Employment councelling: what works for disadvantaged people
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The research aimed at identifying the ‘active ingredients’ in effective help for disadvantaged people in finding sustainable employment. A survey of over 200 research studies and papers was undertaken, giving priority to the randomised controlled trials (RCT) and independent studies. Parallel findings from good quality research in the field of psychology, interpersonal counselling and motivation were introduced. The quality of relationship between counsellor and unemployed client was found to be the most significant factor in successful support, and detailed descriptions of relevant counselling skills and behaviours are available. Methods that build self-efficacy enhance job selection, search, competition and job-keeping skills among clients. Direct contact with employers provides useful information on vacancies and job tasks and can help overcome prejudice. Programme design can influence outcomes positively or negatively. The research has been developed as a curriculum for skills of employment counsellors.