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EAWOP SGM Young people´s work, employment and careers CALL FOR PAPERS extended deadline


EAWOP Small Group Meeting
Young people’s work, employment and careers - Call for papers

29th June – 1st July 2020, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow
Organisers: Belgin Okay-Somerville (University of Glasgow), Dora Scholarios (University of Strathclyde) and Rosalind Searle (University of Glasgow)

Nurturing young people’s employability and productivity at work is crucial for maintaining and sustaining their involvement in the world of work (European Commission, 2014). Lack of employment opportunities allowing young people to build skills and experience progress is a major social problem faced by many industrialised nations over the last few decades (Carter, 2019). There are simply not enough jobs for young people and the jobs that do exist, are increasingly low-skilled, low-pay jobs with limited opportunities for growth (McCallum, 2019). Consequently, although there is considerable regional variance, worldwide 71 million young people are reported to be unemployed, and a further 156 million to be living in ‘working poverty’ (ILO, 2017). Two key work-related consequences of youth unemployment are underemployment and youth migration (Searle, Erdogan, Peiró, & Klehe, 2014). Although there is a plethora of research examining youth overqualification (one dimension of underemployment (Feldman, 1996)), our understanding of other dimensions of youth experience of work in general, and of underemployment in particular (e.g., involuntary part-time work), and the implications of youth migration for job quality and work- and career-related outcomes are less well researched. We need a more fine-grained understanding of young people’s experiences in the labour market in order to set more informed agendas for improving their current and future working lives.

The proposed SGM aims to: (i) advance our empirical and conceptual understanding of young people’s work, employment and careers, beyond labour market entry issues (e.g., unemployment and job search); and (ii) bring together researchers, practitioners and policymakers to set agendas towards improving young people’s current and future work prospects, with implications for more inclusive and prosperous societies. The contributions in the SGM will aim to address conceptual, empirical and methodological advances in understanding young people’s work, employment and careers in relation to (but not limited to) the following research questions:

  • (How) Do young people experience work, employment and careers differently than the rest of the working population and/or the previous cohorts of young people? What are the implications of these differences for: (i) inclusivity at work; (ii) effective management of human resources; (iii) skills policies for improving employee wellbeing and productivity; and/or (iv) trust in the organisation and in society?
  • How can employers better develop and utilise young workers’ knowledge, skills and abilities? Under what conditions do young people thrive at work, e.g., which occupations, industries, industrial regimes, macroeconomic conditions and so on?
  • How can employers assist young workers to develop their human and social capital, identity and adaptability to enable their employability?
  • Are traditional WOP theories adequate for explaining young people’s identity formation, trust, work motivation, attitudes toward work, employment and careers, and/or work-related wellbeing? If not, in what ways can we expand/build on existing theories or introduce new theories?
  • Are there systematic differences (e.g., based on gender, social background, sexual orientation, migrant youth, refugee youth, life-cycle/transitional effects) in how young people experience work, employment and careers? What are the implications of these differences for: (i) inclusivity at work; (ii) effective management of human resources; (iii) skills policies for improving employee wellbeing and productivity; and/or (iv) trust in the organisation and in society?
  • How do new forms of work, including entrepreneurship, in the digital economy influence young people’s employment relationship and career development?
  • What is the impact of technology (e.g., digitalised work or social media) on young people’s experience of work, employment and careers?
  • To what extent does youth underemployment represent stepping stones for career development? Is there a scarring effect of early underemployment? When does early underemployment not represent a dead end for career development? Is this different for young people based on demographics?

Meeting format, location and date
The format of this small group meeting (25 - 30 participants) is designed to foster extensive discussions, constructive feedback and research collaboration around youth employment. Each paper will be presented to the entire meeting with a maximum number of 20 presentations. There will be an interactive roundtable event, where policymakers (e.g., European Youth Parliament, the Mental Health Foundation and the Centre for Workbased Learning) and the audience will discuss ways of nurturing young people’s employability and productivity through work.

We are pleased to announce that Dr Angela Carter (recipient of 2017 EAWOP Lifetime Achievement Award) will deliver a keynote speech. Presentations will be selected through a competitive process, in which submissions are pre-screened by the organizing committee and then sent out for double blind peer-review by researchers who have submitted abstracts for consideration in the SGM. Each author is therefore expected to take part in the review process.

The meeting will be over two days and a half days on 29th June – 1st July, 2020 at University of Glasgow in Scotland, United Kingdom. Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and voted the world's friendliest city. Recently, Glasgow has been named as the cultural and creative centre of the UK by the European Commission. The University is Scotland’s second oldest, founded in 1451 (See Glasgow has good access to Europe through regular domestic and international flights to Glasgow and Edinburgh airports. It has good train and motorway access, too.
Attendance at the workshop costs €100 (free for PhD students). Tea, coffee, lunches and conference dinner are provided by courtesy of EAWOP sponsorship. Participants need to provide for their own travel and accommodation costs. Participants whose papers are selected for presentation will be advised of suitable hotels and locations when their presentation proposal is accepted.

Submission of extended abstracts
Extended abstracts (max of 1000 words) should be submitted by 28th February 2020 to Belgin Okay-Somerville ( Please structure extended abstracts around the following headings:

  • statement of the problem (including the objectives of the research);
  • description of the method, e.g., review, conceptual, empirical, and so on; and
  • contributions (how addressing the problem advances our understanding of young people’s work, employment and careers).

Conceptual and empirical contributions are welcome. Empirical papers should use rigorous research designs and describe methods, sampling and sample size, measures and results. Conceptual papers should pose specific and unanswered questions and/or make specific and novel predictions. Participants will be notified of the decision by the 10th April 2020.

The organizers will look for opportunities to publish a selection of the papers as a special issue of an academic journal (e.g., European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology). This will focus on the key outcome of the meeting - setting agendas towards improving young people’s current and future work prospects, with implications for more inclusive and prosperous societies.

More information and updates
Please follow us on Twitter (@blgnokay, @dscholarios and @ProfSearle) for information and updates on the meeting organization. To receive more information please, contact Belgin Okay-Somerville (