The 'Employability Gap': towards an understanding of the relationship between long-term unemployment, employability and barriers to work

McQuaid, Ronald W and Lindsay, Colin (2000) The 'Employability Gap': towards an understanding of the relationship between long-term unemployment, employability and barriers to work. In: 5th Annual International Labour Market Conference, 11th - 12th December 2000, Robert Gordon University Aberdeen.

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This paper seeks to identify the main barriers limiting the employability of long-term unemployed job seekers. Employability (according to Hillage and Pollard’s, 1999, definition) is affected by the interaction of four key elements: employability assets (such as key skills and personal attributes); the deployment of assets (e.g. through an awareness of personal abilities and limitations, an awareness of opportunities in the labour market, and a realistic approach to looking for work); the presentation of assets (involving the ability to demonstrate assets and skills in an accessible manner); and, the relationship between the individual’s personal circumstances and wider labour market conditions.
Such an analytical framework assists the discussion of how respondents’ personal characteristics, social and family circumstances, and perceptions of the labour market and their role within it, affect their ability to pursue opportunities and their relationships with other economic actors (most specifically recruiting employers). Each of these four elements are closely linked and characterised by a series of complex inter-relationships. This paper co0nsiders the results of interviews with 115 long-term unemployed individuals, i.e. those who have been unemployed and actively seeking work for more than one year, completed in Edinburgh between April and June 2000. It concludes that these four elements are important, but the balance between them may vary according to the state of the local economy. Specifically the evidence suggests that within buoyant local economies, characterised by high labour demand, individual and family circumstances and attitudes towards the labour market may be relatively more significant barriers to work

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: employability; long-term unemployed; job seekers; labour market; key skills; personal characteristics; local economies;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Edinburgh Napier University, Employment Research Institute
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & social services > 361 Social problems & social welfare in general
300 Social sciences > 330 Economics > 331 Labor economics
Library of Congress Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Item ID: 2760
Depositing User: Mrs Lyn Gibson
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2009 11:32
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2014 14:09

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