Career-first: an approach to sustainable labour market integration

Vanesa Fuertes, Ronald W. McQuaid, Peter J. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Active labour market policies aim at supporting people entering and, importantly, remaining in the labour market. Initiatives to this end have often been characterised by a mixture of ‘human capital’ and ‘work-first’ approaches, although both have had a relatively limited effect on achieving job sustainability for those most distant from the labour market. This paper explores a distinctive approach to supporting job entry and sustainable employment that we have called ‘career-first’. The career-first approach to labour activation draws on three separate traditions of thinking: labour market, career development, and the capability literatures. Common ground is found in these three perspectives so each complements the weaknesses of the others. A career-first approach may be able to help deliver benefits to the individual, their family, and the wider society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-446
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2021


  • employability
  • career-first
  • career development
  • labour market policy
  • capability


Dive into the research topics of 'Career-first: an approach to sustainable labour market integration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this