One-to-one employment supports are effective in supporting long-term unemployed in Ireland
One-to-one supports are effective in helping the long-term unemployed with low levels of education to transition into employment.
New ESRI (Economic ans Social Reseach Institute) research in Ireland shows improved employment outcomes among the long-term unemployed who receive employment supports under the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP). SICAP provides funding to tackle poverty, social exclusion and long-term unemployment through local engagement and partnerships between disadvantaged individuals, community organisations and public sector agencies. The programme is administered by Pobal and funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) and the European Social Fund (ESF).
Jobseekers who engaged with SICAP employment supports in 2018 were approximately 18 percentage points more likely to have progressed into employment or self-employment after 3 to 6 months than similar individuals who had not received such supports. These supports were particularly effective in boosting involvement in self-employment.
One-to-one employment supports were found to be key drivers of programme success. These tailored supports covered a range of activities, for example, encouragement, mentoring, job search assistance, CV preparation, and facilitating help in the areas of literacy and mental health, aiding participants to overcome a wide range of practical barriers to employment and self-employment.
SICAP employment supports were found to have distinctive features enhancing their work with more marginalised groups, including flexibility, a holistic approach, staff skills and links with other providers/services. The nature of overall provision is heavily client-led and strongly informed by the kinds of employment available locally.
SICAP beneficiaries interviewed were very positive about the assistance they received, valuing both the one-to-one support and the courses provided.
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