"I didn’t have the luxury to wait": understanding the university-to-work transition among second-generations in Britain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Second-generations-children of immigrants-experience particular university-to-work transitions in the UK, including precarious entry into the labour market This article examines the importance of intersecting social divisions, such as gender and ethnicity to these transitions, and also explores complexities within long-term economic progression. By comparing the educational achievement and labour market integration of British-born female graduates from one of the largest- Pakistani-and newly settled-Algerian-migrant groups and by focusing on long-term progression from the first job postgraduation to the most recent one. Using repeat semi-structured interviews with twelve British Pakistani and Algerian female graduates, this article produces a fine-grained analysis of key academic and economic stages. It reveals how the contextualised impact of intersecting social divisions-social class, ethnicity, as proxy for culture and religion, and gender- and the ability to maximise and increase one’s identity capital improve employability, transforming initial disadvantages into pathways for success.

Bibliographic note

This article is part of the issue “Types of Education, Achievement and Labour Market Integration over the Life Course”, edited by Irene Kriesi (Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Switzerland) and Juerg Schweri (Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Switzerland). © 2019 by the author; licensee Cogitatio (Lisbon, Portugal). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY).


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-281
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Inclusion
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2019


  • Capital, Ethnicity, Female graduates, Gender, Second-generation, Social class, UK labour market, University education