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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 05:16 GMT 06:16 UK
Workplace in the 60s 'was stressed'
Young worker
Staff clearing out an office found hundreds of interviews
The 'golden' age of employment in the 1960s, with its easy-to-find jobs, was as stressful and difficult as the present day, according to a new report.

Academics in Leicester said their study shows young workers 40 years ago felt pressurised to get more training and found it difficult to work with older colleagues.

The study began after staff found hundreds of interviews with young workers, stretching back to 1962, as they cleared out old offices.

The team now hopes to trace workers who took part in the original research to create a unique history of employment.

Work pressures

"It's assumed that the 60s was a golden age of British industry where there were lots of jobs available, it was easy to get work and jobs were relatively stress-free," said Dr John Goodwin a lecturer at the Centre for Labour Market Studies at the university.

Workers face similar difficulties in today's era
"In fact workers faced similar difficulties to the ones they have now and found work stressful.

"There was pressure to get more training because people who had stayed on at school or had taken an apprenticeship were seen to be in a better position.

"We think of lifelong learning as starting in the 1990s but it has been happening since the 60s.

"There was also pressure in the workplace in the 1960s as young people just out of school found it difficult to get along with work colleagues who were 15 years old."

Researchers claim the work will lead to a reappraisal of employment history 40 years ago.

The study comes after a re-analysis of nearly 900 interviews of 15 and 16-year-olds, conducted between 1962-64, which were found by staff clearing out disused offices at the centre last year.

The teenagers took part in a government-funded project studying the attitudes of young people in the work place, which had been archived at the university.

'Unique history'

Researchers arel appealing for those who took part in the original project to get in touch so a record of their complete employment history can be put together.

"If we can trace 200 of the original group we will be able to create a unique history of an individual's employment from leaving school to retirement," said Dr Goodwin

"We will be able look at the importance of decisions made in early life on careers and what affect qualifications had.

"There has been a lot of debate about the contribution to the labour market of people in their fifties.

"We will be show what skills people of that age have and so contribute to the debate."

See also:

25 Jun 01 | Business
Stress causes 6.5m sick days
25 May 01 | Education
Teachers falling ill for longer
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