Survey Project results related to HRD in Europe

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The effectiveness of labour market oriented training for the long-term unemployed
Concept Trends Findings Practice Challenge
Synopsis Findings of the research into the effectiveness of labour market oriented training for the long-term unemployed include the following:

(1) Characteristics of training organisations
Apart from the differences in (national) regulations and funding arrangements, which partially determine the differences in organisational and curricular characteristics between the courses, it is quite clear that the labour market as such is particularly relevant for the effectiveness of the training in terms of its outcomes.
At internal level it seems that the curricular and especially the instructional characteristics are of greater influence on the output and particularly the outcomes of the courses than the organisational characteristics, even though the organisational characteristics set the stage for further developing particular curricular and instructional characteristics  (Brandsma 1999, pp. 8, 10).

(2) Motivation of trainees
The most important reasons for enrolment in training programmes include getting a job or improving the chances to get a job, together with a certain personal interest in the subject of the course. Reference to being pressured to enrol or financial reasons (loosing benefits or gaining additional benefits) are hardly mentioned (Brandsma 1999, p. 10).

(3) Provision of courses
Overall it seems that the practical training (either practical training within an enterprise or the practical assignments and exercise within the training centre) is valued most. Where a period of work placement or practical training was expected and not provided, this is perceived by former trainees as a drawback and one of the characteristics on which they judge the course negatively. Concerning the learning outcomes, former trainees often mentioned the job or occupation specific knowledge and skills, communication skills, increased self-esteem or self-confidence and acquisitions of job search skills (Brandsma 1999, p. 10).

(4) Finding a job
Evidence suggests that work placements or traineeships during the course are good vehicles for getting into a job. Among the channels for finding a job, staying on with the employer of the work placement is the most important. Other channels are own applications (especially in Ireland), informal channels (especially the UK), the employment agency (especially Norway) and through the training centre (especially in Belgium). What parts of the course are considered as having been helpful for find a job? Job related skills and the practical training (within an enterprise) receive the highest score, but also the job related theory and the general knowledge are considered as having been helpful. The training in job search skills is in this respect the least valued (Brandsma 1999, pp.  15-16).

Reference Details of these and further findings, based on both comparative case studies and survey research, are presented in the final project report (Brandsma 1999). 
See also project info on UNEMPLOYED.
Descriptors D-CVT  EP02  EP08        E10b
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Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO