Social Policy and Transitions to Training and Work for Disabled Young People in the UK
Although New Labour distanced itself from the neo-liberal ‘underclass’ discourses of its predecessors, its approach to disabled young people maintained 10 key aspects of neo-liberalism, particularly an emphasis on individuals’ human capital, aspirations and self-investments as causes of and solutions to disabled young people’s unemployment. This is also apparent in early Coalition government statements. Since the 1990s, policies have focused on providing individu- ally-tailored advice, developing individuals’ skills, and motivating appropriate 15 self-investment. We examine recent evidence that highlights a number of problems with this focus. Notably, it entails a simplistic and individualised notion of ‘barriers’ to employment that cannot account for the complex impacts of disablement and inequality; moves towards open-market models of training and work support create perverse incentives that divert support away from those 20 most in need; employment success is dependent on unpredictable local opportunity structures; and the focus on paid employment undermines other social contributions made by disabled young people.
Citation : Yates, S. and Roulstone, A. (2013) Social Policy and Transitions to Training and Work for Disabled Young People in the UK. Disability & Society, 28 (4), pp. 456-470
ISSN : 0968-7599
Research Institute : Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Peer Reviewed : Yes