Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world


 

About

I am a Professor of Work and Employment 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.

Current Research Project
I am currently PI for an ESRC/MRC funded research consortium undertaking a mixed method study of: Uncertain Futures: Managing Late Career Transitions and Extended Working Life.

 

Contact Information

Address

Room E222, Cornwallis East
SSPSSR
University of Kent
Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

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Publications

Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Article
Phillipson, C., Vickerstaff, S. and Lain, D. (2016). Achieving fuller working lives: labour market and policy issues in the United Kingdom. Australian Journal of Social Issues [Online] 51:187-203. Available at: http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=195626009465439;res=IELHSS.
Loretto, W. and Vickerstaff, S. (2015). Gender, age and flexible working in later life. Work, employment and society [Online] 29:233-249. Available at: http://wes.sagepub.com.
Lain, D. and Vickerstaff, S. (2015). National Report United Kingdom. More Years Better Lives [Online]. Available at: http://www.jp-demographic.eu/about/fast-track-projects/understanding-employment.
Vickerstaff, S. (2015). Domain: Domestic and Household Factors. More Years Better Lives [Online]. Available at: http://www.jp-demographic.eu/about/fast-track-projects/understanding-employment.
Loretto, W. and Vickerstaff, S. (2013). The domestic and gendered context for retirement. Human Relations [Online] 66:65-86. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018726712455832.
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. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1474746412000450.
Loretto, W., Vickerstaff, S. and Lain, D. (2013). Rethinking Retirement: Changing Realities for Older Workers and Employee Relations? Employee Relations [Online] 35:248-256. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/er.2013.01935caa.001.
Brown, P. 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. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0164027511410249.
Vickerstaff, S. (2010). Older Workers: The ‘unavoidable obligation’ of extending our working lives? Sociology Compass [Online] 4:869-879. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9020.2010.00322.x.
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. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13636820701520369.
Vickerstaff, S. (2007). What do older workers want? Gradual retirement? Social & Public Policy Review [Online] 1. Available at: http://www.uppress.co.uk/socialpolicy_pdf/Vickerstaff.pdf.
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. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1474746406003186.
Vickerstaff, S. (2006). Entering the retirement zone: How much choice do individuals have. Social Policy and Society [Online] 5:507-519. Available at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=468921.
Vickerstaff, S. (2006). 'I'd rather keep running to the end and then jump off the cliff.' Retirement decisions: who decides? Andersson, L. ed. Journal of Social Policy [Online] 35:455-472. Available at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=449177.
Vickerstaff, S. and Cox, J. (2005). Retirement and Risk: The Individualisation of Retirement Experiences Andersson, L. ed. Sociological Review [Online] 53:77-95. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-954X.2005.00504.x .
Vickerstaff, S., Cox, J. and Keen, L. (2003). Employers and the management of retirement. Social Policy & Administration [Online] 37:271-287. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/Employers and the management of retirement.
Vickerstaff, S. (2003). Apprenticeship in the 'golden age': Were youth transitions really smooth and unproblematic back then? Andersson, L. ed. Work Employment & Society [Online] 17:269-287. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0950017003017002003.
Vickerstaff, S. and Thirkell, J. (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. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/095968010062007.
Keen, L. and Vickerstaff, S. (1997). 'We're all human resource managers now': Local government middle managers. Public Money & Management [Online] 17:41-46. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9302.00081.
Parker, K. 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. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/c140251.
Vickerstaff, S. and Parker, K. (1995). Helping small firms: the contribution of TECs and LECs. International Small Business Journal [Online] 13:56-72. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0266242695134003.
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.
Vickerstaff, S. (1993). International comparisons of vocational-education and training for intermediate skills - Ryan,P. British Journal of Industrial Relations 31:165-166.
Research report (external)
Vickerstaff, S. et al. (2012). Trust and confidence in pensions: A literature review. [Online]. Department for Work and Pensions. Available at: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/WP108.pdf.
