Dr Jessie Koen, who has been visiting the Centre from the University of Amsterdam, presented her research on unemployment, insecurity, and labour market challenges. One study traced the experiences of young chef's working in Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Apprentices program, including changes in motivation and identity of young individuals throughout the program.
Jessie also presented some of her and Sharon's recent work on how proactive career behavior by employees can mitigate the negative effects of contract duration amongst employees with flexible employment contracts. As the contract duration becomes shorter (fewer months left on the contract), employees experience a lack of control and feelings of job insecurity. In turn, job insecurity is associated with stress and career dissatisfaction. But Jessie's research shows that - when individuals proactively build networks and engage in other such proactive career behaviors - contract duration is no longer predictive of job insecurity.