Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world


 

profile image for Professor Sarah A. Vickerstaff

Professor Sarah A. Vickerstaff

Professor of Work and Employment and Head of School

School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Location:
CNE 05
School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Cornwallis North East
Canterbury , Kent, CT2 7NF

 

I am a Professor of Work and Employment and Head of School, at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research.

My main research interests are in the changes to the relationship between paid work and the life course, in particular at the beginning and end of working life.

Career

I joined the University of Kent in 1984 from the City of London Polytechnic. During my career I’ve been a Lecturer in Industrial Relations, Human Resources Management and a Reader in Employment Policy and Practice. I was promoted to Professor of Work and Employment in 2004.

Education

I completed my PhD in Sociology, passed without revision, at the University of Leeds and my BSc in Sociology with First Class (Honours) at the University of Leicester.

Find me:

On Academia 
On Linkedin
Read my CV

 

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Article
Vickerstaff, S. (2015). Domain: Domestic and Household Factors. More Years Better Lives [Online].
Loretto, W. and Vickerstaff, S. (2015). Gender, work orientations and job satisfaction. Work, employment and society [Online] 29:3-22.
Lain, D. and Vickerstaff, S. (2015). National Report United Kingdom. More Years Better Lives [Online].
Lain, D., Vickerstaff, S. and Loretto, W. (2013). Reforming State Pension Provision in ‘Liberal’ Anglo-Saxon Countries: Re-Commodification, Cost-Containment or Recalibration?. Social Policy and Society [Online] 12:77-90.
Loretto, W. and Vickerstaff, S. (2013). The domestic and gendered context for retirement. Human Relations [Online] 66:65-86.
Brown, P.R. and Vickerstaff, S. (2011). Health Subjectivities and Labor Market Participation: Pessimism and Older Workers’ Attitudes and Narratives Around Retirement. Research on Aging [Online] 33:529-550.
Vickerstaff, S. (2010). Older Workers: The ‘unavoidable obligation’ of extending our working lives?. Sociology Compass [Online] 4:869-879.
Vickerstaff, S. (2007). What do older workers want? Gradual retirement?. Social & Public Policy Review [Online] 1.
Vickerstaff, S. (2007). I was just the boy around the place: what made apprenticeships successful?. Journal of Vocational Education and Training [Online] 59:331-347.
Vickerstaff, S. (2006). 'I'd rather keep running to the end and then jump off the cliff.' Retirement decisions: who decides?. Journal of Social Policy [Online] 35:455-472.
Vickerstaff, S. (2006). Entering the retirement zone: How much choice do individuals have. Social Policy and Society [Online] 5:507-519.
Loretto, W., Vickerstaff, S. and White, P. (2006). Introduction to Themed Section : What do Older Workers Want?. Social Policy and Society [Online] 5:479-483.
Vickerstaff, S. and Cox, J. (2005). Retirement and Risk: The Individualisation of Retirement Experiences. Sociological Review [Online] 53:77-95.
Vickerstaff, S., Cox, J. and Keen, L. (2003). Employers and the management of retirement. Social Policy & Administration [Online] 37:271-287.
Vickerstaff, S. (2003). Apprenticeship in the 'golden age': Were youth transitions really smooth and unproblematic back then?. Work Employment & Society [Online] 17:269-287.
Vickerstaff, S. and Thirkell, J.E.M. (2000). Instrumental rationality and European integration: Transfer or avoidance of industrial relations institutions in central and eastern Europe?. European Journal of Industrial Relations [Online] 6:237-251.
Keen, L. and Vickerstaff, S. (1997). 'We're all human resource managers now': Local government middle managers. Public Money & Management [Online] 17:41-46.
Parker, K.T. and Vickerstaff, S. (1996). TECs, LECs and small firms: differenfces in provision and performance. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy [Online] 14:251-267.
Vickerstaff, S. and Parker, K.T. (1995). Helping small firms: the contribution of TECs and LECs. International Small Business Journal [Online] 13:56-72.
Vickerstaff, S. (1993). International comparisons of vocational-education and training for intermediate skills - Ryan,P. British Journal of Industrial Relations 31:165-166.
Vickerstaff, S. (1993). Agenda for change - an international analysis of industrial-relations in transition - Niland,J, Oliver,C . Journal of Management Studies 30:689-691.
