Lowestoft rising: progress to employment. A study of the experiences of young people in Lowestoft who are long-term unemployed

Bond, Emma, Manning, Mark and James, David (2015) Lowestoft rising: progress to employment. A study of the experiences of young people in Lowestoft who are long-term unemployed. University of Suffolk, University of Suffolk.

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This report presents the findings of the research commissioned by Suffolk County Council (SCC), based on 52 interviews with unemployed young people in Lowestoft (aged 16 to 24). It details their experiences of employment support and services, and their perspectives on the development on a new, innovative approach to providing support into employment for young people. The commissioners wanted the research to engage purposively with a variety of young people in Lowestoft who were out of work, in order to explore their views on the potential development of an impartial, multichannel single point of access in the town which would endeavour to help young people make the best use of the employment services and initiatives that already exist.
The majority of the young people we spoke to were classed as being long-term unemployed (claiming–Jobseeker’s Allowance JSA – for more than 6 months), although some had been claiming for less than 3 months, and also young people who were not claiming any job- seeking benefits. The qualitative verbatim and visual data provided by participants provided detailed insights into their perceptions, experiences and the services available to them, and identified barriers (either actual or perceived) to accessing support. Some young people, for example, talked about using crystal meth and other drugs and the commissioners have asked us to point out that their intelligence and professional view surrounding the use of crystal meth amongst young people in Lowestoft indicates that this is not the substance that is being used. Young people, they suggest, are using various legal highs often referred to as ‘plant food’ and the effects of some of these Legal (but dangerous) Highs1 when injected cause crystals to appear under the skin. Therefore, when the young people who participated in the study refer to being on crystal meth, the commissioners view is that they probably mean Legal Highs which, although pose a real health risk, are not as dangerous as crystal meth.
It should be noted that this study is based on the views and experiences of the 52 young people who participated voluntarily in the study and are, therefore, not fully representative of all young people in the town. Although concerns may be raised from a positivist perspective over the small sample size, and the difficulty in replicating and generalising from the study, these are common disadvantages associated with qualitative research. Our methodological approach was appropriate to meet the objectives of the study and other methods may not have provided the rich insights into the young people’s experiences which are presented in this report. Furthermore whilst opportunity sampling is sometimes viewed as a less robust form of sample selection (than, for example, a random sample strategy more commonly used in surveys), it is widely accepted in the research community as being employed by social researchers studying hard-to-access groups.

Item Type: Other
Uncontrolled Keywords: employment, Lowestoft, youth
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Applied Social Sciences
Depositing User: Mark Manning
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2020 08:36
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2020 08:36
URI: https://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/1277

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