Organisations and work play a critical role in the development of young people. Many adolescents start working as early as age 14, yet there is little research that focuses specifically on youth in the workforce. Adolescents (14-20) are going through numerous developmental processes, including physical, psychological, social and emotional. These changes impact their perceptions and interpretations of the world.
This presentation is about young workers and youth employment. Specifically we examine the way young workers (14-20) experience work and interpret their experiences. This study gives voice to youth – gaining insights from young workers themselves. In total, over 60 interviews with young workers and ‘significant others’ (a family member, a supervisor, a boy-, girlfriend etc) were conducted. Thematic content analysis in NVivo identified a number of provocative themes. This presentation shares these findings and offers employers guidance as to how to better create dignifying workplaces which allow young workers to flourish.
The presentation demonstrates that the workplace is an important dimension in youth’s lives – and that supervisors and managers are critical to the metamorphosis from young person to adult. Ultimately, a number of positive organisational practices conducive to positive youth development will be offered for further reflection.