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Article
Publication date: 18 March 2021

Martin Loosemore, Suhair Z. Alkilani and Ahmed W.A. Hammad

In Australia, as in many other countries, refugees are over-represented in the ranks of the unemployed, under-employed and precariously employed and often become…

Abstract

Purpose

In Australia, as in many other countries, refugees are over-represented in the ranks of the unemployed, under-employed and precariously employed and often become frustrated in their attempts to secure work. Despite the construction industry being a major potential source of employment for refugees, there has been a surprising lack of research into their experiences of securing work in the industry. Addressing this gap and also the general lack of voice for refugees in construction research, the aim of this paper is to explore the barriers refugees face in securing employment in the construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports a survey of refugees who have worked or attempted to seek work in the Australian construction industry.

Findings

Results show that the main barriers to securing employment in construction are: lack of local work experience; employer discrimination; employer failure to recognise previous qualifications, skills and experience and employers not understanding the challenges they face. Government employment agencies and systems are also perceived to be of limited value and overly complex, in contrast to the activities of not-for-profit support agencies.

Research limitations/implications

While the research is limited to Australia, the findings contribute an important and missing refugee dimension to the emerging body of research on construction social procurement. They also contribute unique sector-specific insights into the broader debate about refugee resettlement and employment. Further research is needed in other national contexts.

Practical implications

Recommendations are made to address the barriers to employment identified including: initiatives to provide refugees with work experience in the industry; education to break-down negative stereotypes of refugees among employers; greater support for not-for-profits supporting refugees and reform of government and employment agency systems and procedures.

Social implications

By enhancing understanding of the barriers to employment for refugees in construction and proposing solutions to reduce those barriers, this research contributes new insights into a growing global challenge of how we better integrate growing numbers of refugees into harmonious and prosperous societies.

Originality/value

The findings are important in facilitating the smoother integration of refugees into society. Beyond the moral imperative, there are significant social, cultural and economic benefits which successful refugee integration brings to host countries and industries like construction which in many countries are now being required to employ refugees in their workforce as a condition of public sector contracts.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Book part
Publication date: 20 July 2017

Angela Hall, Stacy Hickox, Jennifer Kuan and Connie Sung

Barriers to employment are a significant issue in the United States and abroad. As civil rights legislation continues to be enforced and as employers seek to diversify…

Abstract

Barriers to employment are a significant issue in the United States and abroad. As civil rights legislation continues to be enforced and as employers seek to diversify their workplaces, it is incumbent upon the management field to offer insights that address obstacles to work. Although barriers to employment have been addressed in various fields such as psychology and economics, management scholars have addressed this issue in a piecemeal fashion. As such, our review will offer a comprehensive, integrative model of barriers to employment that addresses both individual and organizational perspectives. We will also address societal-level concerns involving these barriers. An integrative perspective is necessary for research to progress in this area because many individuals with barriers to employment face multiple challenges that prevent them from obtaining and maintaining full employment. While the additive, or possibly multiplicative, effect of employment barriers have been acknowledged in related fields like rehabilitation counseling and vocational psychology, the Human Resource Management (HRM) literature has virtually ignored this issue. We discuss suggestions for the reduction or elimination of barriers to employment. We also provide an integrative model of employment barriers that addresses the mutable (amenable to change) nature of some barriers, while acknowledging the less mutable nature of others.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-709-6

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Book part
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Chelsea Mohler, Lisa Klinger, Debbie Laliberte Rudman and Lynn Shaw

The objective of this paper is to report results from a Canadian-based study addressing systems-level barriers that restrict the employment of persons with vision loss…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to report results from a Canadian-based study addressing systems-level barriers that restrict the employment of persons with vision loss, specifically in the experience of searching for and maintaining competitive employment. This paper aims to generate knowledge which may inform strategies and advocacy efforts to enhance opportunities for, and experiences of, paid employment for persons with vision loss.

Design/methodology/approach

This constructivist, grounded theory study used in-depth, semi-structured interviews with seven participants with restricted vision (those who are legally blind) to frame data collection and analyses.

Findings

Three interconnected themes emerged: facing and negotiating barriers, the cyclical process of seeking and keeping employment and settling for second best. Participants described barriers to employment that have been described in previous literature that not only continue to exist, but that act to potentiate one another, resulting in settling for competitive employment experiences that are second best. This represents a type of social injustice that has been previously described as ‘occupational injustice’. We explain this concept and link it to participants’ experiences.

Research limitations

This was a small, geographically bounded study. Nonetheless, the findings resonate with previous research and further our understanding regarding how barriers are experienced.

Social implications

Knowledge gained furthers the understanding of how systemic obstacles restrict and bound the participation of persons with vision loss in the labour market.

Originality/value

While the barriers to employment for persons with low vision have been previously well described, this paper demonstrates how these barriers interact and act synergistically with one another, thereby reinforcing the need to focus on shortcomings at the service, system and policy level, in addition to individual rehabilitation.

Details

Environmental Contexts and Disability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-262-3

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Book part
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Lynn Shaw, Lubna Daraz, Mary Beth Bezzina, Amy Patel and Gillian Gorfine

The objective of this paper was to identify and analyze barriers to hiring persons with disabilities from the perspective of employers and persons with disabilities.

