• R. M. Blackburn
  • Michael Mann
Part of the Cambridge Studies in Sociology book series (CAMBSIS)


We began the account of our research in Chapter 2, relating the population from which we sampled — male manual workers whose jobs did not require them to be qualified by apprentice training — to the other major manual working groups. Virtually complete segregation exists in the manual labour market between men and women, who are almost never in competition as individuals. In contrast, no such clear-cut gap exists between “skilled” and semi- or unskilled workers. Using a broad definition such as that of the O.P.C.S. (Registrar General), most skilled workers have not served an apprenticeship or its equivalent, and their differentiation from workers beneath them is precarious. Even in those jobs normally performed by qualified craftsmen there are many unqualified workers. However, the possession of qualifications derived from formal apprenticeship does set some craftsmen apart from other “skilled” workers, by enhancing their market capacity and thus their independence of the employer. We will comment on this later. Our study concerns male manual workers who do not have nationally-recognised credentials for their work — perhaps three-quarters or even four-fifths of male manual workers.


Labour Market High Wage Manual Worker Internal Labour Market Market Capacity 
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© R. M. Blackburn and Michael Mann 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Blackburn
  • Michael Mann

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