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Disabled graduates experiences of the UK labour market

Williams, Laura C. 2013. Disabled graduates experiences of the UK labour market. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Disability is a common phenomenon in the UK and year on year there are more disabled graduates graduating and entering the labour market. Despite the relevance of disability to contemporary society, research that focuses on disabled graduates is notability absent in the wider equality and diversity literature. In order to address this lacuna, the research focuses on how disabled graduates manage and navigate the UK labour market. Five key stages in the graduates’ journey into the labour market are addressed in the research, the process of job searching, how disabled graduates negotiate the workplace environment, which includes management relations, how reasonable adjustments are secured, and engagement with external bodies for advice and support and welfare. The wide range of topics covered in the thesis allowed the totality of the experience of disability to be addressed. The thesis used an inductive, qualitative methodology to uncover the lived experience of the disabled graduates. Several key themes emerged from the thesis, firstly disabled graduates were active agents in managing their situation. They often had plan ‘A’ along with various alternative plans to allow them to achieve their desired career path. In addition the graduates were excellent at executing coping strategies to deal with the negative situations in which they found themselves; they did not allow their suffering to negatively deter them. Thirdly, the data showed it was very important to consider issues around impairment because impairment impacted many of the disabled graduates’ experiences. If issues around impairment are ignored then only a partial understanding of disability is achieved. Finally, the data indicated that disabled graduates still experienced unfairness and discrimination in the workplace. This discrimination manifested itself in numerous ways from failure to be recruited to employers failing to make reasonable adjustments.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:35

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