identity, flexibility and mobility
The idea of the project 'FAME - Occupational identity, flexibility and
mobility in the European labour market' is to find out how people handle
these changes in their work places. Are there any factors influencing the
ways in which people respond to these changes, in particular factors which
are related to work ethics or to roles which learning plays in their lives
as workers? Are the ways in which people cope with these changes influenced
by the work and learning environments in their countries?
sectors chosen for investigation include telecommunication, health care
and the metal industry. Interviews are carried out with employers and employees.
Employers have been asked about how they would like their workers to handle
the changes; employees are now being asked about how they manage to handle
the changes. In a further step, these two kinds of perspectives will be
confronted in order to find out whether they coincide or whether there
are different ways of tackling identity conflicts.
You have done the interviews with the managers on how they would like their
workers to cope with the changes: do you see any differences between European
countries in this respect? –
The results of the interviews have not been evaluated as yet, except for
France, however the choice of countries involved in the project implies
a strong variation of traditions, especially concerning the relation between
learning and work. The discussion at the beginning of the project revealed
that in Germany the main factor influencing these identity changes arises
from the vision of work as 'Beruf', whereas in the UK it would be interesting
to look at how vocational training effects the way of handling changes
at the work place; but in countries where vocational training does not
play a role identity is much more determined by the direct relation to
What comes out from the French investigation as the most important preference
of managers to cope with the changes? - [MD:] In France, you can find variations
within each sector, also within organisations, whether family-owned or
multinational in character; in telecommunication there are two variations:
in slow-changing companies you find workers who have the status of civil
servants (highly unionised), and you find the new contractual workers with
high mobility; in fast-moving companies some highly qualified people have
the fear of becoming more generalist in the field, with specialised staff
loosing ground; this is not the case in big companies which are still anchored
to their established activities.
It is interesting that the project FAME integrates perspectives from the
previous communist block (Estonia, Czech Republic); is the Accompanying
Measure on HRD looking into the experience of these countries? – [MM/SM:]
Our measure has a broad perspective, including all the evidence from the
projects involved; if there is further information about these countries
we would be happy to receive this.
findings of the project FAME include the French case 'forms and implications
of work related identity transformation' (Dif
2001c) and the case of Estonia 'from normatively constructed identity
to new identities in the contexts of 'double' transition processes'
(Loogma et al. 2001).
VETNET: Lille Sept 01: Roundtable 'HRD in Europe'