3 years ago



and disabilities. In

and disabilities. In this respect, the study highlights the difficulties of understanding thewelfare impacts of the driver’s licence without taking into account such interactions.3.6.2 The importance of a driver’s licence and a car for job-seeking andkeeping in ScotlandIn a combined survey and interview study, Cartmel and Furlong (2000) examined youngpeople’s (18-24 years) barriers and opportunities to enter the labour market in differentgeographical contexts in Scotland, UK. The young people were selected on the basisthat they lived in geographic contexts with high levels of youth unemployment:Traditional rural areas that are geographically isolated and have significanteconomic activity in the agricultural sector.Urban fringe areas in which employment is affected by proximity to moredensely populated areas.Seasonal areas where jobs in a significant sector of the local economy (such astourism) tend to be available mainly on a seasonal basis.Ex-industrial rural areas in which the withdrawal of manufacturing or extractiveindustries has declined significantly in recent years.These are contexts in which young people's ability to seek, get and maintain a jobusually requires mobility and access to private transport because of the limitedprovision of public transport locally. There is no information in the research reportreviewed as to whether a driver’s licence and access to a car was included in the survey.However, these issues are included at length in the presentation of the qualitativeresults.Aye transport, like I’m not getting enough off the Brew to, like, take drivinglessons. I’ve got my provisional, I managed to take one lesson, I’d just startedtaking driving lessons when I was working full-time but then I got paid off andthe company was running at a loss. I’ve had to cancel my driving lessons andthat was that. (Male ex-industrial) (ibid., p. 32)Most of the young people interviewed stressed the importance of having a driver’slicence and access to a car to be able to find and keep a job. Those who wereunemployed also recognized that a driver’s licence was essential for getting a job, butthey could not afford driving lessons.There’s a lot of jobs at Falkirk and I went for one, and the first thing they said tome was, well you’re from Merrick, where is it? Oh, do you have any transport,such as how you gonna get there, it’s early mornings? (Male, urban fringe)(ibid., p. 32)My dad takes me to work in the morning, there’s no way I can get here withpublic transport. (Female, urban fringe) (ibid., p. 32)Many young people also reported that employers stipulated the need for a car in order tooffer them a job. Stories about a severe lack of public transport were also reported byyoung people. Many relied on lifts from parents or friends, which for some resulted inmajor detours or special journeys.The interviews indicate that lack of a driver’s licence and access to a car clearly had anegative impact on job opportunities. It should also be noted that lack of a car forcedmany to abandon aspirations on further education. Some were unable to continue theireducation and tended to drift into unemployment and welfare-to-work programmes. In38 VTI rapport 824A

this sense, the study is a good example of how lack of a driver’s licence and a car areinvolved in the production of non-linear transitions among young people living intransport-poor as well as job-poor contexts.There is also another reason for choosing this study as an example of importantresearch. Many studies in the reviewed welfare literature where the consequences of nothaving a driver's licence are treated at length are, in fact, based on interview data. Onepossible explanation is that this method gives young people great opportunities to bringup what they consider is important for them, in comparison to surveys where themes aredetermined in advance.3.6.3 Access to a driver’s licence and car among young lone mothers in UKDriver’s licence and access to a car was included in a quantitative study by Colemanand Lanceley (2011) of lone parents included in a welfare-to-work policy: Lone parentsobligation (LPO) in Great Britain (GB) (England, Scotland and Wales). The loneparents were mostly female, although 5% were male: 39% of respondents said they hada driver’s licence and, of these, 74% had access to a car, and 38% of female respondentshad a licence, compared with 59% of male respondents.A number of sub-groups were less likely to have a driver’s licence or access to a car:Younger age groups (under 30 years of age).Those whose first language was not English and black respondents.Those on lower income and without qualifications.Social renters (in comparison with owner-occupiers).Those in urban areas (although only 46% of those in rural areas had access to acar).There was also a pattern with those currently in work or who had worked since the birthof their oldest child, who were much more likely to have access to a car, while this waslower for those who had not worked since the birth of their oldest child or those whohad never worked.In this study lack of a driver’s licence and access to a car was analyzed as an example ofmultiple disadvantages (combinations of factors covered in the bullet points, above) –with each disadvantage adding extra burdens and bringing a corresponding reduction inlone mothers’ competitive position in the labour market. Many lone mothers, especiallyyounger ones with small children, without access to a car were restricted to finding jobslocally in order to have time to take care of their children. Public transport was verytime-consuming compared with the car for non-local work, especially for mothers inouter locations. The study is a good example of emerging research where access to a carand a driver’s licence have been identified as being linked to persistent, rather thantemporary, poverty among lone mothers.3.7 The approach to declining driver’s licence rates withintransport vs youth welfare researchTransport research has traditionally looked at the issue of young people and driver’slicences from the point of view of traffic safety. This is a result of theoverrepresentation of young people in road accidents. The research has looked atwhether there is a link between postponing driver licensing among the youngest and areduction in road accidents. Several studies indicate a link between people being olderwhen issued with driver’s licences and a reduction in the number of accidents. TheseVTI rapport 824A 39

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