Informed by the notion of micro-institutionalism, this paper aims to investigate the implementation of old-aged activation policy from a street-level bureaucratic perspective. By conducting qualitative in-depth interviews with 18 social workers from the Non-Governmental Organisations providing employment services for older jobseekers, the findings demonstrate how service providers navigate in frontline interaction, organisational settings, and macro-systemic contexts. First, interviewees display a relational and life-course understanding of old-aged employment, re-negotiating the meanings of employment services and building up trustful relationship with welfare recipients. Second, the professional identity of social workers appears to go beyond the role of gatekeeper, in which they mediate the expectations from the organisations and government. Finally, interviewees suggest that older jobseekers’ actual employability is significantly constrained by the labour market conditions, which adversely affect the service outcomes. The first contribution of this paper is to link micro-institutionalism to the implementation of activation policy for older unemployed claimants, with an age-specific emphasis on delivering employment services. Besides, this study adds empirical value to the studies on employment policy in East Asian contexts, showing the dynamics beyond the work-first model of activation in a productivist welfare regime.
|Publication status||Published - 23 Jun 2022|
|Event||International Symposium on Social Policy and Social Services Challenges in the Greater Bay Area - Lingnan University / Zoom , Hong Kong|
Duration: 23 Jun 2022 → 23 Jun 2022
|Symposium||International Symposium on Social Policy and Social Services Challenges in the Greater Bay Area|
|Period||23/06/22 → 23/06/22|
|Other||An International Symposium on Social Policy and Social Services Challenges in the Greater Bay Area will be held on 23 June 2022 in a hybrid and bilingual mode. The symposium is co-organised by the Asia Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies and Lingnan University-South China University of Technology Joint Research Centre for Greater Bay Area Social Policy and Governance, and is also supported by the School of Graduate Studies, Institute of Policy Studies, and Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Lingnan University.|
This International Symposium will be joined by a group of respected scholars worldwide to share their latest research and perspectives concerning social policy and social services challenges in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA). The themes will be explored at the Symposium include 1) The GBA Development and Implications for Cities and Urban Governance and 2) Social Services Challenges in the GBA.