Research report (external)
Vickerstaff, S. et al. (2012). Trust And Confidence In Pensions: A Literature Review. [Online]. Department for Work and Pensions.
Vickerstaff, S. et al. (2009). Employment Support For Carers. [Online]. Department for Work and Pensions.
Vickerstaff, S. et al. (2008). Encouraging Labour Market Activity Among 60-64 Year Olds. [Online]. Department for Work and Pensions.
Loretto, W., Vickerstaff, S. and White, P. (2005). Older Workers And Options For Flexible Work. Equal Opportunities Commission.
Book section
Vickerstaff, S. (2011). Education, schools, and training. In: Baldock, J. C. et al. eds. Social Policy. Oxford : Oxford University Press.
Vickerstaff, S. (2011). Work and welfare. In: Baldock, J. C. et al. eds. Social Policy. Oxford : Oxford University Press.
Vickerstaff, S., Phillipson, C. and Wilkie, R. (2011). Work, health and wellbeing: an introduction . In: Vickerstaff, S., Phillipson, C. and Wilkie, R. eds. Work, Health And Well-Being: The Challenges Of Managing Health At Work. Bristol: Policy Press.
Vickerstaff, S. (2007). Education, schools and training. In: Baldock, J. C., Manning, N. and Vickerstaff, S. eds. Social Policy (3Rd Ed). Oxford: Oxford University press, pp. 381-406.
Loretto, W., Vickerstaff, S. and White, P. (2007). Introduction. In: Loretto, W., Vickerstaff, S. and White, P. eds. The Future For Older Workers: New Perspectives. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 1-6.
Vickerstaff, S. (2007). Work and welfare. In: Baldock, J. C., Manning, N. and Vickerstaff, S. eds. Social Policy (3Rd Edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 144-170.
Loretto, W., Vickerstaff, S. and White, P. (2007). Flexible Work and Older Workers. In: Loretto, W., Vickerstaff, S. and White, P. eds. The Future For Older Workers: New Perspectives. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 139-160.
Vickerstaff, S., Loretto, W. and White, P. (2007). The future for older workers: opportunities and constraints. In: Loretto, W., Vickerstaff, S. and White, P. eds. The Future For Older Workers: New Perspectives. Britstol: Policy Press, pp. 203-226.
Vickerstaff, S. (2006). Work and Welfare for Older Workers. In: Beschaftigungsfoderung Alterer Arbeitnehmer In Europa. Berlin: Institut IAB, pp. 199-212.
Vickerstaff, S. (2006). ‘Life Course, Youth and Old Age’. In: Taylor-Gooby, P. F. and Zinn, J. O. eds. Risk In Social Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 180-201.
Vickerstaff, S. (2005). Learning for Life? The Post War Experience of Apprenticeship. In: Young People In Transition: Becoming Citizens?. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 31-52.
Edited book
Vickerstaff, S., Phillipson, C. and Wilkie, R. eds. (2011). Work, Health And Well-Being: The Challenges Of Managing Health At Work. [Online]. Bristol: Policy Press.
Baldock, J.C. et al. eds. (2011). Social Policy. [Online]. Oxford : Oxford University Press.
Baldock, J.C., Manning, N. and Vickerstaff, S. eds. (2007). Social Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Loretto, W., Vickerstaff, S. and White, P. eds. (2007). The Future For Older Workers: New Perspectives. Bristol: Policy Press.
Baldock, J.C., Manning, N. and Vickerstaff, S. eds. (2003). Social Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Book
Vickerstaff, S. et al. (2004). Happy Retirement? The Impact Of Employers' Policies And Practice On The Process Of Retirement. Bristol, UK: Policy Press.
Thirkell, J.E.M., Petkov, K. and Vickerstaff, S. (1998). The Transformation Of Labour Relations: Restructuring And Privatisation In Eastern Europe And Russia. [Online]. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Conference or workshop item
Parker, K.T. and Vickerstaff, S. (1999). Evaluating Training and Enterprise Councils, will Local Learning and Skills Councils and Regional Development Agencies do any better? In: Regional Studies Association .
Review
Vickerstaff, S. (1998). Hot coal, cold steel: Russian and Ukrainian workers from the end of the Soviet Union to the post-Communist transformations. [Online] 57:680-681.
Vickerstaff, S. (1997). Apprenticeship in England 1600-1914. 11:801-803.
Vickerstaff, S. (1995). THE MARKET FOR TRAINING - MCNABB,R, WHITFIELD,K. 33:303-304.
Showing 47 of 49 total publications in KAR. [See all in KAR]
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Research interests

My main research interests are in the changes to the relationship between paid work and the life course, in particular at the beginning and end of working life.

