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Part-time work and full-time education in the UK: the emergence of a curriculum and policy issue

By Ken Spours and Ann Hodgson


The 1990s have seen a burgeoning international, national and local literature on the significance of part-time work for those in full-time education. In this article, we trace the development of different strands of research in this area over the last decade. In common with other writers, we attribute the increased interest in the phenomenon of part-time work among full-time learners to changes in the youth labour market allied to rising levels of post-16 participation. Using evidence from three recent studies, we suggest that the scale and intensity of participation in part-time work amongst full-time 16-19 year olds appears to have increased significantly towards the end of the 1990s and that a growing commitment to part-time work is become the norm for learners in full-time 16-19 courses. Our research suggests, however, that learners in advanced level courses have related study and paid work in different ways and we develop a number of learner typologies to reflect this. In the final section we explore how the 'Qualifying for Success' qualification reforms (often referred to as 'Curriculum 2000'), which seek to expand study programmes for advanced level 16-19 year olds, might affect the relationship between earning and learning. We conclude by identifying a number of issues around earning and learning that we feel deserve further research and public debate

Year: 2001
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  1. (1999). Part-time work: ALIS data set

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