Engaging employers in vocational rehabilitation: Understanding the new significance of knowledge brokers
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAksnes SY. Engaging employers in vocational rehabilitation: Understanding the new significance of knowledge brokers. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation. 2019;50(1):73-84 https://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JVR-180989
BACKGROUND:Policymakers have a growing interest in the role played by employers in promoting labour market participation for jobseekers with support needs. This is reflected in the development of demand-led approaches which adopt employers’ hiring requirements as a starting point for labour market intervention. OBJECTIVE:The article examines the work of job agents, who promote the matching of jobseekers and employers in a Norwegian demand-led approach called Ripples in the Water (RiW). The aim is to understand job agents’ strategic and brokering work of employer engagement. METHODS:Explorative, qualitative study based on interviews and field notes from formal and informal meetings with job agents, employers and jobseekers in RiW. RESULTS:Job agents function as knowledge brokers who connect the discourses of welfare and market. CONCLUSIONS:RiW represents one possible approach to increasing employer engagement in vocational rehabilitation. Job agents in RiW build relations with employers by reframing vocational rehabilitation.