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper was to identify and analyze barriers to hiring persons with disabilities from the perspective of employers and persons with disabilities.

Methodology

A scoping review was used to evaluate both evidence and grey literature. An integrative analysis was employed to explicate the most salient macro and meso level barriers that limit the hiring of persons with disabilities.

Findings

A total of 38 articles from 6,480 evidence literature and 19 documents from grey literature were included in data extraction. Barriers included: negative attitudes in society, by employers and coworkers (macro and meso); workplace barriers (meso) were about lack of employer knowledge of performance skill and capacity of persons with disabilities, and the lack of awareness of disability and the management of disability-related issues in hiring and retention; and service delivery system barriers (macro) were focused on the lack of integration of services and policies to promote hiring and retention.

Social implications

Knowledge gained furthers the understanding of the breadth of social, workplace and service delivery system obstacles that restrict the entry into the labor marker for persons with disabilities.

Originality/value

Barriers to employment for persons with disabilities at the macro and meso level are evident in the literature and they remain persistent over time despite best efforts to promote inclusion. Findings in this review point to the need for more specific critical research on the persistence of social, workplace and service delivery system barriers as well as the need for pragmatic approaches to change through partnering and development of targeted information to support employers in hiring and employing persons with disabilities.

Details

Environmental Contexts and Disability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-262-3

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2014

Margaret Coffey, Anne Coufopoulos and Karen Kinghorn

– The purpose of this paper is to explore barriers to employment for visually impaired (VI) women and potential solutions to those barriers.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore barriers to employment for visually impaired (VI) women and potential solutions to those barriers.

Design/methodology/approach

Mixed methods, comprising three phases; first, exploratory interviews with VI women (n=6) and employers (n=3); second, a survey to assess the barriers to employment experienced by this group (n=96); and third, in-depth interviews with VI women (n=15). This paper reports phases 2 and 3.

Findings

The most commonly reported barriers to work were: negative employer attitudes; the provision of adjustments in the workplace; restricted mobility; and having an additional disability/health condition. Significantly more barriers were reported by women: who reported that their confidence had been affected by the barriers they had experienced; with dependents under 16; and women who wanted to work.

Research limitations/implications

Key solutions to these barriers included: training for employers; adaptive equipment; flexibility; better support; training and work experience opportunities; and more widely available part-time employment opportunities.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the literature in respect of the key barriers to employment for VI women, together with providing key solutions to these barriers.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2018

Abeer Alfarran, Joanne Pyke and Pauline Stanton

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effectiveness of the Saudi employment programme “Nitaqat” in addressing institutional barriers to women’s employment in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effectiveness of the Saudi employment programme “Nitaqat” in addressing institutional barriers to women’s employment in the Saudi private sector. The paper has a particular focus on the perspectives of unemployed women as the intended recipients of increased employment opportunities.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts a qualitative approach, drawing on findings from face-to-face interviews conducted with two groups of stakeholders, government officials and unemployed Saudi women.

Findings

Four key findings are identified. First, the considerable cultural and regulatory barriers of a conservative society are resilient impediments to the success of Saudi employment policy. Second, discrimination against women is endemic in the Saudi society; however, it is largely unrecognised within the Saudi culture and often accepted by women themselves. Third, due to government regulations, cultural constraints and the gendered educational system, the private sector contributes to sustaining labour market segmentation through discriminatory practices. Finally, while a positive change is taking place in Saudi Arabia regarding women’s employment, it is incremental and uneven.

Originality/value

This paper provides new insights into the institutional barriers related to the labour force participation of Saudi women from the perspective of Saudi women themselves.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 37 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2018

Elimma Ezeani

This paper aims to investigate the challenges faced by Nigerian university graduates youths, in finding suitable employment or in embarking on entrepreneurship ventures.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the challenges faced by Nigerian university graduates youths, in finding suitable employment or in embarking on entrepreneurship ventures.

Design/methodology/approach

The research investigates the barriers to graduate employment and entrepreneurship in Nigeria starting from the hypothesis that there are other factors besides scarcity of jobs responsible for unemployment in Nigeria. Data from two qualitative research activities were analysed and the results tested, to determine the extent to which the research findings supported the initial hypothesis.

Findings

The findings confirm the researcher’s hypothesis that there are a number of factors, the two main ones being poor government policy and investment in education and low skills and technical incompetence of graduates, which constitute barriers to employment and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

Practical implications

The findings are clear on the urgency to revisit the Nigerian education and skills curricula and its capacity to facilitate employment and entrepreneurship, and government policy-making in this regard.

Originality/value

This study bases its recommendations for addressing Nigeria’s high graduate unemployment on empirical direct engagement with the primary stakeholder, that is, the Nigerian graduate. It clearly identifies that it is not merely scarcity of jobs but a myriad of factors requiring the urgent attention of both public and private sectors that constitute barriers to graduate employment and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4604

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2021

Timo Lorenz, Chelsea Rebecca Brüning, Mitzi Waltz and Marc Fabri

The purpose of this paper is to reveal barriers and their coherences between discrimination and self-perceived employability which students and employees on the autism…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reveal barriers and their coherences between discrimination and self-perceived employability which students and employees on the autism spectrum often face and need to overcome. These include discrimination based on disability, when applying for a job or retaining employment. This research located barriers in three different categories: formality – problems that focus on organizational structures in the application process; social – communication and interaction problems; and job demand barriers – obstacles that epitomize work-related strains.

Design/methodology/approach

Barriers and discrimination can prevent individuals from accessing the labor market which can lead to severe consequences for an individual on the autism spectrum, such as poverty, social deprivation or lack of health promotion and equal treatment. Self-perceived employability can be regarded as an additional strength, as it describes the perception of an individual’s own skills and versatility to acquire and keep a job. In total, 53 German-speaking individuals on the autism spectrum participated in an online survey.

Findings

Results showed statistically significant coherences between both, formality and social barriers with discrimination. Formality barriers also indicated statistically significant coherences with self-perceived employability. A mediation model with discrimination as mediator between each category of barriers and self-perceived employability was examined. The non-significant results suggest that discrimination does not work as a superior construct but as a sole influence next to barriers and self-perceived employability.

Originality/value

Individuals on the autism spectrum epitomize a less common research approach. Moreover, diversity policies and practices in the workplace often do not focus on including individuals on the autism spectrum even though the employment rates for this specific group of potential highly qualified employees were reported to be consistently lower when compared to any other group of disabled people. Findings suggest possible starting points for future research, which are discussed alongside practical strategies to overcome barriers and change discriminatory attitudes toward skilled individuals on the autism spectrum.

Details

Advances in Autism, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3868

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1981

Derek L. Bosworth and Peter J. Dawkins

The post‐war period has been characterised by a persistent and substantial expansion in the employment of women. At the same time, women have become increasingly protected…

Abstract

The post‐war period has been characterised by a persistent and substantial expansion in the employment of women. At the same time, women have become increasingly protected in employment by a legislative framework that includes the Equal Pay Act (1970), the Social Security and Pensions Act (1975) and the Sex Discrimination Act (1975). Nevertheless, a number of vestiges of discrimination under the law still remain, such as the special treatment of women with regard to the length and timing of their paid employment. Despite the attempts to remove discrimination by legislation, there remains a considerable groundswell of opinion that there are still substantial differences in the treatment of women vis‐a‐vis men in employment. One continuing concern is the tendency of the organisation of tasks to polarise into men‐only and women‐only jobs. As a result, it has been argued that the situation approximates to a dual labour market, with women being funnelled into the secondary labour market. Complex, interacting forces are at play that make the estimation of statistical models of the existing distribution of employment by sex (from which evidence of sex discrimination might be sought) extremely difficult. A potentially more rewarding approach is to examine those jobs that employers believe to be of the men‐only or women‐only types. Questions of this type were included in a recent survey of employers across all sectors of employment in British industry. While the formulation of such questions and the interpretation of the results are associated with important problems, nevertheless, the survey provides a useful impression of the size and nature of the barriers faced by women in their search for employment opportunities and the manner in which these barriers may be broken down.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2021

Beatriz López, Niko Kargas, Julie Udell, Tomáš Rubín, Linda Burgess, Dominic Dew, Ian McDonald, Ann O’Brien and Karen Templeton-Mepstead

The purpose of this study was to explore the views of autistic people, carers and practitioners regarding the barriers autistic employees face at work (Study 1) and to use…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to explore the views of autistic people, carers and practitioners regarding the barriers autistic employees face at work (Study 1) and to use these views to inform the design of an employment programme for autistic employees without learning disabilities (Study 2).

Design/methodology/approach

In Study 1, 16 (20%) carers, 17 (21%) practitioners and 47 (59%) autistic adults who had been or were currently employed, answered a survey regarding barriers at work. Study 2 evaluates the efficacy of a set of profiling assessment tools (PA) developed to help employers make individually-tailored adjustments for their autistic employees by delivering an employment programme consisting of 15, 8-week work placements.

Findings

In Study 1, only 25% of autistic adults reported having had adjustments in the workplace and all groups reported this as the main barrier – alongside employers’ lack of understanding. Two sets of results demonstrate the efficacy of the PA tools in addressing this barrier. First, a comparative cost simulation revealed a cost-saving in terms of on-job support of £6.67 per participant per hour worked relative to published data from another programme. Second, 83% of autistic employees reported having had the right adjustments at work.

Research limitations/implications

This is an exploratory study that did not include a comparison group. Hence, it was not possible to evaluate the efficacy of the PA tools relative to a standard employment programme intervention, nor to assess cost reduction, which currently is only estimated from already available published data.

Practical implications

Overall the findings from these studies demonstrate that the time invested in the high-quality assessment of the profile of autistic employees results in saving costs over time and better outcomes.

Originality/value

The originality of the Autism Centre for Employment programme resides in that, unlike other programmes, it shifts the focus from helping autistic employees to helping their employers.

Details

Advances in Autism, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3868

Keywords

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