The Employment industry

The aim of my coursework is to examine the changes that have taken place in the Employment industry. This will include investigating the working practises of the Nissan factory in Sunderland, studying in detail about the Industrial Revolution and looking at how new forms of technology such as Computerisation have now developed. To conclude, I will briefly summarise the transformations that the Industrial Revolution has brought about. PRE – INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION Before the Industrial Revolution occurred, most of the British population were employees and residents of the countryside.

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The Village women carried out domestic tasks, which included weaving and sewing, making clothes, spinning. They also baked bread from locally grown corn. The men made nearly all their own equipment such as axes, knives and shears. Most of them were labourers who dug stone and chalk for building barns etc. Work was extremely hard; people were up at dawn and went to bed at dusk with children assisting as soon as they were strong and able enough to. The Industrial Revolution was the massive change that took place in the late 1800’s, where in a short space of time (a couple of years), a large number of the British population’s way of life changed from being based on Agriculture and farmland to being involved in city life and factory work.


When the Industrialisation of Britain occurred, the working conditions of Britain in many factories were extremely poor. The custom of families working together continued early into the Industrial Revolution. Conditions for the working class in workplaces such as factories were appalling especially for the children. The average day for a working girl began at 4:30 in the morning. In 5 minutes she is ready for work in the factory. In a cotton-spinning factory, a spinning mule required one adult to work it and the working children helped by cleaning, removing full thread spindles, tying up broken threads etc. There were no safety guidelines in the factories and severe injuries were common.

The working day for children ended at 7:00pm and this continued for six days a week. The Government started to observe these harsh working conditions for children and in 1802 and 1819, laws were passed to assist child workers but conditions didn’t improve as nobody enforced these laws. But around the 1820’s, with the help of people determined to change these circumstances, such as Lord Shaftsbury, a campaign was launched which restricted the use of child labour. Many other reforms also began in the 1800’s in order to improve working conditions for almost all workers.


The affluence brought by trade and organisation lead to a huge development in the Tertiary sector and services such as insurance, banking and stock broking all grew as the economy expanded and as demand increased a wide range of services developed. Modernizations such as telegraphing, typewriters and more recently computers meant that there was an office work boom and loads of space for offices to support government and businesses. From 1960 onwards, city centres had high rise office blocks in prestigious locations and this resulted in further growth of offices located in cheaper, out of town locations such as Croydon.

In offices, working practises have changed swiftly in the last 20 years and as technology developed, the electronic office where computerisation is used has replaced the manual office and workers now need to be trained in the use of software packages such as Word processing and spreadsheets. Fewer workers are needed due to computerisation so the demand for office space has now decreased. Today, office work is characterised by highly paid, high status professional posts that employ a smaller number of inferior administrative and secretarial staff.