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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Career guidance for the long term unemployed : case studies on the experience of being in a job readiness program Coulombe, Michelle A.


The experiences of three Caucasian single mothers, who have been receiving social assistance for at least nine months were explored using a case study design. The women, ages 38-46, attended a job readiness program in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. It included 26 weeks of life skills training, career testing and exploration, job search strategies, computer training, academic upgrading, and work placements. Information was gathered through interviews, researcher observations, documents, follow-up phone calls, and phone calls to program staff. Each case is presented individually and common themes as well as the uniqueness of each case are discussed. All of the women came onto welfare because of a relationship break. During the program, their lives were exceptionally busy with homework and childcare, and some of them felt overwhelmed. Other emotions experienced were feeling nervous, scared, depressed, and proud. Counselling issues raised included confidence, assertiveness, self-esteem, empowerment, self-worth, and family of origin. Self-awareness of their personality, skills, values and interests increased during the program, contributing to their career development. All three women reported being very satisfied with the program.

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