I am about to move into the 2nd year of my PhD research at the University of St Andrews in the Department of Geography and Sustainable Development. My supervisors are: Dr Donald Houston and Professor Robin Flowerdew.
My PhD research is exploring the patterns, trends and changes to self-employment in the UK with the broad aim to conceptualise the geographies of self-employment. The number of people in Self-employment has long been on the rise in the UK since the 1980s and appears to have shown resilience to the recent recessions. There is an opportunity to further explore the geography of self-employment in the UK in more detail and understand how patterns have changed and how it can be situated within micro and macro understandings of the labour market.
I am particularly interested in examining the spatial differences of self-employment and the position of the self-employed within the UK labour market, particularly given the current condition of the economy and labour market.
Questions I want answer include What motivates people to move into self-employment? Conversely, why do people not move into self-employment? What effect has the recession had on self-employment decisions? What risks and barriers to self-employment exist across regions in the UK?
Comments, critique and questions regarding any aspect of the research is welcomed.