WorkNet began as a World Vision’s National Employment project in California during the recession of the 1980s. Its mandate was to assist the most difficult-to-help achieve self-sufficiency. Several years later, the name was changed to WorkNet, and the WorkNet Model was developed.
The WN Model recognised that teaching job search techniques alone was not the answer, because the customer’s first job seldom made them ‘self-sufficient’. Self-sufficiency is obtained when they are matched to a job they want AND have learned how to become someone the employer wants to keep and promote.
- By creating simple techniques for determining possible dream jobs, and then create obtainable career paths we motivated the customer.
- By creating proven tools for indentify and minimise the barrier issues which compel employers to screen them out we minimised the customer’s fear of job search and the employer’s fear of hiring them.
- By teaching customers how to think like their employers we gave them the power to become promotable, and gave employers a reason to hire and promote them.
- Only after these foundations were laid did we teach new and innovative job search techniques.
The WN Model consistently produced impressive results –over 85% placement rate, over 60% retention rates at 1 year and around 30% job upgrade rate during the first year.
WorkNet’s success became widely known across the USA and requests to help other organization achieve similar results began to arrive. They were happy to share what they learned and eventually, transitioned into a Career Development consulting company specializing in assisting the difficult-to-place. Today, WorkNet materials and techniques are used by hundreds of employment development departments, one-stop shops, colleges, trade schools, prisons, parole and probation departments, recover programs, homeless shelters, and community programs across the United States.
Next, WorkNet was invited to Australia where they were creating a new public-private partnership called Job Network. Originally WorkNet partnered with The Salvation Army Employment Plus and Mission Employment which grew into the two largest Service Providers. Later, WorkNet opened its services to other Providers and trained staff across Australia.
New Zealand and UK soon followed. In New Zealand we worked within the government funded training programs ran by Employment Plus. In England we assisted Reed In Partnership design their New Deal Projects. In Scotland we partnered with Careers Scotland on projects focusing on young people who had behavioural problems and later with early school leavers and young people not in employment or training. Again, with impressive results: an independent review reported, total positive outcome rate of 73% …(which) exceeded the ESF target of 66%, and the Scottish average rate for all care leavers of 33%….(and had a) sustained positive outcome rating of 57%.
From these beginnings we expanded into successful programmes within prisons, football club community outreach programmes, hospitals training programmes, other community projects and Job Centre Plus. In fact, Alastair MacDonald, Acting Director of Job Centre Plus, encouraged his regional managers in Scotland to train staff in WorkNet techniques. Dave Cowie reported,
“As a District Manager in Jobcentre Plus, I have seen firsthand how, by using the WORKNET unique techniques and ideas, customers have overcome their fears and barriers and have successfully moved into work, making a difference to their lives.”
Today, WorkNet continues devote it’s time to assisting government and private organizations throughout North America, Australia, New Zealand, and United Kingdom to develop effective Career Development/Job Placement programs for individuals with barriers to employment. Over the last two decades WorkNet has trained over 50,000 employment professional around the world.