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‘They really get you motivated’: Experiences of a life-first employment programme from the perspective of long-term unemployed Australians

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 February 2016

RUTH WALKER
Affiliation:
Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia5001. email: ruth.walker@flinders.edu.au
LYNSEY BROWN
Affiliation:
Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100 Adelaide, South Australia5001. email: lynsey.brown@flinders.edu.au
MEGAN MOSKOS
Affiliation:
National Institute of Labour Studies, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia5001. email: megan.moskos@flinders.edu.au
LINDA ISHERWOOD
Affiliation:
National Institute of Labour Studies, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia5001. email: linda.isherwood@flinders.edu.au
KATY OSBORNE
Affiliation:
Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia5001. email: Katy.Osborne@tua.edu.au
KATE PATEL
Affiliation:
Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia5001. email: kateb1979@hotmail.com
DEB KING
Affiliation:
School of Social and Policy Studies, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia5001. email: deb.king@flinders.edu.au

Abstract

Long-term unemployment can negatively impact health and well-being, and is a central focus of governments seeking to address poverty and social exclusion. Little is known about how individuals experience programmes aimed at addressing long-term unemployment and consequently the client-centred indicators of ‘success’. In-depth interviews were carried out with 31 long-term unemployed individuals engaged in a ‘life-first’ programme integrating vocational assistance with intensive personal strengths-based support. The participants in this programme faced multiple disadvantages including employment and educational barriers as well as a range of significant personal issues. They equated successful outcomes in the programme with receiving a wealth of psychosocial and practical assistance in addition to vocational support, and having a case manager who approached these issues as a whole. Findings suggest that, in order to provide the best chance of gaining and maintaining employment, programmes should address, in tandem, personal and vocational barriers facing those who are long-term unemployed.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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