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Byrne, J, Clarke, L and Meer, M V D (2005) Gender and ethnic minority exclusion from skilled occupations in construction: a Western European comparison. Construction Management and Economics, 23(10), 1025-34.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Construction industry; gender segregation; ethnic minorities; Europe; labour markets
- ISBN/ISSN: 0144-6193
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/01446190500310759
Women and ethnic minorities remain seriously underrepresented in skilled construction occupations despite European Union policy to overcome labour market segregation and despite their increasing participation in the economy-wide labour market. The paper seeks to account for differences in female and ethnic minority/migrant participation in both the deregulated, craft-based construction industries of Italy and Spain and, to an extent, Britain and in the regulated industrial and training-based industries of Denmark and the Netherlands. The authors found that the only entry route for women is to obtain formal qualifications, with the Dutch and Danish education and training systems being especially pivotal to inclusion. Those from ethnic minorities and recent migrants, whilst proportionately overrepresented in Italy and Spain, face more vertical segregation in being largely confined to the bottom of the job ladder. Key obstacles confronted by both groups are the opportunity to undertake work-based training, output-based wage systems, informal methods of recruitment and lack of proactive implementation of equal opportunities policies. The conclusion drawn is that European and national authorities and social partners need to address equality of access and of employment conditions to ensure that regulation overcomes exclusion.