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A coincidence of needs? Employers and full-time students

Curtis, Susan and Lucas, Rosemary E. (2001) A coincidence of needs? Employers and full-time students. Employee relations, 23 (1). pp. 38-54. ISSN 0142-5455

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Employers’ demands for cheap and flexible labour which can multi-task, make decisions and act responsibly are being met by an increasing supply of students to the part-time labour market who are having to work due to financial necessity during term-time. This article details the results of a survey and focus group study conducted at Manchester Metropolitan University in February 1999 addressing the nature of this employment relationship. Students’ employment provides them with advantages other than money – valuable work experience, the opportunity to meet people and to take on responsibility. Employers benefit from an easily recruited workforce of intelligent, articulate young people who are numerically and functionally flexible, conscientious, accepting relatively low pay, and who are easy to control. Potential conflict is indicated as students do articulate dislikes about their work and employment conditions, yet they feel unable to challenge their employers about them.

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