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    Flexible or Secure Jobs?: Young Workers and Internships in Ireland and Spain

    Dulee-Kinsolving, Amelia (2017) Flexible or Secure Jobs?: Young Workers and Internships in Ireland and Spain. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Over the last decades, European countries have increasingly relied on Active Labor Market Policies (ALMPs) as a mechanism to increase the employability of the unemployed. Following the 2008 economic crisis, ALMPs were increasingly relied on by Ireland and Spain as a strategy to assist and improve unemployed young workers’ integration into the labor market. One notable aspect was the Irish and Spanish government’s development of new ALMP internship programs, ones that relied more extensively on demand led activation through firm work experience or ALMP internships. While the development of these ALMP internship programs was in line with the existing ALMP evaluation literature which asserted higher levels of employer integration yielded higher probabilities for employment (Kluve 2006; Card et al. 2009), none of the evaluation literature considered the role of the employer in shaping ALMP outcomes, nor did it consider other aspects of job quality outcomes beyond earnings. While adopting a comparative case study design at the sectoral level within five Irish and Spanish ICT firms, this thesis aims to understand how Irish and Spanish ALMP internships facilitate particular job quality outcomes within the Spanish and Irish ICT sectors. Through an examination of the key macro and meso institutions within which these ICT firms are embedded, the research identifies and examines how particular mechanisms may enable or constrain the ICT firms’ behavior surrounding job quality outcomes through ALMP internships. It provides a conceptualization of job quality through the adoption of a flexicurity framework which enables the examination of four job quality dimensions: earnings, working time quality, skills and discretion and prospects and internal progression. The analysis reveals that in a context of weak macro and meso level institutions, firm features play an increasingly important role in explaining how employers facilitate particular job quality outcomes through ALMP internships within the Spanish and Irish ICT sectors. Within this weak institutional environment, similar patterns were found among the Irish and Spanish MNC subsidiary firms and the Irish and Spanish domestic firms in relation to how these two groups of firms used ALMP internships. The MNC subsidiary firms were found to primarily use ALMP internships as a flexible supply of labor, one with limited scope for upskilling. In comparison, among the domestic ICT firms, the ALMP internships were more effective, given the reduced hiring risks provided and the access ALMP interns had to a wider range of skill development and work experience, thus providing for upskilling. This thesis highlights how sectoral and firm specific dynamics may influence employer behavior related to job quality outcomes through ALMP internships. In doing so, it also emphasizes the need for further institutional constraints that encourage ‘good’ job quality outcomes among Irish and Spanish firms that recruit through ALMP internships.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Flexible; Secure Jobs; Young Workers; Internships; Ireland; Spain;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
    Item ID: 9371
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2018 14:53
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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