Vickerstaff, S. et al. (2009). Employment support for carers. [Online]. Department for Work and Pensions. Available at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130314010347/http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2009-2010/rrep597.pdf.
Vickerstaff, S. et al. (2008). Encouraging labour market activity among 60-64 year olds. [Online]. Department for Work and Pensions. Available at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2007-2008/rrep531.pdf.
Loretto, W., Vickerstaff, S. and White, P. (2005). Older Workers and Options for Flexible Work. Equal Opportunities Commission.
Edited book
Baldock, J.C. et al. eds. (2011). Social Policy. [Online]. Oxford : Oxford University Press. Available at: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199570843.do#.
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. Available at: http://www.policypress.co.uk/display.asp?K=9781847428080&sf1=keyword&st1=9781847428080&m=1&dc=1.
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. (2007). Social Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Baldock, J.C., Manning, N. and Vickerstaff, S. eds. (2003). Social Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Book section
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. Available at: http://www.policypress.co.uk/display.asp?K=9781847428080&sf1=keyword&st1=9781847428080&m=1&dc=1.
Vickerstaff, S. (2011). Education, schools, and training. in: Baldock, J. C. et al. eds. Social Policy. Oxford : Oxford University Press. Available at: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199570843.do#.
Vickerstaff, S. (2011). Work and welfare. in: Baldock, J. C. et al. eds. Social Policy. Oxford : Oxford University Press. Available at: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199570843.do#.
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.
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.
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.
Vickerstaff, S. (2006). Work and Welfare for Older Workers. in: Spross, C. ed. Beschaftigungsfoderung alterer Arbeitnehmer in Europa. Berlin: Institut IAB, pp. 199-212.
Vickerstaff, S. (2006). ‘Life Course, Youth and Old Age’. in: Taylor-Gooby, P. 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: Pole, C., Pilcher, J. and Williams, J. eds. Young People in Transition: Becoming Citizens? Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 31-52.
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., Petkov, K. and Vickerstaff, S. (1998). The Transformation of Labour Relations: Restructuring and Privatisation in Eastern Europe and Russia. [Online]. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available at: http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk/jsp/id/The_Transformation_of_Labour_Relations/9780198289791.
Conference or workshop item
Parker, K. and Vickerstaff, S. (1999). Evaluating Training and Enterprise Councils, will Local Learning and Skills Councils and Regional Development Agencies do any better? in: Pajares, M. D. P., Hardy, S. and Pike, A. eds. 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. Slavic Review [Online] 57:680-681. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2500758.
Vickerstaff, S. (1997). Apprenticeship in England 1600-1914. Work Employment & Society 11:801-803.
Vickerstaff, S. (1995). THE MARKET FOR TRAINING - MCNABB,R, WHITFIELD,K. British Journal of Industrial Relations 33:303-304.
Showing 49 of 51 total publications in KAR. [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

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

  • £556,557 MRC/ESRC Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Extending Working Lives Consortium Grant 2014-2017 Uncertain Futures: Managing Late Career Transitions and Extended Working Life, I am PI with 11 other CoIs, across 9 institutions.
  • £30,000 ESRC British representative on the European Joint Programme Initiative: More Years, Better Lives: "Understanding Employment Participation of Older Workers: Defining Research Needs for Evidence-based Policy", 2014-2015; funds added to existing ESRC grant: Uncertain Futures: Managing Late Career Transitions and Extended Working Life
  • "Innovative Interventions To Promote Participation Of Older Workers In The Labour Market – What Does The Future Hold?" 2015, collaboration with FAFO (Institute for Labour and Social Research), Norway funded by Norwegian Research Council, grant held at FAFO, 2015.
  • £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 14 PhDs to completion so far. I currently have two 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.

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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Teaching

My main areas of teaching are:

  • Qualitative Methods
  • Education and Training Policy
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Activity

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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Media

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: 02/08/2016