Tipping points: what participants found valuable in labour market training programmes for vulnerable groups

Tipping points: what participants found valuable in labour market training programmes for vulnerable groups Journal Article

International Journal of Social Welfare

  • Author(s): Graham, John R, Jones, Marion E, Shier, Micheal
  • Published: 2010
  • Volume: 19

Abstract: This article is based on face-to-face and focus group interviews with 72 people who have experienced ongoing difficulties integrating into Canadian labour markets, and who had completed a labour market training programme. Participants were representative of at least one (and often several) categories that inhibited labour market integration: low socio-economic status, Aboriginal status, single parenthood, criminal justice history and being disabled. The major finding: respondents associated life skills rather than labour-market skills with success in overcoming personal barriers to securing and maintaining employment. Life skills involved developing life meaning and interpersonal skills related to personal cognition and behaviours. Valued cognitions identified by participants were gaining a new perspective on life and realising that the past impacts the present. Valued behaviours identified by participants included actions associated with understanding personal characteristics and motivations, and building positive social support and social capital. These insights provide theoretically rich considerations for labour market training programmes and could considerably influence labour market policies and practices, particularly since most training programmes and policies are geared toward human capital (i.e. labour-market skills) accumulation.

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Graham, John R, Jones, Marion E, Shier, Micheal, 2010, Tipping points: what participants found valuable in labour market training programmes for vulnerable groups, Volume:19, Journal Article, viewed 12 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=4559.

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