Supported Employment: Job Readiness Training vs. Learning on the Job

May 25, 2024

Helping your loved one with a disability find meaningful employment is a priority for you.

But have you ever wondered if job readiness training is truly beneficial?

I’ve got all of the details for you below in the video and in written form.

Digging Deeper into Job Readiness Training

At first glance, we often assume that any form of training is beneficial. But let’s dig a little deeper into this, using insights from a study by Zafar E. Nazarov, Thomas P. Golden, and Sarah von Schrader.

Does Job Readiness Training Really Help?

You might think that job readiness or prevocational training is always a good thing. After all, preparation is key, right? Surprisingly, the research tells a different story.

The study found that after controlling for individual and job characteristics, there was a negative correlation between receiving prevocational services and hourly wages. In simple terms, those who underwent prevocational training before job placement tended to earn less than those who learned on the job.

Why Is This the Case?

It’s an interesting finding because you might have assumed the opposite. The detrimental effect seems to stem from the expectations set by providers, consumers, and employers regarding the consumer’s work ability and productivity. Employers tend to view prevocational training negatively, preferring instead the natural, more typical process of learning on the job.

Learning on the Job: The Better Path?

Why do employers prefer this? It’s simple: learning on the job is how things usually work in most organizations. It’s ordinary and typical. Employees are trained by someone who already works at the organization, integrating into the workplace culture and learning directly from their future colleagues.

This approach, often referred to as the “Learn in Place” model, has shown to result in better employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Following a more typical and ordinary path helps to set realistic expectations and fosters a smoother transition into the workforce.

Applying This Insight

You can apply this learning when supporting your loved one with a disability to get paid employment. Look for employment supports that follow the Learn in Place model, rather than the train-then-place model. This shift can make a significant difference in their employment success and overall job satisfaction.

Curious to Learn More?

If you’re interested in learning more about supported employment best practices I encourage you to watch this podcast interview with Milton Tyree, a Supported Employment Specialist.

Learn More about Supported Employment with Milton Tyree here

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