Rachael's Third Diary Entry- 12 March

12 Mar

I have been learning so much about the research process since my last post; mainly that your research plan is just that! I was so worried as the interview part of my project has not been as I planned. I’ve realised that It’s impossible to stick to it religiously and it’s mainly there as a guideline. The important thing is to be reflective and rather than look at what has went wrong and what hasn’t; the main goal is to focus on the larger picture and use what data you have collected to form your judgements.  The information I have gained so far with my focus group and the group interview with a Glasgow based support organisation have given me so much to think about.

The focus group was a really interesting experience.  I found that it was relatively easy to get conversation flowing and to encourage the group to speak about their experiences. I decided to alter my questions a little so I could get more in depth answers from the participants, and I have found that if you ask questions that are focused more towards peoples’ experiences you will get a more detailed answer. Sometimes this kind of data is not always the most suitable for what you are trying to find out, but in this case of researching unemployment in those ages 16-24, it’s their experiences and feelings I am really keen to understand, rather than one word answers and yes or no responses that I may have got in a questionnaire. I also found that the focus group addressed issues that I had not thought of asking, so I decided to include them in the group interview I undertook in Glasgow.

I went to an organisation in Glasgow that supports those aged 16-24 in gaining skills that will assist them to gain employment; the group of people I interviewed had so much to say about their experiences. The most telling was that  the people in both the focus group and the group interview gave me many similar responses.  They were in agreement that work experience is lacking and this prevents them from getting past the application process and makes them feel very frustrated. It was also mentioned that they would like to see more training and job opportunities in a wider range of sectors of employment. What was also evident was that all of the people I have spoken to feel that they are not listened to by the powers that be, and feel that they may not be taken seriously if they were to address their issues to a governmental authority. I have also found that none of them were aware of what a trade union was and how they support those in work and also those without work or training. These findings have highlighted to me that supporting those without work, education or training is very much a work in progress.  It is not an issue that can be solved over night and will need a multi agency approach so that the needs of those I have spoken to and others can be met. I will be speaking to the Unite youth committee soon and I am looking forward to hearing their thoughts and feelings on their employment experiences, so more on this later.

On a completely unrelated topic, I was diverging from my uni work a couple of weeks ago and found the interview that Len McClusky did with the Guardian. It was an informative and eye opening read.  I can understand where he is coming from and the frustrations that are felt by those mainly in the public, but also private and voluntary sectors. David Cameron, in response to Mr McCluskys’ interview, mentioned that he was being ‘unpatriotic’ in his call for civil disobedience during the Olympics later this year in London.

I found myself thinking, what makes you patriotic? Everyone has their own views about what this word means.  By my definition, being a patriot is doing what is right by your country to enable the success, wellbeing and future of all of those who reside within her. Cutting the resources of much needed services, I believe is not a sign of patriotism; however I also understand that resources are not finite.  If any readers have not seen the interview you can find the full transcript here.   I’m really keen to know what you all think about this, leave your comments in the box below.


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