Introduction

This section provides resources for "making the case" for careers, referring to both challenges that careers services can tackle and evidence that such services work.

Career support for unemployed people is largely dominated by Active Labour Market interventions, and covers career advice focussed on employment outcomes. Community and third-sector programmes also provide interventions in this area. The role of career guidance is less prominent in the literature, though some evidence exists that more holistic treatments, which target both the pragmatic need for work with the individual’s emotional state and wider life context, are frequently needed to achieve sustainable transitions to work. Strong economic arguments have also be provided for returning an unemployed person to the workplace.

This page provides references for the landscape and contextual issues, case studies into practice, relevant research-active institutions, relevant publications, and data sources.

Contents


  1. Headlines - Headlines that summarise the high level purpose and value of careers interventions.

  2. Landscape & contexts - Reviews and analysis that describe the environment in which CEIAG operates, and overall impact of CEIAG

  3. Case studies - Examples of realising different, specific benefits for service recipients, and applying to theory to practice

  4. Future research questions - informed by our stakeholders, some candidate topics for future research projects

  5. Relevant institutions - prominent research-active organisations, either commissioning or producing evidence.

  6. Journals/publications - relevant journals and publications for further research

  7. Data sources - open national and international datasets on this group, to provide context.

1. Headlines

The academic literature and many other publications have cited explicit and implicit arguments for careers investments for this group from a number of perspectives. Amongst the common points made are that:

  • Unemployment usually leads to adverse health impacts, which can be both short term and long term in nature (e.g. Brand, 2015).

  • Unemployment is associated with longer term detriment to earnings e.g. an immediate 33% earnings loss and as much as 15% loss six years following job separation (Couch & Placzek, 2010)

  • Where unemployment is suffered earlier in a career, it leads to a higher probability of later unemployment (e.g. Schmillen et al, 2017, ONS, 2021)

  • Unemployment causes an increased chance of family disruption including divorce (Di Nallo et al, 2022)

  • Unemployment leads to short and long term impacts on children including lower self-esteem and higher likelihood of grade repetition, dropout, and suspension or expulsion from school (Johnson et al. 2012; Kalil & Ziol-Guest 2005); lower educational attainment (Kalil & Wightman 2011); and lower income of children in adulthood (Page et al. 2009).
  • Disruption caused by COVID and technology has led, and likely to lead to, unemployment and the need for more people to move between sectors to maintain economic performance (OECD, 2022).

  • People who are unemployed engage less in society and the community e.g. Brand & Burgard (2008)

  • High levels of unemployment in the economy make for more difficult trading conditions for businesses, creating a vicious cycle. As unemployment rises in an economy, Okun’s Law proposes that a 1% drop in employment is associated with a 2% drop in GDP (e.g. Marth, 2015).

  • Returning an unemployed person to the workplace provided an economic benefit of £39k, in research several years ago suggest values would only be higher today (Public Health England, 2017)

  • For more complex cases, careers guidance needs to be part of a more holistic service that accounts for the client’s wider challenges as they can often represent barriers to sustainable redeployment (e.g. De Carvalho, 2024)

  • Previous schemes suggest that purely practical help, that does not address the emotional and wider career needs of client, has limited impact e.g. in the case of the New Deal (Blundel, 2004).

Evidence for the benefits of CEIAG in tackling such issues include:

  • The users of the UK’s national career service, of whom 2 in 3 are unemployed, report over 95% satisfaction rates with the service (UK Government, 2023)

  • Unemployed people participating in interventions in a US study were 2.67 more likely to find work (Liu, 2014).

  • Interventions have been found to return up to 85% of unemployed clients back to work within 6 months (Drosos et al, 2021)

NB: We cover the important specific case of Youth Unemployment in a focussed brief.

2. Landscape & contexts

Selected publications, listed below, cover literature reviews and specific studies that help make the case for careers investment: They describe the opportunities and challenges for CEIAG, and/or evidence for positive outcomes.

Alongside career guidance, we have included some research into ‘Active Labour Market” studies, which typically relate to public programmes, rather than career guidance, to provide a more holistic picture of ‘what works’. Views differ on whether the two belong in the same family of services, though there is clearly a continuum in client needs. We have strived to ensure most are open access, though a few requirement payment (denoted “(Paid)” next to the URL link).

Publications tend to provide one or more of the following types of insight for practitioners, decision-makers or policy makers: U = Understanding users, needs and experiences of career services, P = Developing and evaluating practices, C = Supporting or informing the investment 'case for careers', E = Understanding enablers of success in career service systems, processes and workplaces, and T=  Developing and criticising career theories and frameworks.

NB: We have generally tried to include resources that are free to access, but have included a few important studies that require payment. These are denoted by "(Paid)" next to the URL link in the title column.

Case studies are described in the section below, also denoting studies where theory has been applied to the design of a service, to generate particular outcomes.


