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Bringing in the excluded? Aesthetic labour, skills and training in the new economy

Nickson, D.P. and Warhurst, C. and Cullen, A.M. and Watt, A. (2003) Bringing in the excluded? Aesthetic labour, skills and training in the new economy. Journal of Education and Work, 16 (2). pp. 185-203. ISSN 1363-9080

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Abstract

Debates about the nature of work, employment and skill formation in the 'new' economy have, to date, neglected the notion of 'aesthetic labour'. Identification by us of this 'new' form of labour provides the basis to review some of the implications in relation to skill acquisition and usage, current training provision and social exclusion as it effects an area of the economy that is predicted to have massive jobs growth. Thus, the article briefly reports on a pilot 'aesthetic skills' training programme developed within the Glasgow milieu to address some of these concerns. Despite some concerns about social control, we consider the role of such dedicated training in improving the employability of the long-term unemployed and conclude that provision of this type has a role in addressing social exclusion in the labour market.