We’ve been closely reviewing the outcomes of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment Soft Skills Trial report released in April 2022, and most pleasingly, it’s validated the incredible work we do here at Bounce.
The outcomes from the “Utilising soft skills to enhance the work readiness of job seekers” trial highlighted the importance of preparing job seekers’ psychological work readiness to get them more job-ready.
The report identifies:
Job seekers with more complex barriers to employment (and further education), will often require a significant change in personal circumstances and a conducive external economic environment to find work.
Time spent unsuccessfully looking for work can also erode individuals’ confidence and reduce their motivation to search for work, compounding the existing barriers to employment. Long-term joblessness can therefore have scarring effects, resulting in a greater chance of future periods of unemployment, lower lifetime earnings and poorer physical and mental health.
Research has shown that for job seekers to succeed in finding and keeping work, employment preparation and training interventions must incorporate more than practical job search skills – they must support psychological wellbeing and include resilience, self-efficacy, and confidence.
According to the AtWork Australia Job Seeker Wellbeing Index, one in five job seekers is struggling with their wellbeing, meaning that about 60,000 Australians face real challenges and need additional support.
Several behavioural skills have been identified as potential barriers to securing employment. If job seekers are not equipped with these skills, they may find it challenging to find meaningful and sustainable employment. These skills include:
Resilience & coping skills
So if job seekers’ wellbeing is low, and they don’t have the right skills to overcome the barriers they face, how do we expect them to find a job and keep it?
The skills job seekers really need
More traditional forms of soft skills include communication, teamwork, and problem-solving, which are important once a person is employed. But before a person can achieve the goal of meaningful and sustainable employment, they need to be psychologically prepared.
Psychological work readiness indicators are a category of soft skills that include confidence, self-esteem, resilience, self-efficacy and life satisfaction. When job seekers are able to build and develop these specific psychological work readiness skills, they are better prepared to find work.
The trial results showed that the Bounce Program improves the psychological work-readiness of job seekers, with the most significant gains in confidence, resilience and satisfaction with life.
Bounce Program internal data re-enforces these finding with results demonstrating positive improvement in participants overall wellbeing. The results show: