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Social Networks and Employability

Date: January 2008
Category: Report
Author: Pat Quinn, Pete Seaman

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The current economic situation in Glasgow is one with substantial growth in service sector employment and vacancies at a high. However, a significant number of the population remains marginalized from the labour market. Existing policies to tackle this marginalisation have attempted to remedy problems at the levels of individual skills and capacities (labour supply side) and stimulation of jobs growth (labour demand side). Successful though these approaches have been, there still remains a persistent core of the working age population who seem no nearer to finding sustained employment in the city economy.
Preliminary research by the Full Employment Areas initiative (FEA) suggested that client’s social networks could be an additional factor contributing to labour market proximity and likelihood of attaining sustained employment, particularly when the networks are confined to small geographical areas characterised by high levels of worklessness. This research explored these networks through qualitative methods and aimed to build upon and contribute new knowledge of processes underpinning client’s participation in employment. The overall aim was to offer employability agencies better understanding of how to support and advise clients in a holistic manner.