Facilitating access to wage employment

Where wage employment has been identified as an achievable objective for some or all beneficiaries of a TREE program, post-training supports will be focused on this. At the initial stages of developing the TREE programme and in the feasibility study prospective employers will have been identified and contacted. They may have become involved in the programme as formal partners or participated in awareness-raising and information activities, and they may be included in advisory committees, where relevant.

Public and private employment agencies are important partners for a TREE programme aimed at wage employment for trainees. Where such agencies exist and operate at the local level they will also be identified as partners at the initial stages and may benefit from awareness-raising and capacity building to ensure they can best serve the needs of the beneficiaries. This may be of relevance to persons with disabilities or others facing barriers to employment. Women for example may not traditionally work outside the home, and employment services may be unfamiliar with dealing with their needs and addressing potential employer resistance. In some situations, specialized employment services may exist or be created for programme beneficiaries. In Brazil, there is an employment service specifically for LGBTQ people, and in Pakistan, a TREE program partner acted as an employment service for all programme participants. Disabled Persons’ Organizations may have or be effective partners for employment services to address specific needs of individuals and concerns of potential employers.

Post-training support for wage employment will include:
  • Orientation and familiarization with the work environment. This should happen during the training period as enterprise visits and, where possible, opportunities for workplace learning as part of the training programme.
  • Skills testing and certification. During and at the end of the training, beneficiaries’ skills proficiency should be tested against the requirements established by employers. This may be a formally recognized certification or a level established in consultation with employers as part of the development of the training.
  • Employment readiness for beneficiaries. This includes any additional training or support required for an individual to secure wage employment. Communication skills, coaching for self-confidence and assistance with any transportation or other logistical issues may be required. Financial education is also important to help beneficiaries optimise the management of their personal finances. Depending on the country, formal permission to work may be required from parents or husbands for women or younger adults. Beneficiaries may need to obtain identification documents, register for national health or insurance plans and other documentation.
  • Job exploration. This is an active process of identifying potential employment opportunities and matching employer and beneficiary interests, needs, skills, and experience. Job openings are identified through public sources and active outreach to employers, industry networks and associations. In addition to job openings, outreach to potential employers should identify any additional skill needs for prospective employees and possibilities for placement of trainees as part of the training programme.
  • Job search support, matching and placement. Beneficiaries are assisted with the processes of identifying and applying for employment and with the recruitment process.
  • Follow up and tracer studies. The TREE team keeps close contact with employed participants. After six months of job placement, a tracer study should be conducted to assess whether the wage employment will be sustained in the future.