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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 Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847429117.001.0001

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The low-pay, no-pay cycle: its pattern and people's commitment to work

The low-pay, no-pay cycle: its pattern and people's commitment to work

(p.79) 5 The low-pay, no-pay cycle: its pattern and people's commitment to work
Poverty and insecurity

Tracy Shildrick

Robert MacDonald

Colin Webster

Kayleigh Garthwaite

Policy Press

This chapter (and the two which follow) offer a description and analysis of the low-pay, no-pay cycle from the point of view of those caught up in it. Firstly, the chapter examines and describes the long-term pattern of churning between low paid jobs, ineffectual training and employability programmes and unemployment that was found in earlier research studies undertaken by the research team with interviewees in their teens and twenties. The chapter goes on to show how this pattern of working was also found in the same interviewees, via this current study, when they were in their thirties. Exactly the same pattern of the low-pay, no-pay cycle was found amongst the older people, in their 40s and 50s. Thus the chapter concludes that so-called entry level jobs do not act as stepping stones to more secure and better employment and that these experiences are not limited to the youth stage but continue over the life course, becoming for economically marginalised groups a permanent feature of life in low-pay, no-pay Britain.

Keywords:   Youth transitions, Stepping stones, Social exclusion, Migrant labour, Work commitment

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