BDO Digital guides exploration to alternative service provision to improve employment opportunities and perception of people living off income support
15 August 2019
In collaboration with VVSG (Association of Flemish Cities and Towns) and with the support of the European Social Fund (ESF), we started a new exploration Social Design trajectory in which we will focus on people who are on the hunt for a job and receive help from OCMW’s.
How we perceive jobseekers in our society is influenced by several factors. That mental image, however, is often far from objective and is frequently negatively influenced by both interactions a person involved has with his/her social environment and the interactions those members of that social environment have amongst each other and with their own social environment. As a result, this social perception influences OCMW managers and their activation practices. To say it in other words: social workers of the OCMW are directly influenced in their search for job seekers.
That is another argument considering the perception of job seekers and why we need to focus even more on the way we tackle the shortcomings of those people. This includes among others how they spend their time, the characteristics of their behaviour, their motivation and attitude.
Today, the majority of the services offered focuses mostly on changing the behaviour of the job seeker and rarely on losing the perception itself. As a result, those who live off of income support at the moment, are less lucky to find a good work environment and to match with an employer who fits their needs. Paradoxically, the existing image is reinforced, which makes integration in society practically impossible.
For that reason, we explore alternative ways of service provision that reinforces the position of people who live off of income support (and potentially other job seekers) on the labour market, resulting in a positive effect on their perception.