W142, Hendon campus
Over the past 30 years, the UK has experienced a continual rise in the number of low wage jobs, with more than 1 in 5 now experiencing low pay.
A central focus of policies under New Labour and, to a more muted extent, the Coalition government has been to emphasise the need for low wage workers to upskill in order to progress to higher paid work. This approach is founded upon a series of assumptions; low skilled jobs are disappearing, employers will invest in workers who have the requisite basic skills and progression and higher wages will follow from upskilling.
In this presentation, evidence from workplace case studies undertaken in five low wage sectors will be used to show that, even prior to the recession, there continued to be substantial numbers of low skilled jobs, many workers are over-qualified for their jobs and there are few opportunities for progression.
If reducing low pay is a priority, then low paid jobs have to be tackled directly. By drawing on comparative research, it is argued that the national institutional environment can have a major impact on the size of the low wage workforce through a combination of collective bargaining, regulatory platforms, skill formation systems and welfare policies.
Professor Caroline Lloyd is professor in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. Her previous posts include Warwick Research Fellow, ESRC management research fellow, lecturer and senior lecturer in industrial relations.
To attend this event please email Pamela Macaulay or call 020 8411 5460