The parallels between debates on the changing nature of ageing at the end of the life course and at the beginning are striking. The literature on youth transitions has been grappling with the problem of understanding the experience of youth and emerging adulthood in societies where the traditional routes from school to work and family home to independent living seem to have become less secure and more fragmented.

Young people in Britain no longer make cohort related “mass transitions” into work at given ages; the routes and pathways have apparently become more complex and varied. Read Apprenticeship in the ‘golden age’: were youth transitions really smooth and unproblematic back then?

This provides a parallel with the discussion of the break up of mass transitions into retirement for men at 65 and women at 60. Routes into retirement and older age and their timing have also apparently become more complex and varied. Read I’d rather keep running to the end and then jump off the cliff’. Retirement Decisions: Who Decides?'

This general area of interest is translated into two specific research themes:

  • The employability of older workers and how employing organisations structure, facilitate or frustrate individuals' work and retirement aspirations
  • How retirement transitions are changing.

Current and recent research funding

  • £17,000 ESRC Seminar Competition Rethinking Retirement, 2010-2012 with David Lain (Brighton) and Wendy Loretto (Edinburgh).
  • £43,753, Medical Research Council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Collaborative Network Grant, Ross Wilkie (PI) Keele, Sarah Vickerstaff (Co-I), Chris Phillipson (Co-I), MRC Ref. G0900038. (Money went to Keele) 2009-2010.
  • £98,546 Department for Work and Pensions project "Employment Support for Carers" 2008-2009 (PI). £31,962 is subcontracted to Edinburgh University under my direction.
  • £106,610 Department for Work and Pensions, 2006-2007 'Encouraging Labour Market activity among 60-64 year olds', (Principal Investigator).
  • £14,670 Equal Opportunities Commission 2004-2005 'Older Workers and Options for Flexible Work' (with W. Loretto and P. White, University of Edinburgh ).
  • £15,000 ESRC 2004-2005, 'The Employability of Older Workers' ESRC Seminar Competition (with W. Loretto and P. White, University of Edinburgh ).
  • £60,000, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2001-2004. The Organisational Context of Retirement: the impact of employers' age management policies and practice on the process of retirement (I was the principal investigator working with J. Baldock, J. Cox and L. Keen).

Read my CV.


Supervision

I have supervised 12 PhDs to completion so far. I currently have five PhD students. I am interested in supervising research in the following areas:

  • The management of older workers and the process of retirement
  • Older workers experience of working
  • The domestic context of retirement
  • Vocational education and training policy in the UK, especially in relation to apprenticeship and other forms of work based learning.

My own research is based on qualitative methods, case studies and historical policy analysis and it is research using such methods that I feel best qualified to supervise.

If you have a proposal in these areas and would like to discuss the possibility of studying at the University of Kent, please email me to discuss further.

 


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Current

My main areas of teaching are:

  • Qualitative Methods
  • Education and Training Policy

Past

Over the years I have taught a range of undergraduate modules including: Women, Gender and Social Policy; Human Resource Management and stage 1 Social Policy and Social Problems modules.

For graduates, I convene the Qualitative Methods module and teach on the new Worlds of Work module.

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Memberships

  • Arbitrator, ACAS Panel of Arbitrators 1999 cont.
  • Member of the Social Policy Association
  • Member of the British Sociological Association
  • Member of the British University Industrial Relations
  • Member of the Association Gerontological Society of America


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Youtube

Professor Sarah Vickerstaff

Older Workers: The 'Unavoidable Obligation' of Extending Our Working Lives?

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Telephone: +44(0)1227 823072 Fax: +44(0)1227 827005 or email us

SSPSSR, Faculty of Social Sciences, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

Last Updated: 26/01/2015