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The 1990's: sectoral rebalancing, mobility and adaptation - the employment, self-employment and training policy lessons for the current UK recession

In the recent recession, beginning in 2007/8, many individuals are likely to leave their former career paths and seek new ones, such as self-employment, without necessarily appearing in official unemployment figures.The experience of the 1990s will be used to throw light on the policy issues around the planned cuts in the public sector workforce using existing British Household Panel Survey data to explore what subsequently happened to individuals in the 1990s when there was also a deep recession and a great reduction in public sector jobs.

The research tests whether there was a general movement into the private sector for these individuals and for mobility and career theory assess the relative value of occupational and industrial position (in addition to educational and skill attainments) as resources for career continuity and adaptation. From a policy viewpoint,  the role of training in curbing the effects of an individual’s forced shift from the public sector is investigated, and the relative private costs to the individual and benefits of mobility are estimated. Although the value of job training has been well documented in the existing literature, here a new question is addressed, which is the value of job training for workers facing redundancy.