Doctoral researchers

  • Denise Bowes (2016– ) A capabilities approach to women’s pathways in quantity surveying: opportunities and constraints. Supervisors: Dr Christine Wall and Professor Linda Clarke.
  • Aletha Holborough (2010–2015), Ethnicity, education and the transition to the construction labour market: developing an equality framework using a capability approach.

ProBE invites PhD applications in the following areas:

Oral and other histories of producing the built environment (1945-1980)

Unlike manufacturing sectors, the building industry was never the focus of any intensive sociological investigations in the post-war period, resulting in a dearth of historical data on this complex sector. The role of women and other minority groups in the sector is also under-researched and is an area of particular interest.

The transformation of the employment relation: the example of the construction industry

The employment relation is in a process of rapid transformation, as evident from the changes in employer associations and trade unions and the range of different employment contracts – from agency and temporary labour, to self- and directly employed. This has huge implications for the structure of education and training provision, for employment rights and benefits and the status of unemployment.

Applications to study these changes in the construction sector in different European countries, their implications for construction workers and professionals, and the impact of different policies and institutional arrangements to address them would be particularly welcome.

Vocational education and training for low energy construction (VET4LEC)

That building envelopes rarely meet their design intent in terms of energy efficiency is well documented. This failure in performance has multi-disciplinary implications for professional and vocational education and training (VET), contracts of employment, payment systems and site conditions.

Further research is needed to explore appropriate VET provision for low energy construction and the impact of training, working conditions, teamwork and thermal literacy on the quality of building performance.

Climate Change and Work

Following the partnership with York University, Toronto, Canada, ProBE is gaining increasing expertise and recognition in the area of climate change and work, in particular in relation to the role of trade unions and the strategies required for a just transition, locally, regionally, sectorally, nationally and globally.

Given the importance of labour as an agent of change, detailed studies of interventions in relation to climate change and work in which trade unions have been involved provide important insights into how a just green transition can be achieved.

Future research also needs to investigate the disparate green transitions paths in the construction sector in relation to industry structure and dynamics as well as national legislative, policy and economic contexts, encompassing the role played by the multitude of agents and organisations involved.

 

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