Employers attempt to shape employees' work identities through the organisation of work. However, they are partly constrained by employee expectations related to education and training, the occupational structure and the labour market. Employees, individually and collectively, also attempt to influence how their work is performed and play an active role in shaping their own work identities. Work identities are therefore influenced both by structural factors and the agency of employers and employees. This article concentrates upon how individuals working in engineering seek to shape their own work identities. An overview of the broad structural context of working in engineering and metal working in France, Germany, Spain and the UK is given, followed by an outline of how employers sought to shape work identities.
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