‘Light green uniforms, white aprons and caps’
Training unemployed women
in Working men’s bodies
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Women never seem to have entered the thinking of those who developed and ran government work camps. After the Great War, rising unemployment among women workers led to a number of training programmes designed to produce domestic servants, and from the mid-1920s these increasingly included residential training centres. Initially, these were jointly developed with the Australian government, which sought to recruit white young women with domestic skills. After 1929, the training centres were redesigned to produce domestic servants for the British labour market. The centres were managed nationally by an arm’s length non-governmental body, which provided a forum for female policy makers to develop their own labour market measures, but these were always constrained by the focus on domestic service.

Working men’s bodies

Work camps in Britain, 1880–1940


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