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Crivet Unemployed. The effectiveness of labour market oriented training for the long term unemployed

Exploitable results

This research project concerning the effectiveness of labour market oriented training for the long-term unemployed focuses on the question of what works and does not work in training for this target-group. More specifically, it focuses on the process variables (the organisational, curricular and instructional characteristics of training programmes) that might make one training programme more effective compared with another training programme. Among the trainees that have been �interviewed� (during the case studies and the survey), there is a rather low percentage of dropouts. Also the number of trainees that found a (steady) job is rather high. The most important channel for getting a job was �staying� at the job where the practical training took place. There are however, differences between countries in this respect, which seem to relate to the extent of formalisation of the labour market (especially the role of the employment service). Both in terms of output and outcome the training courses seem to be successful. Concerning the impact, characteristics on finding a job, once the training has been completed, some interesting patterns can be detected. On the one hand, it appears that it does not make a difference whether counselling and guidance are provided or not. This is probably due to the fact that nearly all training organisations claim to provide some guidance and counselling. Concerning the type of guidance and counselling provided, there is however an impact on outcome. Providing guidance and counselling on personal (welfare) issues, providing guidance and counselling on further training and providing focussed guidance and counselling during the practical training/work placement period that is: focused on solving problems like conflicts or on technical advice on work related tasks and problems do increase the chance to find a job. On the other hand, some of the factors influencing the output (that is the chance of dropping out), have impact on the outcome as well. Modularisation as such does not make a difference, but the extent to which the course has a fixed duration does. Gearing the duration of the course as much as possible towards the individual capacities does not increase the chance of finding a job, as might have been expected. On the contrary: a fixed duration of the course (similar for all participants) seems to contribute to the chance of finding a job. In addition to this, the relation of practical training and job search training with the outcome is interesting. The closer practical training is to the reality of working life and the more job search training is situated at the end of the course, the bigger the chance of finding a job. This might look like rather cynical results, in the sense that these two process variables also influence dropout. However, there is a (high) probability that the dropouts that responded on the survey are those that left the course towards the end and not the early dropouts (which is more or less corroborated by the indications from the former trainees on the time spent in the training course). In this respect it concerns dropouts that leave the course during the transition stage. Whether or not this should lead to the conclusion that the training as such does not make a difference on dropping out or staying in, is however questionable. Apart from the role of practical training and job search training, the influence of the amount of flexibility and the guidance and counselling remains. In this respect it would be quite interesting to gain more understanding of what might cause early dropout.

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