and schooling in communities at disadvantage (Down & Smyth, 2010) - a project which traced the experience of thirty two high school students over an eighteen month period in the years 2011-2013. The purpose of the research was to listen to young people's stories with a view to better understanding the barriers and obstacles to 'getting a job' and from their vantage point, identify the educational, policy and practice context that needs to be created and more widely sustained to assist their career aspirations and life chances. As Wyn (2009a) puts it, we need to investigate the 'disjuncture between educational policies, which continue to frame education within an industrial model (instrumental and vocationalist), and young people's own requirements- the capacity to be good navigators through new economies, to live well, and to engage with complexity and diversity' (p. 49).

The underlying proposition of this research is that when young people fail to find a job, then as a society we are all worse off: (a) young people fail to realise their potential and make a meaningful transition to a rewarding adult life; (b) the wider community is deprived of the valuable contribution young people could be making; and (c) society and the economy is unable to access the unique valued contributions that can be made by young people (Smyth & Down, 2005).

Item Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Series Name: Australian Research Council. Linkage projects Funding Scheme. LP110100031
Publisher: Australian Research Council/ Federation University Australia/Murdoch University
Copyright: © 2014 Murdoch University
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