School Leaver, Job Seeker, Dole Reaper: Young and Unemployed in Rural England

  • Bob Coles
Part of the Explorations in Sociology book series (EIS)


In describing the plight of the young unemployed much research has concentrated upon the inner cities where most are to be found (Watts, 1983; Roberts, 1984). The rapid rise in unemployment at the beginning of the 1980s now means that youth unemployment is widespread. Nationwide, youth unemployment increased more in a single year, 1980, than in the whole of the previous decade (see Raffe, Chapter 4 in this book). This increase occurred not only in the inner cities but in small towns, villages and rural areas. Early research conducted by Youthaid suggested that the young unemployed in rural areas faced special problems. Local rural economies offer only a restricted range of jobs, some of which are part time or seasonal, and further education colleges only a limited number of courses. Transport difficulties mean that the opportunities young people can reasonable explore are few and far between, and unemployment results in isolation and loneliness as school-leavers give up the only structured occasion in which they can meet people of their own age (Sawdon et al., 1979). More recent research sponsored by the Department of Employment has also highlighted the fact that youth unemployment is often concentrated in regional blackspots, with some areas reporting as many as one in three young people unemployed, and others as few as one in thirty-three (Ashton and Maguire, 1985).


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Copyright information

© British Sociological Association 1986

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  • Bob Coles

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