We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Realistic expectations : accounting for young people's progress in training programmes.

Devanney, C. (2009) 'Realistic expectations : accounting for young people's progress in training programmes.', International journal of public sector management., 22 (1). pp. 8-20.


Purpose – This paper aims to communicate the challenges and tensions faced by front-line workers in negotiating the demands of performance targets and those of the young people they work with. Design/methodology/approach – An in-depth study, over a two-year period, of a number of training programmes combining participant observation and qualitative directed data collection. Findings – Workers need to be sensitive to young people's previous educational experiences and social context while encouraging participation in education-based work. Personal problems had to be addressed if progress towards the target of education, employment or training was to be achieved. Effective programmes rely on the front-line workers but systems of accountability do not recognise the breadth of this work in handling the wider personal situations of young people. The role of training programmes needs to be better understood within this wider socio-economic context. Research limitations/implications – The study is of a small number of training programmes so it is not possible to generalise from the findings. A limitation of the paper is that the ethical, moral and practical implications of the study are not explored. Practical implications – This paper extends our understanding of the complexity involved in the delivery of training programmes for young people. Originality/value – Providing practitioners working in training settings with an account of the work which may address some of the criticisms often levelled at them. It has potential value to inform policy development, implementation and future forms of accountability.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Please note that there are some differences between this paper and the final published version. This includes minor changes to the text in the abstract and the main body of the paper and some slight changes in the referencing. Contact the author Carol Devanney at for further information.
Keywords:Management accountability, Performance management, Training packages, Youth.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Record Created:24 Mar 2010 14:35
Last Modified:01 Aug 2012 13:03

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitterExport: EndNote, Zotero | BibTex
Look up in GoogleScholar | Find in a UK Library