work opportunities and conditions, 1939-79

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  • Work opportunities and conditions, 1939-79
    • Second World War
      • Wartime employment
        • Ernest Bevin - Essential Work Order (1941) - essential jobs for work effort, hard to dismiss
          • Shortage of skilled workers - Control of Employment Act (1939) allowed semi-skilled to to skilled jobs
            • Exempt from military service
          • 'Bevin boys' - 10% of young men went to the coals instead of military service
        • Working conditions improved - medical centres/ canteens/ creches/ 'Worker's Playtime' radio programme
          • Wages were increased,  though hours were long
      • Movement to wartime production
        • Full employment
          • Working conditions improved
            • Mass unemployment disappeared
            • Conditions/wages/benefits improved
        • Women in factories
        • 1930s idle factories became fully operational munitions factories
    • Full employment in the 1950s and 1960s
      • Employment opportunities
        • Better education/economy - choice/flexibility in employment
          • Inheriting jobs became less common
            • Growth of white-collar/ technological jobs - electronics/light engineering/consumer goods
              • Required more managers
              • 'More satisfying' jobs
              • Growth in the service sector too (e.g. tourism/shops/restaurants)
      • Work in factories
        • e.g. car industry
        • Problems with tedium - repetitive work was boring (worsened with automation)
          • Only benefit was pay - people could buy more as technology/mass production developed too
      • c. government commitment
        • c. favourable economic conditions
      • Impacted industrial relations - employers needed skilled workers/ used attractive wages/working conditions
        • More likely to leave a job
          • Especially in one-industry regions e.g. Nottingham and textiles
        • Offered benefits - cheap canteens, sports, social clubs, outings/functions
    • Growth of unemployment in the 1970s
      • Before prioritisation of inflation
        • Officially prioritised 1976 (market forces would have a greater role)
      • Industrial problems
        • Umemployment 1m in 1972
      • Decline of heavy industry
        • More acute in industrialised parts (North/Wales etc)
          • e.g. the west Midlands and car manufacturing - knock-on effects
          • No alternative - downturn bit hard

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