Rethinking Good and Bad Jobs in Glasgow | Unemployment | Workforce

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Scottish politicians are now beginning to recognise that job quality matters. If the Scottish Government is to create a fairer, wealthier Scotland, job quality needs to become embedded in policy thinking. This paper outlines what job quality generally and then examines good and bad jobs pertinent to Glasgow, ending with suggestions about how job quality can be improved.
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    Oxfam Discussion Papers Rethinking good and bad  jobs in Glasgow  A Whose Economy   Seminar Paper Chris Warhurst November 2011 www.oxfam.org.uk  Rethinking good and bad jobs in Glasgow     A Whose Economy   Seminar Paper, November 2011 2 About the author Chris Warhurst  is   Professor of Work and Organisational Studies at the University of Sydney. From 2001-10 he was Director of the Scottish Centre for Employment Research at Strathclyde University in Glasgow. His research focuses on skills and labour and he has published over a dozen books and has advised government in the UK, Scotland, Australia and Hungary as well as the OECD. He is a co-organiser of the ESRC- funded seminar series „Making Bad Jobs Better‟:  http://ewds.strath.ac.uk/badjobsbetter/Home.aspx Email: C.Warhurst@econ.usyd.edu.au   Whose Economy Seminar Papers  are a follow up to the series of seminars held in Scotland between November 2010 and March 2011. They are written to contribute to public debate and to invite feedback on development and policy issues. These papers are ‘ work in progress’ documents, and do not necessarily constitu te final publications or reflect Oxfam policy positions. The views and recommendations expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Oxfam. For more information, or to comment on this paper, email ktrebeck@oxfam.org.uk  Rethinking good and bad jobs in Glasgow     A Whose Economy   Seminar Paper, November 2011 3 Contents Executive summary ................................................................................. 4   Introduction .............................................................................................. 5   1. Good and bad jobs exist and will persist   ....................................... 6   2. When good jobs go bad .................................................................... 7   3. When even bad jobs can be good but difficult to get ..................... 8   Conclusion .............................................................................................. 10   References .............................................................................................. 10   Notes ....................................................................................................... 14    Rethinking good and bad jobs in Glasgow     A Whose Economy   Seminar Paper, November 2011 4 Executive summary Scottish politicians are now beginning to recognise that job quality matters. It affects individual and family wellbeing, rates of child poverty, company productivity, social mobility and social exclusion. If the Scottish Government is to create a fairer, wealthier Scotland, job quality needs to become embedded in policy thinking. As a new policy concern there is as yet very little understanding of job quality and what makes jobs good or bad. This paper addresses this problem. It first outlines job quality generally, then examines some of the good and bad jobs pertinent to Glasgow, and ends with suggestions about how job quality can be better understood and improved. Good jobs can be created and bad jobs improved. Government emphasis in Scotland has been on creating good jobs. Because good and bad jobs, and their creation, are interdependent, both currently exist and will persist. It is time therefore to also consider how bad jobs can be improved. Using examples of the good and bad jobs created in Glasgow, through the creative industries and routine interactive services respectively, this paper shows how perceptions and experiences of job quality vary, and how better understanding of job quality is needed and can be developed in order to push forward policy. In particular, the examples highlight how supposedly good jobs can go bad for some workers, and how supposedly bad jobs can be good for other workers –  though can be difficult for them to get. The Glasgow examples are then used to indicate interventions that might help improve job quality and a new approach to understanding job quality.
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