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 - |
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|