'Most of industry's shutting down up here. . .': employability initiatives to tackle worklessness in areas of low labour market demand

K. E. Joyce, K. E Smith, C. Sullivan, C. Bambra

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Employability initiatives are becoming increasingly popular in government discourse as a means of tackling worklessness. Here we discuss the findings of a small-scale, qualitative study which mapped the impacts of a multi-intervention programme on participants’ health, wellbeing and employability. Each of the 13 interventions was independently appraised through focus groups or semi-structured interviews. Thematic analyses revealed that participants from all interventions reported increased self-confidence, with several individuals suggesting that project involvement had facilitated their movement into the labour market. While the findings illustrate some positive outcomes, we argue that government policy needs to consider more carefully strategies that also address the demand side of the labour market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-353
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Policy and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


  • employability initiatives
  • wellbeing
  • labour market

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