Combining full-time study with part-time tourism work: experiences of student workers in the UK

Rydzik, Agnieszka (2015) Combining full-time study with part-time tourism work: experiences of student workers in the UK. In: VI International Critical Tourism Studies Conference, 26-30 June 2015, Opatija, Croatia.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive


Younger people are considered at greater risk of vulnerability at work (Jayaweera & Anderson, 2008). They are more likely to receive lower wages and tend to be less aware of their entitlements (TUC, 2008). Tourism workplaces rely on temporary, transient and flexible labour. Nearly half of the UK tourism and hospitality workforce is employed part-time (People 1st, 2013). Many students are transient workers on zero hour contracts, often employed in front-of-house occupations. For example, 41% of waiting staff and 27% of bar staff are students (People 1st, 2013). With the introduction of higher tuition fees, UK students increasingly find themselves working part-time (Richardson et al., 2013). Tourism workplaces, due to their flexibility, are an attractive option, enabling students to combine full-time study with work. However, these are also considered as precarious places to work, with high risks of violence, particularly for vulnerable workers such as students (Hoel & Einarsen, 2003).

Yet, the experiences of students working part-time in tourism have been largely overlooked in industry and academia. Little is known about the inequalities they experience at work, how the categories of age, gender and ethnicity intersect, and most importantly what strategies they adopt to challenge inequality. This paper addresses these gaps by examining the employment experiences of students working part-time in tourism. It discusses workplace vulnerabilities and inequalities, and the challenges of combining work with university. It also explores the coping strategies students adopt.

This is a participatory study conducted in collaboration with students and is embedded within critical tourism. The data was collected through a research-based learning project with fourteen Year 3 students (details aimed to be discussed in another paper at CTS). These students-researchers participated in all stages of the project, including conducting semi-structured interviews with students who work part-time in tourism.

Keywords:tourism employment, flexible work, bmjholiday
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:18548
Deposited On:09 Sep 2015 04:55

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