Title

Purpose

Brief description

Location

Institute of Employment Studies (n.d.), Publications  (Link)

P C

The institute of employment provide a large back library of reports into programmes and interventions to return people to work

UK

Donohue, R., & Patton, W. (1998). The effectiveness of a career guidance program with long‐term unemployed individuals. Journal of Employment Counseling, 35(4), 179-194. (Link) (Paid)

P C

A career guidance assistance program was undertaken with 58 long-term unemployed individuals, with its effectiveness evaluated through preintervention and postintervention questionnaire. Pre-intervention data indicated that 83% of individuals had never experienced career guidance and that 45% lacked direction in career options. Post-intervention results indicated that 67% of participants believed that the career guidance process was very effective and 91% believed that they had developed more realistic expectations about career opportunities, after the intervention. Qualitative evaluations of the Intervention clustered around positive themes such as increased knowledge of self, improved direction in career goals, confirmation of own perceptions of abilities, and improved confidence.

Australia

Audhoe S.S., Hoving JL, Sluiter JK, et al. Vocational interventions for unemployed: effects on work participation and mental distress; a systematic review. (2010). In: Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995- (Link)

P C

This review included articles published in English, German, Dutch and French between 1990 and August 2008.


It concluded that there was weak evidence to support use of vocational interventions to improve work participation and limited evidence to reduce mental distress in unemployed individuals. Further research was needed.

International

Zikic, J., & Klehe, U. C. (2006). Job loss as a blessing in disguise: The role of career exploration and career planning in predicting reemployment quality. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 69(3), 391-409.  (Link)

P C

Survey results from 215 unemployed UK individuals who received exercises that motivated career exploration found they they went on to enjoy an overall improvement in job quality on their return to work, suggesting a contribution to a sustainable redeployment.


UK

Hasluck, C. and Green, A. (2007). What works for whom? A review of the evidence and meta analysis for the Department for Work and Pensions. Leeds. Department for work and pensions. (Link)
P C
This report for the Department of Work and Pensions was created by researchers at Warwick’s Institute for Employment Research and came at a time of considering the de-centralisation of interventions provision. This is an extensive literature review aimed at providing managers with evidence of each of the various types of provision that they could deploy, and covers young people, unemployed, long-term unemployed and older people. For the employed, there is consideration of advice and guidance, work placements, training, self-employment, specialist support, in work support and others.
UK

Green, A. E., & Hasluck, C. (2009). Action to reduce worklessness: What works?. Local economy, 24(1), 28-37. (Link)

P C E

A literature review by Green (2009) asked the question of what works to address worklessness. The review included and subsumed careers advice: Factors included: “outreach, holistic approaches, individualisation of the service, continuing support over the period of unemployment, partnership working and a role of employers.” Meanwhile, clients that demonstrated, or were guided to demonstrate, “flexibility, motivation and aspirations” had better results.


Peel, M., & Hawthorn, R. (2009). Responding to the economic downturn: How advice practitioners are helping to meet the needs of unemployed adults. Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling. (Link)

P C

The paper includes a review of a service offered in Sussex, predominantly to unemployed members of the community. The type of challenges are described and a survey included to show the positive benefits gained by service users (satisfaction levels of 95%). Specific practices are mentioned, such as training career advisers to diagnose whether clients need a skills health check.

England

Maguire, R. and Nicholles, N. (2013),  Evaluation of Milton Keynes Neighbourhood Employment Programme. Report by nef Consulting. (Link)

P C 

The report evaluated a community based scheme in Milton Keynes, as part of a regional regeneration programme. The focus was on disadvantaged people. Improvements were measured in terms of the confidence levels of service users, and an increased sense of purpose.-


England

Liu, S., Huang, J. and Wang, M. (2014). Effectiveness of job search interventions: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 140 (4):1009-1041. (Link)

P

The study highlighted the importance of clients' practical and emotional needs, by demonstrating a strong effect on reducing the time of unemployed people to return to the workplace when careers interventions combined both skills development (e.g. self-presentation, search skills) and motivational enhancement (boosting self-efficacy). The study found that amongst US job seekers, those participating in interventions were 2.67 more likely to find work.


US

Waters, L., Briscoe, J., & Hall, D. T. (2014). Using protean career attitude to facilitate a positive approach to unemployment. Psycho-social career meta-capacities: Dynamics of contemporary career development, 19-33. (Link)

P U

This is a six month long longitudinal study in Australia where protean career theory is used as the basis for supporting unemployed people to improve confidence. It takes an unusual approach of looking at unemployment as an opportunity to “gain”, rather than seeing it as only a time of “loss”. The approach was found to be able to help people to gain successful re-deployment. 

Australia

Brand, J. E. (2015). The far-reaching impact of job loss and unemployment. Annual review of sociology, 41, 359-375. (Link)

U C

The literature review shows research to describe the overall effects of unemployment on the individual in both the shorter and longer term following unemployment, covering both wellbeing and financial implications.

International

Card, D., J. Kluve and A. Weber (2015), What Works? A Meta Analysis of Recent Active Labor Market Program Evaluations, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit Institute for the Study of Labor. (Link)

P C

The paper reported a meta-analysis of Active Labour Market programmes to demonstrate “what works”. The data comprise a total of 857 estimates of programme effectiveness, from 207 single evaluation studies: Between 60% and 70% of studies showed that interventions that targeted long term unemployment produced positive effects. Of different types of interventions that were tested, “training” had the strongest net positive results, with more than 70% of studies showing positive outcomes (and less than 5% being negative).


International

Gray, D. E., Gabriel, Y., & Goregaokar, H. (2015). Coaching unemployed managers and professionals through the trauma of unemployment: Derailed or undaunted?. Management Learning, 46(3), 299-316. (Link)

P E

The study investigated the use of career coaching approaches with managers who had been successful but found themselves out of work. The results showed a wide mix of results - ranging from those who were helped to learn from their experience and move forward, to those that were hostile to coaching. The results indicate the importance of matching coaching solutions with clients who ready to receive the service.

England

Hodzic, S., Ripoll, P., Lira, E., & Zenasni, F. (2015). Can intervention in emotional competences increase employability prospects of unemployed adults?. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 88, 28-37. (Link)

P C

This is a study of n=73 job-seekers, where the experimental group were given a 15 hour programme that the control group were not. It found that interventions that build emotional competences can help unemployed people gain a strong battery of positive emotional states and emotional management capabilities, associated with both employability and self-confidence.

Spain

Vansteenkiste, Sarah, Marijke Verbruggen, and Luc Sels. (2016) "Flexible job search behaviour among unemployed jobseekers: antecedents and outcomes." European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 25.6 p862-882. (Link)


U

The paper gives insight into job-sekkers: Surveys and data analysis were used to investigate 672 unemployed adults, and primarily whether the willingness to look outside one’s own domain (flexibility) led to better outcomes, as hypothesised in the career profession. Results showed the converse was true.

Belgium

What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth (2016) Evidence Review 1: Employment training (Link)

P C

The report provided evidence for “what works” in terms of training to return people back to work. It presents findings from a systematic review of nearly 1,000 evaluations of employment training  programmes aimed at improving labour market outcomes. Training has a positive impact on participants’ employment or earnings in around half of the evaluations reviewed. Comparisons were made of different modes e.g. In-firm / on the job training programmes tend to outperform classroom-based training programmes.

International

Blustein, D. L., Connors-Kellgren, A., Olle, C., & Diamonti, A. J. (2017). Promising career and workforce development programs and services in supporting the needs of unemployed populations. The Handbook of Career and Workforce Development, 97-123. (Link)

C

A review is carried out of unemployment (and underemployment) in the United States, examining the evidence for a very wide range of different policy and service interventions to tackle unemployment e.g. policies, unemployment insurance, job centres, workplace schemes, job creation programmes, and individual services, and work based interventions.

US

Public Health England (2017), Movement into employment: return on investment tool (Link)

C

The report provides a method and data to derive estimation of benefits from moving an individual from unemployment into sustainable employment. At the time, returns were classified into three areas: a) benefits to the individual (£3,500), b) benefits to society (£23,500), and c) benefits to the exchequer (£12,000) generating a total benefit of £39k.

England

Amundson, N., Goddard, T., Yoon, H. J., & Niles, S. (2018). Hope-centred interventions with unemployed clients. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 17(2), 87-98. (Link)

P C

This study investigates the effectiveness of hope-based interventions (Niles, Amundson, & Neault, 2011) used with clients in employment counselling centres who were experiencing low hope. Specifically, five hope-centred interventions were delivered in face-to-face (F2F; n = 27) and online formats (n = 25). Various scales were used to measure the impacts along with a focus group. Hope competences were raised and lead to clients re-evaluating their career situation more positively.

Canada

Green, A., & Taylor, A. (2018). Desk-based research on ‘What Works’ to support the development of the Employment Support Framework within the West Midlands Combined Authority, City-REDI, University of Birmingham. (Link)

P C

This review represents a summary of key (recent) evidence on ‘what works’ at various stages of the job seeking journey. It draws on international, national and selected local reviews from the academic and policy literature. The literature review shows interventions are possible at seven different stages of the redeployment journey: 1) Stabilisation/ resilience development 2. Referral, engagement and assessment 3. Needs assessment and barrier removal 4. Vocational activity 5. Employer engagement and job matching 6. In-work support and aftercare/ retention service (with either the same or another employer) 7. Progression (in the internal or external labour marke

International

Kenny, M. E., Blustein, D. L., & Meerkins, T. M. (2018). Integrating relational perspectives in career counselling practice. The Career Development Quarterly, 66(2), 135-148. (Link)(Paid)

P

The authors describe how relational perspectives (Blustein, 2011; Flum 2015; Richardson, 2012; Schultheiss, 2003) can be infused in career counselling, with a focus on the concerns of an increasingly stressed and anxious client population. To provide a framework for the application of relational perspectives, the authors integrate and present existing relational theories and frameworks in 4 tenets that have particular relevance for career counselling practice. An in-depth case analysis is provided to illustrate how relational perspectives can be integrated in working with clients experiencing uncertain work and associated relational challenges.

US

Harries, S., and Lewis, S. (2019). Mid Programme Review of the Employability Skills Pilot Programme. Cardiff: Welsh Government, GSR report number 05/2019 (Link)

P C

The study included a review of a programme that offered unemployed voluntary participants support for applications, CVs and job-seeking, a work placement and on-job experience. 55% of participants found a job, but the destinations of 30% of participants became unknown. Work placement opportunities were found to be a vital part of the programme.


Wales

Egdell, V., & Beck, V. (2020). A capability approach to understand the scarring effects of unemployment and job insecurity: Developing the research agenda. Work, Employment and Society, 34(5), 937-948. (Link)

U CThis paper reviews the state of knowledge on longer term scarring effects of unemployment. The paper reviews the extensive literature demonstrating various scarring effects, but also notes that there is a lack fo research into individual perceptions, values, attitudes and capabilities, and how they shape employment trajectories is lacking. The authors look at the challenges through the lens of capabilities for labour market transitions, suggesting an important role for career counsellors.
International

Vehkasalo, V. (2020). Effects of face-to-face counselling on unemployment rate and duration: evidence from a Public Employment Service reform. Journal for Labour Market Research, 54(1), 11. (Link)

P

Though most studies show positive effects of interventions, not all do. This study in Finland found that online and face-to-face counselling interventions lengthened the duration of unemployment by 2-3 weeks, suggesting interventions be more carefully tailored to individual needs.

Finland

Drosos N, Theodoroulakis M, Antoniou AS, Rajter IC. Career Services in the Post-COVID-19 Era: A Paradigm for Career Counselling Unemployed Individuals. J Employ Couns. 2021 Mar;58(1):36-48. (Link)

C

The context of COVID was used to discuss the impact of careers guidance. However, it also showed the importance of psychological support to tackle unemployment alongside careers support. Outcome measures were cited that include 85% of unemployed programme participants finding work six months after the intervention.

Greece

ONS (2021), Which groups find it hardest to find a job following a period out of work? (Link)

C

Using data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Force Survey and the Understanding Society Longitudinal Surveys, this analysis has found that people who struggle to return to work are more likely to experience unemployment scarring effects.

UK

Behrendt, P., Heuer, K., & Göritz, A. S. (2021). The effect of career counselor behavior on reemployment. Journal of Career Development, 48(5), 584-598.(Link)

P C

By observing and analysing 32 career guidance interviews with unemployed clients, the authors found three common characteristics of “high-quality career guidance” where clients received psychological benefits: 1) providing structured guidance during the counselling process, 2) providing personalised support, and 3) activating job seekers’ resources.

Germany

European Training Foundation (2022), Assessment of the effectiveness of active labour market policies in crisis and post-crisis situations. (Link)

P C E

The paper asks “Can active labour market policies (ALMPs) be used to combat unemployment and improve human capital development during the pandemic-induced crisis and in light of trends such as climate change and digitalisation? This report analyses the effectiveness of ALMPs, with particular focus on policy responses implemented in crisis and post-crisis situations, taking as reference the last major economic and social crisis (2008–10) and other crises that impacted the EU neighbourhood countries. Results provide context and opportunity for career guidance.

Europe

Gedikli, C., Miraglia, M., Connolly, S., Bryan, M., & Watson, D. (2023). The relationship between unemployment and wellbeing: an updated meta-analysis of longitudinal evidence. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 32(1), 128-144. (Link)
U CThe authors provide an up-to-date quantitative synthesis of the evidence on the effect of unemployment on wellbeing based on 46 samples reported in 29 studies published between 1990 and 2020. Our sample includes longitudinal studies focusing on developed economies (e. g., EU-15 countries, UK, US, and Australia). Evidence is further developed through further analysis. “By exploring a wider range of wellbeing measures (both mental health and subjective wellbeing) and an extensive set of moderators capturing individual characteristics and country-level factors. In addition to the well-established negative impact upon mental health, our results present a negative relationship between unemployment and life satisfaction.
International

UK Government (2023), National Careers Service satisfaction and progression surveys 2022 to 2023. (Link)

U C

The outcomes for unemployed users of the service cannot be clearly isolated amongst the results. However, 2 in 3 of the NCS users have been unemployed suggesting that they dominate the overall results. The fact that over 95% of service users, with a dominant fraction of unemployed people, are routinely satisfied, suggests a positive experience for the unemployed. Around 50% typically achieved employment progression outcomes too over the measurement period, strongly suggesting a positive contribution by CEIAG to its unemployed clients in terms of helping them return to employment. The report also shows usage of different elements of the service, indicating preferences.

England

de Carvalho, C. L., Taveira, M. D. C., & Silva, A. D. (2024). Integrative review on career interventions with unemployed people: Nature, outcomes, and recommendations. Journal of Employment Counseling. (Link) (Paid)

P C E

This was a review of 324 studies into interventions for unemployed clients, demonstrating the ability for various practices to generate positive outcomes, and different conditions for success. e.g. “Having diverse tailored approaches was proposed as important: “Findings highlight diverse counselling modalities, emphasising group interventions and remote delivery. Tailored approaches, including length, frequency, and social-emotional and career dimensions, are crucial.” Support should be “comprehensive, address the client’s psychological state, goal-oriented, and (offers) post-intervention assistance.”

International



3. Case studies

Some case studies, and collections of case studies, that show outcomes from different practices are listed below (We denote cases where the study represents the explicit application of a theory to the design or interpretation of a practice).

Title

Themes

Brief description

Location

Donohue, R., & Patton, W. (1998). The effectiveness of a career guidance program with long‐term unemployed individuals. Journal of Employment Counseling, 35(4), 179-194 (Link)(Paid)



Developing a career guidance programme for those who have never received guidance before.

A career guidance assistance program was undertaken with 58 long-term unemployed individuals, with its effectiveness evaluated through preintervention and postintervention questionnaire. Pre-intervention data indicated that 83% of individuals had never experienced career guidance and that 45% lacked direction in career options. Post-intervention results indicated that 67% of participants believed that the career guidance process was very effective and 91% believed that they had developed more realistic expectations about career opportunities, after the intervention. Qualitative evaluations of the Intervention clustered around positive themes such as increased knowledge of self, improved direction in career goals, confirmation of own perceptions of abilities, and improved confidence.

Australia

Peel, M., & Hawthorn, R. (2009). Responding to the economic downturn: How advice practitioners are helping to meet the needs of unemployed adults. Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling. (Link)

Considering elements of a local support programme


Supporting disadvantaged members of the communit

The paper includes a review of a service offered in Sussex, UK, predominantly to unemployed members of the community. The type of challenges are described and a survey included to show the positive benefits gained by service users (satisfaction levels of 95%). Specific practices are mentioned, such as training career advisers to diagnose whether clients need a skills health check.

England

Maguire, R. and Nicholles, N. (2013),  Evaluation of Milton Keynes Neighbourhood Employment Programme. Report by nef Consulting. (Link)

Considering elements of a local support programme


Supporting disadvantaged members of the community

The report evaluated a community based scheme in Milton Keynes, UK, as part of a regional regeneration programme. The focus was on disadvantaged people. Improvements were measured in terms of the confidence levels of service users, and an increased sense of purpose.-


England

Waters, L., Briscoe, J., & Hall, D. T. (2014). Using protean career attitude to facilitate a positive approach to unemployment. Psycho-social career meta-capacities: Dynamics of contemporary career development, 19-33. (Link)

Increased confidence and positivity by changing the perspective on unemployment

This is a six month long longitudinal study in Australia where protean career theory is used as the basis for supporting unemployed people to improve confidence. It takes an unusual approach of looking at unemployment as an opportunity to “gain”, rather than seeing it as only a time of “loss”. The approach was found to be able to help people to gain successful re-deployment. 

Australia

Gray, D. E., Gabriel, Y., & Goregaokar, H. (2015). Coaching unemployed managers and professionals through the trauma of unemployment: Derailed or undaunted?. Management Learning, 46(3), 299-316. (Link)

Providing support to unemployed mid career professionals who had previously been successful

The study investigated the use of career coaching approaches with managers who had been successful but found themselves out of work. The results showed a wide mix of results - ranging from those who were helped to learn from their experience and move forward, to those that were hostile to coaching. The results indicate the importance of matching coaching solutions with clients who ready to receive the service.

England

Hodzic, S., Ripoll, P., Lira, E., & Zenasni, F. (2015). Can intervention in emotional competences increase employability prospects of unemployed adults?. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 88, 28-37. (Link)

Increasing emotional competences linked to employability

This is a study of n=73 job-seekers, where the experimental group were given a 15 hour programme that the control group were not. It found that interventions that build emotional competences can help unemployed people gain a strong battery of positive emotional states and emotional management capabilities, associated with both employability and self-confidence.

Spain

Phillips, P. F., & Chen, H. (2018). Emotional intelligence and the role of motivation within the context of career guidance counselling for those experiencing unemployment. Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, 18(1), 1. (Link)

Using measurements of emotional intelligence to diagnose resources needed to support the unemployed

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the impact of emotional intelligence (EI) on motivation,  and consequently to address the question of how to help motivate those experiencing  unemployment to engage in the job search process by improving their EI. Questionnaires were  supplied to clients of a government funded organisation (Northside Partnership) which  provides support to unemployed clients of the service in north county Dublin, Ireland. The  findings demonstrated that the more clients are aware of their own emotions, or the better able  they are at managing others emotions, the more likely they are to be motivated by joy, excitement, and elation at the prospect of potential outcomes.

Ireland

Amundson, N., Goddard, T., Yoon, H. J., & Niles, S. (2018). Hope-centred interventions with unemployed clients. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 17(2), 87-98. (Link)

Running hope-based interventions with clients who are experiencing low levels of hope.

This study investigates the effectiveness of hope-based interventions (Niles, Amundson, & Neault, 2011) used with clients in employment counselling centres who were experiencing low hope. Specifically, five hope-centred interventions were delivered in face-to-face (F2F; n = 27) and online formats (n = 25). Various scales were used to measure the impacts along with a focus group. Hope competences were raised and lead to clients re-evaluating their career situation more positively.

Canada

Kenny, M. E., Blustein, D. L., & Meerkins, T. M. (2018). Integrating relational perspectives in career counselling practice. The Career Development Quarterly, 66(2), 135-148. (Link)

Deploying relational perspectives to reduce anxieties and stress

The authors describe how relational perspectives (Blustein, 2011; Flum 2015; Richardson, 2012; Schultheiss, 2003) can be infused in career counselling, with a focus on the concerns of an increasingly stressed and anxious client population. To provide a framework for the application of relational perspectives, the authors integrate and present existing relational theories and frameworks in 4 tenets that have particular relevance for career counselling practice. An in-depth case analysis is provided to illustrate how relational perspectives can be integrated in working with clients experiencing uncertain work and associated relational challenges.

US

Robertson, P. J. (2018). Developing career capabilities in “NEET” young people: experiences of participants in the Prince’s Trust team programme. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 46(6), 752–764. (Link)(Paid)

Providing a programme to support NEETs

This qualitative study focuses on the impact of a supportive 12-week programme intended to empower young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) to pursue life-career goals, using a so-called “Capability Approach” (Amartya Sen). n=14 young people were interviewed about their experiences and reported a growth in confidence and steps towards pursuing a personally-relevant goal.

UK

Harries, S., and Lewis, S. (2019). Mid Programme Review of the Employability Skills Pilot Programme. Cardiff: Welsh Government, GSR report number 05/2019 (Link)

Anticipating realities of providing a programme of support in the community

The study included a review of a programme that offered unemployed voluntary participants support for applications, CVs and job-seeking, a work placement and on-job experience. 55% of participants found a job, but the destinations of 30% of participants became unknown. Work placement opportunities were found to be a vital part of the programme.


Wales

Behrendt, P., Heuer, K., & Göritz, A. S. (2021). The effect of career counselor behavior on reemployment. Journal of Career Development, 48(5), 584-598.(Link)

Embedding good quality guidance into career discussions

By observing and analysing 32 career guidance interviews with unemployed clients, the authors found three common characteristics of “high-quality career guidance” where clients received psychological benefits: 1) providing structured guidance during the counselling process, 2) providing personalised support, and 3) activating job seekers’ resources.

Germany

Drosos N, Theodoroulakis M, Antoniou AS, Rajter IC. Career Services in the Post-COVID-19 Era: A Paradigm for Career Counselling Unemployed Individuals. J Employ Couns. 2021 Mar;58(1):36-48. (Link)

Considering mental health in supporting clients

The context of COVID was used to discuss the impact of careers guidance. However, it also showed the importance of psychological support to tackle unemployment alongside careers support. Outcome measures were cited that include 85% of unemployed programme participants finding work six months after the intervention.

Greece

Chen, C. P., & Waglay, S. (2024). Career counselling mid-career laid-off workers. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 52(3), 392-404. (Link)(Paid)

Supporting people who are laid off from declining industries or job roles.

The author discusses the situation with mid-career employees who are laid off from the manufacturing sector. Stigma and mental health challenges are discussed. Three different theories are applied within career counselling practices to test their relative effects: Dawis and Lofquist's work adjustment theory; Krumboltz's social learning theory; and Cochran's narrative career counselling.

Canada


4. Future research questions

The CDI discuss research questions and gaps with expert academics. Amongst the common topics that have been proposed as candidates for future research studies, to close gaps in our knowledge, include:

  • Requirements for holistic support covering barriers to sustainable redeployment (e.g. childcare arrangement, finances)

  • Motivations of unemployed people that help with returns to work.

  • The optimal role for different public services in supporting unemployed people with different needs (i.e. career services, job centres, other programmes)

Research agenda have been formulated in adjacent disciplines, which also may contain potential questions that are relevant to the CEIAG sector. These cover, for instance:


5. Relevant institutions

To understand more about this area, it is worth reviewing the work of the following organisations who are active in commissioning or producing research.

Organisations who regularly conduct or commission research, with links to their research or related resources, are listed below:

Name

Description

Careers Wales (Link)

Careers Wales is a public (government funded service) that provides careers information, advice and guidance service for Wales. Careers Wales works with the Welsh Government. Career Wales has a repository for various studies and articles.

Cedefop (Link)

Cedefop is a decentralised agency of the European Union that supports the development of European vocational education and training (VET) policies and contributes to their implementation. As such it publishes a large number of papers and reports – both pan European and into member countries – across most aspects of CEIAG, but particularly covering policy and system level issues.

Department of Education (Link)

The Department of Education, along with the Department of Work and Pensions, are the two Government areas where agendas align with Careers. The Department of Education website provides a section on “Research and Statistics”, and “Policy papers and consultations” guidance and regulation to inform on the national education landscape and challenges. 

Department of Work and Pensions (Link)

The Department uses research to “understand, develop, implement, monitor and evaluate our policies and services.”. While there is a wide span of topics covered, some of the publications may be of interest to careers professionals, such as historic employer surveys.

Euroguidance Network (Link)

The Euroguidance Network is a network of national resource and information centres for guidance. It is a co-operation of centres throughout European countries which link together the Careers Guidance systems in Europe. Their three main pillars of work including support the development of Europe’s lifelong guidance, to support development of practitioners and provide information on European guidance. They publish a range of outputs including a magazine (“Insight”), highlights of the network’s work, results of seminars, and a variety of guides and books.

Institute for Fiscal Studies (Link)

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) considers itself as “the UK’s leading independent economics research institute”. It conducts studies to analyse and inform economic and social policy decisions and to help policymakers – and those who hold them accountable – to understand impacts on individuals, households and businesses..It has a library of several thousands papers and articles, with a segment covering unemployment and associated policies.

International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance (IAEVG) (Link)

The International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance provides global leadership in and advocates for guidance by promoting ethical, socially just, and best practices throughout the world. It disseminates results via the International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance.

International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy (ICCDPP) (Link)

The Centre was established in 2004 to promote policy sharing and learning internationally through making international knowledge and expertise available to policy makers, researchers and career development professionals. The centre links to articles for new key research and policy announcements. and also provides examples of good practice, which give particular coverage to lifelong guidance topics.

International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) (Link)

iCeGS have conducted a high volume of critical national and international studies, specifically into the areas of careers: education, development, and policy etc, for both academic journals, policymaking bodies and careers service providers. Consequently, their research library contains relevant papers and reports to this area, as well as many related topics.

National Careers Development Association (US) (Link)

The NCDA is the United States membership body for careers professionals. As well as publishing periodic larger scale research, practitioners actively contribute short practice articles by way of small-scale evaluation, reflection or learnings. All career stages are covered, including Elementary education, equivalent to Primary in the UK. The NCDA disseminate results in their Career Convergence (shorter form) and Career Development magazine (articles), publish the Career Development Quarterly journal (academic focussed).

OECD (Link)

The OECD publishes a wide range of articles, reports and data-sets that offer context to unemployment, particularly in the “Economy”“Employment”, and “Social and Welfare Issues” parts of their website. In 2021, they produced a survey report on Adult Career Guidance from six countries, describing the different national systems, usage rates, citizen attitudes and experiences, identifying the particular role in unemployment...

Skills Development Scotland (link)

The national body supporting the people and businesses of Scotland to develop and apply their skills. Skills Development Scotland manage Scotland’s career services. The body produces a programme of publications and research into different aspects of the wider employment sector.

Sutton Trust (link)

Sutton Trust is a charity who carry out studies focussing on low social mobility and its causes. It has produced 250+ reports since starting in 1997.



6. Journals/publications

To explore this topic further, we have noted careers research in the following publications: There are also often papers about labour market factors in journals, so papers on understanding different facets of unemployment can be found in journals where the focus is on topics as diverse as economics, psychology, sociology and health.

Name

Description

Asia-Pacific Career Development Journal (Link)

This journal is part of the work for the Asia Pacific Career Development Association. The journal itself is is an international biannual scholarly journal dedicated to all career development and intervention related topics, such as career counselling, individual and organisational career development, work and leisure, career education, career coaching, and career management.

Australian Journal of Career Development (Link)

The journal focuses on current theory, practice and policy relating to the career development and work education field. The target audience includes professionals in educational and academic settings, community and government agencies, business and industrial settings

British Journal of Guidance and Counselling (Link)

The aim of the British Journal of Guidance & Counselling is to publish work that sets trends and provokes fresh thought and innovation in the practice and understanding of counselling, psychotherapy and career guidance. The journal seeks to communicate, enrich and advance theory, research, policy and practice in these fields. 

British Journal of Guidance and Counselling (Link)

The aim of the British Journal of Guidance & Counselling is to publish work that sets trends and provokes fresh thought and innovation in the practice and understanding of counselling, psychotherapy and career guidance. The journal seeks to communicate, enrich and advance theory, research, policy and practice in these fields.

British Journal of Industrial Relations (Link)

A multidisciplinary, international journal of work, labour, and employment relations. It focuses on the institutions, policies, and practices associated with these relations and their implications for matters of economy and society.

Canadian Journal of Career Development (Link)

The journal covers career-related academic research and best practices from Canada and around the world. Studies often review relationships between individual characteristics and their outcomes, and also review or develop different counselling, guidance or coaching techniques.

Career Development International (Link)

Formerly the International Journal of Career Management, the journal covers career development topics, such as the inter-relationship between individual attributes, behaviours and outcomes. A considerable fraction of the papers covers the people within work/organisational settings.

Career Developments Magazine (NCDA) (Link)

The Career Developments magazine is a publication from the US National Careers Development Association. The articles include a strong coverage of practical interventions, with each issue usually focussing on a particular career theme. Articles are US-centric but many articles have transferable learnings.

Career Planning and Adult Development Journal (Link)

This was a US journal that appeared to stop publishing after 2018 (Confirmation of the current status is unknown). However, there is a backlog of papers to 1983, with many being international in orientation. It was an annual publication of the Career Planning and Adult Development Network.

Careerwise (Ceric) (Link)

Career Wise is a Canadian careers news website, which is a programme of Ceric, a charitable organisation that furthers career education in Canada. News and articles are centred on Canada, but frequently contain relevant topics. Articles often cover practical tips, ideas or practices. 

Journal of Career Development (Link)

The journal provides the latest in career development theory, research and practice, focusing on the impact that theory and research have on practice.Covers the application of career theories, career development, career and leisure, career and family, workplace issues, careers in schools, and innovative techniques.

Journal of Employment Counselling (Link)

Covers theory and practice in employment counseling, reports professional experimentation and research, and examines current client vocational problems as well as the professional concerns of counselors.

Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling (Link)

Publishes papers from both academics and practitioners on all aspects of career development, covering career guidance, career education, theory, research, policy, practice; covers the diverse needs of different groups and adopts a multi-disciplinary  perspective.

Journal of Vocational Behaviour (Link)

The Journal of Vocational Behavior publishes original empirical and theoretical articles that contribute novel insights to the fields of career choice, career development, and work adjustment across the lifespan and which are also valuable for applications in counselling and career development programs in businesses and public sector organisations.

International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance (Link)

Publishes articles related to work, leisure, career development, counselling, guidance, and education. Offers coverage with an international perspective, including comparative studies and multi or cross-cultural insights .

The Career Development Quarterly (Link)

The journal mainly covers “career development through the design and use of career interventions, …Articles cover career counselling and development, work, leisure, career education, and coaching and management. The official journal of the National Career Development Association (NCDA), a division of the American Counseling Association.”

Work, Employment and Society (Link)

This is the journal of the British Sociological Association which publishes original research on the sociology of work. It covers a wide range of topics about work, employment and unemployment, and their connections with wider social processes. Many papers address different careers and career contexts, viewed through a social lens.


7. Data sources

Some contextual data sources are provided below. These are particularly useful for studying the prevalence of different situations, trends over time, or for comparing situations with different geographies or groups.

Name

Description

Learning and Work Institute Adult Participation in Learning survey (Link)

An annual survey by the LWI investigates the extent and nature of learning activities undertaken by the adult UK population.

ILOStat. Statistics on unemployment and labour underutilization (Link)
International data and comparisons on unemployment and labour market under-utilisation, to provide trends and context.

OECD Data Explorer (Link)

The OECD measure a wide range of economic and social indicators including education and employment values. Unemployment data is widely covered by country with historic trends typically going back over several decades.

Office of National Statistics - UK Labour market data (Link) and Unemployment data (Link)

Provides monthly estimates of employment, unemployment, economic inactivity and other employment-related statistics for the UK. (Within these sources, the ONS also provide more granular data and analysis, such as variations by region, ethnic groups, gender and duration of unemployment).

Florisson, R. (2024). The UK Insecure Work Index 2024. The Work Foundation at Lancaster University. (Link)
This annual survey conducted at the University of Lancaster measures work (in)security.