The DRIVERS project: The role of employers in providing employment support to disadvantaged job seekers

Good quality work contributes to health and wellbeing, while poor working conditions increase exposure to physical and mental stress. Health-averse conditions are more common in low status jobs.

Employers can play an important role in reducing these social and health inequalities, particularly for people from disadvantaged groups. Research carried out in partnership with academics from the University of Düsseldorf explores what companies can do to support people facing barriers to work as they seek to gain and sustain employment.

A number of qualitative methods were used, including interviews with a sample of companies participating in our Ready for Work programme, to find out what provisions were offered by companies to support disadvantaged groups.

The research found that the most common provisions include:

  1. Partnering with specialist agencies to deliver employability services

  2. Creating inclusive recruitment practices to make it easier for people to apply for jobs

  3. Providing dedicated support to help disadvantaged people settle into their job

  4. Corporate parenting to meet specific needs of the individual

  5. Flexible work arrangements and financial support

This research forms part of the DRIVERS project, a major pan-European study (2012-15), funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme, into three key drivers for health: fair employment, social protection and early childhood development.

Download the Employers Briefing to read a summary of the research and what it means for employers.