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Lone parents, the New Deal and the opportunities and barriers to retail employment

Dutton, Eli and Warhurst, C. and Nickson, D.P. and Lockyer, C.J. (2005) Lone parents, the New Deal and the opportunities and barriers to retail employment. Policy Studies, 26 (1). pp. 85-101. ISSN 0144-2872

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The number of lone parents has increased considerably in recent years and the UK Labour Government has reacted by encouraging them to move from welfare and into work. This group face multi-dimensional and complex barriers to employment that the government has attempted to rectify through the introduction of various initiatives such as the National Childcare Strategy, the Working Families Tax Credit and the New Deal. The availability of appropriate employment opportunities is central to this strategy. Retail employment is perceived to be one such opportunity. This article examines the Glasgow supermarket sector as a suitable employer for clients of the New Deal for Lone Parents programme. The findings demonstrate that lone parents still experience significant barriers to work, even in a sector that is considered a viable employment option.