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Job guarantees, employability training and partnerships in the retail sector

McQuaid, Ronald and Lindsay, Colin and Greig, Malcolm (2005) Job guarantees, employability training and partnerships in the retail sector. Local Economy, 20 (1). pp. 67-78. ISSN 0269-0942

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Abstract

This paper discusses the potential value of local, partnership-based employability training and job guarantee programmes, focusing on one example—the ‘Alloa Initiative’. The Initiative involved an employability training and job guarantee scheme developed in partnership with Tesco, a major retailer, in preparation for the opening of one of the company’s new stores. This paper reports on the outputs from this project, which placed 109 disadvantaged job seekers into positions at the store, and proved particularly effective at targeting the long-term unemployed and those with limited experience of the retail sector. The analysis is based on the findings of survey research undertaken with 86 of the 109 training course completers (a 79 per cent response rate) and all the main partners involved in the Initiative. Innovative elements of the training programme that contributed to its positive outcomes are discussed, and a model for ‘managing successful partnerships’ is applied, in order to identify critical factors explaining the apparent success of the Initiative. In particular, the importance of employers providing job guarantees is noted.