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Youth employability training: two experiments

Travor Brown (Memorial University, St John's, Canada)
Tara‐Lynn Hillier (National Research Council of Canada, St John's)
Amy M. Warren (Memorial University, St John's, Canada)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 25 May 2010




This paper aims to assess the effectiveness of verbal self‐guidance (VSG) and self‐management on youth employability. It seeks to access the joint effectiveness of these interventions, grounded in social cognitive and goal setting theories, for youth job seekers.


The studies used experimental designs involving participants enrolled in an undergraduate business cooperative degree program. Survey data assessing self‐efficacy and anxiety were collected pre and post‐training. Interview performance was also assessed in each study.


In study 1, it was found that students trained in self‐management and verbal self‐guidance (SMVSG) improved interview performance and reduced anxiety. In study 2, it was found that self‐efficacy and job search effort were higher in the SMVSG group relative to VSG alone.

Research limitations/implications

For study 1, the only measure of employment was a mock interview. For study 2, a limitation was that approximately 25 per cent of participants failed to either complete the post‐training survey or attend the interview.

Practical implications

Overall the studies describe a relatively simple and low cost training intervention, and associated performance measures, that can continue to be used by practitioners and scholars with future groups of youth job seekers.


The paper shows that these studies further support the effectiveness of VSG‐based interventions for employability. The paper also shows the value of augmenting VSG training with self‐management training in the context of youth employability. Furthermore, this research also considered anxiety, a key variable in successful employment that has often been omitted in the literature.



Brown, T., Hillier, T. and Warren, A.M. (2010), "Youth employability training: two experiments", Career Development International, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 166-187.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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