02 SES 02 A, Inclusion of Disadvantaged Individuals
Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISEs hereafter) are a resource aimed at the social and labour insertion of people at-risk or in situation of exclusion. They have as one of their main aims the employability of people in situations of vulnerability or exclusion, which are hired as Integration Workers (IW hereafter). In this regard, WISEs intend to make employment accessible to people who have not had opportunities to participate in productive processes establishing links with the ordinary labour market and therefore showing that learning at work and employment itself may be inclusive. In Spain, in 2015, around 3117 people were hired as IW on the data offered by 188 WISEs of the Social Report of 2015 of Work Integration Social Enterprises (FAEDEI, 2015). They had an insertion percentage of 52.34% both in the ordinary labour market and in the WISE itself.
Instead of focusing on improving individual and personal aspects to foster employability, we strongly believe that employment policies should focus on the contextual conditions that produce unemployment and consequently, exclusion. In this regard, we consider a multidimensional conception of employability in which personal and contextual interact, so that we guide our analysis towards the configuration of the social processes that occur in the WISEs.
The concept of employability takes centre of stage in the 1980s from its origins in the beginning of the 20th century (Suárez, 2016). For many years, it has been approached from a perspective that considers that the person is the one responsible for their situation (educational, social and labour) and for acquiring the competences for achieving their inclusion. Faced with this approach, we consider necessary to have a broad understanding of employability in order to have a balance between the individual responsibility and the social one (Forrier & Sels, 2003; Williams, Dodd, Steele, & Randall, 2015). That is, between the improvement of personal competences and the development of accessible labour environments.
In this regard, WISEs obey a double and complementary logic. On the one hand, they allow people in situation of vulnerability to improve their employability and access the labour market through the training and the personal, social and labour orientation they offer. On the other hand, they make employment accessible to people who have not had opportunities to participate in productive processes thus reinforcing their inclusive aim. As explained by McQuaid and Lindsay (2005), these initiatives focus on the demand and the supply of employment. From a conceptual point of view, they consider that the responsibility for the inclusion of those more vulnerable corresponds to both the individual and the institutions and social agents (SIIS, 2011).
On the basis of these assumptions, the study we present in this paper is based on a comprehensive model in which the learning processes that take place in WISEs are understood as learning trajectories, in which personal and contextual factors result in the improvement of employability of the IW of these enterprises. More precisely, we will present those contextual factors more determinant in the process of improving employability.
This work is being developed within the framework of a larger project (EDU2013-45919-R) —Educational, accompanying, qualification and personal developmental processes in Work Integration Companies: innovating social inclusion through employment— funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. As explained in Marhuenda (2017), this project aims to study the educational practices in the WISEs and their effects upon the transitions of workers into the ordinary labour market and, therefore, upon their social inclusion.
We will present the instrument developed to analyse the external factors of employability in WISEs. The “Questionnaire on external factors of employability” (CUFEE) tries to measure those factors that have an impact on the employability considering the opinion of their workers. It is structured in 4 dimensions with 12 sub-dimensions and 70 items. 31 WISEs were involved in the process of its validation, with a total of 53 questionnaires completed by 47 professionals with several profiles. In the elaboration of the questionnaire, a mixed methodology was carried out combining a qualitative approach through which the instrument was constructed into dimensions, sub-dimensions and items for measuring the external factors of employability, with a quantitative methodology developed for verifying the reliability of the questionnaire. The qualitative part had as main aim to identify, order a construct a set of factors for describing the external factors of employability of the WISEs. It had three phases: i)The development of the prototype, which was developed together with the project EDU2013-45919-R research team. Seven researchers of the team were asked to identify those external factors of employability on the basis of the fieldwork conducted in several WISEs. 93 factors were collected and after two categorizations, they were specified into 63 items grouped in 4 dimensions and 15 sub-dimensions. ii)The first version of the instrument and the pilot test. In this phase, some members of the research team used the prototype in order to complete it with the data they had collected in several WISEs. This allowed simplifying and adjusting the questionnaire. After these modifications, some workers of WISEs assessed the questionnaire, too. After some suggestions, we developed the fourth version of the instrument as a self-completed questionnaire. iii)Elaboration of the definitive version of the questionnaire: having the last version of the questionnaire, we had a last review of all the items carried out through a consultation with experts and professionals of WISEs that reported on those items that raised doubts in their completion. Once the final design of the questionnaire was made, we proceeded to conduct a pilot study to analyse and verify its psychometric characteristics developed from a quantitative study involving 31 WISEs of Spain. We are going to present these results in this paper, including the external factors identified as well as the results on the psychometric characteristics of the questionnaire.
As pointed out previously, the main aim of our work is to develop an instrument to measure the external factors of employability in WISEs. We are able to conclude two types of results from the process carried out. On the one hand, we provide the design of an instrument that allows the analysis of the external factors of employability of the WISEs. On the other hand, we offer some results on the psychometric characteristics of the designed instrument. On balance, the results obtained provide information about those dimensions that have a greater development in the WISEs and also about those that could be improved. We also establish some relations between the results in different dimensions and variables of WISEs, such as their characteristics, their insertion rates of the professional sectors they are involved into. In this regard, these results may help us to better understand the productive and training processes that take place in the WISEs, as well as to make proposals for improvement. Thus, we aim to provide strategies that may improve the inclusion of those more vulnerable in the labour market.
Faedei (2015). Memoria Social 2015. Empresas de Inserción Laboral. Madrid. Retrieved from http://www.faedei.org/images/docs/documento64.pdf Marhuenda Fluixá, F. (2017). Learning at work: Researching personal development and competence building in work integration companies. Educar, 1-19. Retrieved from http://educar.uab.cat/article/view/ep-marhuenda-fluixa/801-pdf-en McQuaid, R. W., & Lindsay, C. (2005). The concept of employability. Urban studies, 42(2), 197-219. SIIS (2011). Activación y derecho a la inclusión en el marco de las políticas de empleo y de garantía de ingresos en la CAPV. Retrieved from http://www.siis.net/documentos/ficha/197806.pdf Suárez, B. (2016). Empleabilidad: análisis del concepto. Revista de Investigación en Educación, 14(1), 67-84. Forrier, A., & Sels, L. (2003). The concept employability: a complex mosaic. Int. J. Human Resources Development and Management, 3(2), 102–124. Williams, S., Dodd, L., Steele, C., & Randall, R. (2015). A systematic review of current understandings of employability. Journal of Education and Work, 29(8), 877–901. https://doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2015.1102210
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