This article addresses young people's
transitions to work in an inner city area of Northern England. It
explores the employment of young people who are under the legal school
leaving age in the United Kingdom and the effect this has on their
personal and family life. Two themes are addressed in this article.
Firstly, the effects of employment on school-age young people are
discussed. However, an emphasis is placed on innovations young people
use to adapt their labour market contexts and to strive to increase
their own independence. Secondly, models of transition and citizenship
are challenged in the light of our findings. It is argued that young
people's transitions to adulthood are more complex than some previous
models have allowed, if age, local labour market, family and kinship
networks are taken into consideration.