Professionals need routinely to update their labour market information expertise by developing and sharing knowledge. There are many robust and reliable sources, mostly government funded, that are accessible to practitioners who feel confident about handling large data sets. Additionally, many career practitioners have built up their own labour market information website resources, which they use with clients. Clearly, Supported employment providers need to do their own labour market information research and working collaboratively with others to broaden and deepen their understanding of labour market information can enhance this process. Employing organisations need to find ways, including the creative use of ICT to support this process of knowledge transfer.
Supported employment providers frequently find that they are the first port of call when jobseekers/employees that have disabilities have questions about their future career options. Often they feel ill equipped about where to turn to for basic information, or, if required, expert advice and guidance.
Supported employment providers are at the interface between the job market and jobseekers/employees. In a fast changing world, it is unsurprising that they particularly value seeing a careers professional because this gives them 'access to expert knowledge and networks. So, whilst linking them to the labour market isn't the only goal of career guidance, it is hard to imagine any credible attempt at careers guidance that is completely divorced from an understanding of labour market information.
Tools to support supported employment providers labour market information learning can be:
- Self assessment: Reflection on where supported employment provider is in terms of his/her confidence and knowledge when using labour market information in practice
- Exchange: Online discussion forum to talk about issues with labour market information
- Help centre: Online library to support learning and practice
- Action: A range of activities to put learning into practice