McQuaid R & Fuertes V (2014) Sustainable integration of the long term unemployed: From Work First to Career First. In: Larsen C, Rand S, Schmid A & Keil R (eds.) Sustainable Economy and Sustainable Employment: Approaches to Measuring Sustainability in Regional and Local Labour Market Monitoring. Munich: Rainer Hampp Verlag, pp. 359-373. http://www.hampp-verlag.de/
In recent decades, governmental approaches to employment activation policy in many countries have been driven by principles of individual skills development with a focus on “Work First” approaches. While moving into work is seen as the main way out of poverty for working-aged unemployed people, this may be primarily the case where the job is not a low paid or when it is a “stepping stone” to better employment. However, in some cases the type of job or job conditions lead to a cycle of low-pay no-pay due to work being in most cases economically unsustainable. This indicates the need for sustainable work in order to move people out of poverty and if the productive potential of the person is to be realised. This paper considers the move from a “Work first” policy orientation towards a more sustainable “Career first” approach with a greater emphasis on the quality of jobs, job progression and longer-term career progression.
work first; long-term; unemployment; careers first;