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Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (AP) – Work and Labour Studies

Location: S740 Ross Building, Tel.: 416-736-2100, ext. 22760
Program Coordinator: TBA
Affiliated Faculty: P. Craven, Social Science; C. Heron, History; J. Kainer, Social Science/Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies; C. Lipsig-Mummé, Social Science; S. Ross, Social Science

Work and Labour Studies is an interdisciplinary program focused on the rapidly changing world of work and its impact on workers. Placing contemporary developments into historical perspective, work and labour studies critically examines the organization and experience of paid and unpaid labour, labour markets, education and training, labour and employment law, collective bargaining, public policies on work and the economy, occupational health and safety, workplace equity, working class culture and communities, and the labour movement. Given its location in Toronto, Canada’s most diverse city, the program pays special attention to the experiences of different groups of workers. Work and labour studies also places particular emphasis on the role that workers, unions and other social justice movements have played in making workplaces, communities and political and economic life in general more democratic, representative and egalitarian. Work and labour studies hopes to inspire students to intervene in their workplaces and communities, so that everyone can benefit from the world of work.

Study in the program opens students up to multiple opportunities for research and engagement. Within York, work and labour studies faculty have active research programs and are linked to a number of programs and research centres throughout the University. Beyond York, work and labour studies faculty maintain active links with Canadian trade unions, skills training bodies, government departments, non-governmental and community-based organizations and international advocacy networks, broadening the world of study and employment opportunities for WKLS students. The program also combines the strengths of academic study with experiential forms of learning: our fourth year Labour Relations Simulation and Labour Studies Placement courses allow students to extend and apply knowledge from classroom study in practical ways that deepen their understanding of the dynamics of work and labour.

The Work and Labour Studies program prepares students for employment in the labour movement, private industry, community and advocacy groups, government service in Canada and internationally, journalism, public or private administration, social work, law or teaching. Work and labour studies students who have earned an Honours degree often continue studies in graduate school or professional programs. Depending on the student's academic background, a graduate degree may be pursued in labour studies or a variety of professional fields and disciplines such as law, industrial relations, occupational health and safety, public policy, global studies, human resource management, political science, sociology, history, environment studies, gender and women's studies, communications or psychology.