The research, which was commissioned by the Cabinet Office’s Social Exclusion Task Force, builds upon earlier work by a research team (led by Professor Ruth Levitas), resulting in the Bristol Social Exclusion Matrix (BSEM). This project applied the BSEM framework to look at the social exclusion of working-age adults without children over the age of 25.
Using data drawn from the General Household Survey and the British Household Panel Survey, the research explored different forms of disadvantage and how vulnerability to them varies within the population and during the course of a person’s life. In particular, the project considered how different combinations of disadvantage inform our understanding of ‘trigger events’ that precipitate multiple disadvantage, as well as our understanding of the wider causes of social exclusion.
Speaking about the findings, Dr Fahmy said:
‘Tackling worklessness amongst working age adults has become increasingly central to government strategy. However, on its own this approach will be ineffective in improving the circumstances of the working poor, the low skilled, and people experiencing long term illness or disability.’
The report advises that tackling this problem ought to be a key priority within the UK’s overall strategy on social inclusion. The final report is available from the Cabinet Office website.
Dr Fahmy’s collaborators on the project were colleagues Professor Dave Gordon and Dr Demi Patsios, and Professor Ruth Levitas from the Department of Sociology.
Please contact Dara O’Hare for further information.