Job-finding clubs find jobs only for Canadians?
May 7, 2006 8:53 PM   Subscribe

Do countries other than Canada have job-finding clubs?

In Canada, most cities and towns have "job-finding clubs". These clubs serve as support groups for people who are out of work, although I think they tend to be frequented by people over 40 or 45. These clubs help people network, exchange information, and learn from one another. Depending on the program, the clubs may be led by a leader or they may be more informal. Sometimes government employment counsellors or non-profit agencies manage the programs.

I've worked in the employment, careers and education field for several years. Until today, I always assumed "job-finding club" was without borders. However, when I search in Google, I can pretty much only find Canadian results. (About 17,000 sites show up if I query "job finding clubs canada", compared to 24,000 for "job finding clubs", which still produces Canadian results.)

Is the concept of a job-finding club Canadian? I was able to find some sources for the UK, New Zealand and Australia, so perhaps there's some sort of Commonwealth terminology in place. If I were to cross the border to the US, would I find these clubs? I'm guessing they must have some other sort of name. I can find some results for "job networking club", but these seem to be organizations aimed more at professionals. Our Canadian job-finding clubs include all sorts of people: homemakers returning to paid work, recent immigrants, older workers, displaced workers, etc.

posted by acoutu to Work & Money (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Interesting. I'm 32 from an urban part of the US and this is a new concept to me. However, everyone I know profressionally is into "networking" to find work when the time comes. It's perhaps just a different mode of communication but much the same thing. If I need work or need to fill a job opening I have, I will hit a couple dozen folks up over email. Is that a lot different than what goes on in a "club?"
posted by scarabic at 9:09 PM on May 7, 2006

I'm in the UK and have never heard of such a thing.
posted by cillit bang at 9:20 PM on May 7, 2006

Response by poster: It's not really a club. Some of them just meet for a few weeks. However, I Googled "average length unemployment" and found that, even in the US where benefits may be limited, the average person is unemployed for four to five months.
posted by acoutu at 9:22 PM on May 7, 2006

Australia has the Job Network, a government program where (as I understand it) businesses are paid a 'commission' for finding some unemployed person a job. This might involve helping them do some kind of training first, teaching some high school dropout how to talk to an employer, or counselling. There are complaints that the reward based nature of the system makes the business more likely to shove jobseekers into the first position that comes up, but I don't know enough to have an opinion.
However, what you're talking about sounds much less formal than this.
posted by jacalata at 9:24 PM on May 7, 2006

Best answer: Jewish Vocational Services is a non-sectarian, non-profit organization that offers career counseling and job-placement, along with other services. They're in a lot of major US cities. Some branches have networking events. (Like here--scroll down and start at "Jewish Employment Network (JEN)." I don't think you have to be Jewish.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:25 PM on May 7, 2006

Huh. I'm in Canada, and this is the first I've heard of this. Interesting.
posted by stray at 12:09 AM on May 8, 2006

I'm in the UK and have never heard of such a thing.

I'm from the UK and I have. This used to be a thing that the British social security department would encourage, or more realistically force job-seekers into. Perhaps they don't do it any more?

The club was supposed to help with mutual support and encouragement, and provide boring essentials like WP, printing and postage stamps for application letters. It sounds good in theory, although a lot of people saw it as a patronising imposition.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:38 AM on May 8, 2006

In the UK the DSS offers these as a (usually) voluntary support mechanism to help those on the dole. They call them Job Clubs. Not much cop I would say.
posted by biffa at 3:31 AM on May 8, 2006

Best answer: Isn't a job club where all the guys in the movie The Full Monty hang out?
posted by jacquilynne at 5:43 AM on May 8, 2006

I think you might be right, they've been around since the late Thatcher period IIRC, so pre-1990.
posted by biffa at 6:49 AM on May 8, 2006

Response by poster: I think you're right, JacquiLynne. And, yes, job-finding clubs are similar to what AmbroseChapel described. I guess this is just a Canadianism, save for the JEN.
posted by acoutu at 8:03 AM on May 8, 2006

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