how are work and the economy changing n.
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  1. HOW ARE WORK AND THE ECONOMY CHANGING? WALT: Have a basic knowledge of the work industry in the past and how it is changing today. WILF: Consideration of the facts when considering goals for the future.


  3. WORK IN THE LAST 100 YEARS • Big changes in manufacturing industry in terms of work processes and the targeting of products • Changes in office-work particularly as a result of Information Technology • Changes in the experience of work for the employee in terms of less security of employment and the pressures of the job • Now the recession threatens jobs for many people

  4. MASS PRODUCTION • ‘Fordism’: named after Henry Ford who invented mass production in the making of cars at start of last century • Fordism dominated production until last few decades of last century • Assembly line, repetitive tasks, low skill, limited range of standardised products: cars, food, furniture, electrical products • Costs are relatively low because of volume and because of low labour costs

  5. POST FORDISM INTO THIS CENTURY • Manufacturing more flexible eg computer controlled machine tools can be reprogrammed to make different products • Goods can be made in small batches to suit segments of the market • Can respond to changing demand and fashion • Workers have to be more flexible and ‘expendable’ • ‘Just in time’ delivery of parts • Work franchised out to small businesses

  6. CORE AND PERIPHERAL WORKERS • CORE WORKERS are employed full time, are multi-skilled and can work in different parts of company: managers, designers, technical sales staff, technicians, quality control staff. Jobs are secure • PERIPHERAL WORKERS Full time workers on short term contracts, part-time workers. Enables company to reduce or increase workforce easily. Some work sub-contracted or given to self-employed workers

  7. OFFICE WORK Revolutionised by Information Technology which means work does not have to be done in the office: • Fax • Computers, • Email, • Mobile phones • Nor do work tasks have to be carried in the company itself but can be ‘farmed out’ across the world to call centres or data processing centres

  8. EFFECTS OF GLOBALISATION • This refers to stronger connections between different parts of the world economy especially rich and poor countries • Employers exploit low wages in the Third World by moving production to such countries • This pushes down wages in the developed world because we have to compete with cheap products • This can replace jobs in developed world eg British textile industry

  9. THE CHANGING EXPERIENCE OF WORK • In many ways work has improved: less dangerous, decline of heavy industry, more healthy working conditions • Will Hutton in ‘The State We Are In’, argues, however, that for many people work has become much less secure and increasingly a source of stress • The global economic recession has increased insecurity

  10. THE BOTTOM 30% • Disadvantaged compared to rest of workforce • Some unemployed and may never have worked • Some will receive no benefit • Some on government training schemes • A high proportion live in poverty • Live in poor housing and unstimulating environments

  11. INTERMEDIATE 30% • Marginalised and insecure workers with little job security • Jobs with few benefits • Include part-time and casual workers. Over 80% of part-time are women • May be on fixed term contracts • Little employment protection eg no redundancy pay, weak unionisation. Increasing number of them will be self-employed • Earn less than half average wages

  12. THE TOP 40% • Full time and self-employed workers who have held their jobs for more than two years • Part-times who have held their jobs for more than five years • May have benefited from share ownership or profit sharing schemes and have stake in company • BUT many of the jobs in this category are becoming more insecure and subject to short term contracts

  13. THE CONSEQUENCES • Changes in work and weakening of trade union laws have strengthened the position of employers • Changes in work processes and contracts have made the job security of many people very fragile • The greater ‘efficiency’ resulting from this has negative effects on health, stress levels and rates of depression, all of which are deteriorating • Workers are even more vulnerable to downturn in the economy and have less protection and job security

  14. Student Activity • What job do you expect to go into eventually? • How many jobs do you expect to have in your lifetime? • How will you survive in old age?