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Building networks to work: an ethnographic study of informal routes into the UK construction industry and pathways for migrant up-skilling

Tutt, D., Pink, S., Dainty, A. and Gibb, A. (2013) Building networks to work: an ethnographic study of informal routes into the UK construction industry and pathways for migrant up-skilling. Construction Management and Economics, 31 (10). pp. 1025-1037. ISSN 1466-433X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2013.834066

Abstract/Summary

The UK construction industry labour market is characterised by high levels of self-employment, sub-contracting, informality and flexibility. A corollary of this, and a sign of the increasing globalisation of construction, has been an increasing reliance on migrant labour, particularly that from the Eastern European Accession states. Yet, little is known about how their experiences within and outside of work shape their work in the construction sector. In this context better qualitative understandings of the social and communication networks through which migrant workers gain employment, create routes through the sector and develop their role/career are needed. We draw on two examples from a short-term ethnographic study of migrant construction worker employment experiences and practices in the town of Crewe in Cheshire, UK, to demonstrate how informal networks intersect with formal elements of the sector to facilitate both recruitment and up-skilling. Such research knowledge, we argue, offers new evidence of the importance of attending to migrant worker’s own experiences in the development of more transparent recruitment processes.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering > Business Innovation in Construction
ID Code:33519
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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