Policy and transitions to training and work for disabled young people in the UK: Neo-liberalism for better and for worse?

Yates, Scott and Roulstone, Alan (2013) Policy and transitions to training and work for disabled young people in the UK: Neo-liberalism for better and for worse? Disability and Society, 28 (4). pp. 456-470. ISSN 0968-7599

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2012.717874

Abstract

Although New Labour distanced itself from the neo-liberal ‘underclass’ discourses of its predecessors, its approach to disabled young people maintained key aspects of neo-liberalism, particularly an emphasis on individuals’ human capital, aspirations and self-investments as causes of and solutions to disabled young people’s unemployment. This is also apparent in early Coalition government statements. Since the 1990s, policies have focused on providing individually-tailored advice, developing individuals’ skills, and motivating appropriate self-investment. We examine recent evidence that highlights a number of problems with this focus. Notably, it entails a simplistic and individualised notion of ‘barriers’ to employment that cannot account for the complex impacts of disablement and inequality; moves towards open-market models of training and work support create perverse incentives that divert support away from those most in need; employment success is dependent on unpredictable local opportunity structures; and the focus on paid employment undermines other social contributions made by disabled young people.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online 11 September 2012.
Uncontrolled Keywords: young people, disability, employment, transition, social policy, individualization
Subjects: L400 Social Policy
L500 Social Work
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Health, Community and Education Studies > Social Work and Communities
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2012 11:24
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:34
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/8527

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