The ‘Together for South’ programme focuses on improving services to job seekers and employers in Rotterdam-South. The ambition of this programme is to reduce the percentage of welfare dependency among the population in this area to the level of the rest of Rotterdam and to increase labour participation by means of integral and multidisciplinary guidance, more personal attention and a greater emphasis on enforcement and prevention. The Knap'rz project consists of a combination of process evaluation, effect research and activities aimed at strengthening the professional actions of practitioners through training and reflection on the implementation practice. Outcomes are used to feed the education about integral working within social training.
Knap'rz stems from discussions between partners in the Knowledge Workshop Urban Labour Market (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, EUR and SEOR) and representatives of the municipality of Rotterdam and National Programme Rotterdam South (NPRZ). It emerged from these discussions that the municipality wants to have its extra investment in services to job seekers and employers evaluated under the Together for South (Samen voor Zuid) programme and needs an investment in the knowledge and skills of implementation based on insights from earlier research into the effective implementation of labour reintegration. Intended improvements include more intensive service provision to clients, better collaboration between professionals and an 'integral' look at the wishes and possibilities of clients and employers.
Knap'rz therefore consists of the following components:
- A baseline measurement of implementation and population of assistance which is the reference for the other research activities;
- A process and result evaluation of development/improvements in services;
- A training programme for practitioners and managers on insights from existing research;
- Periodic 'reflection sessions' with practitioners and managers;
- Periodic 'learning tables' with jobseekers, employers and neighbourhood organisations
Link with education
Two teacher-researchers from the Social Work programme participate in the research. They carry out part of the research and provide the reflection sessions. From academic year 2020/2021 there are possibilities for graduation projects around the theme of unemployment in 'South' and integrated support for vulnerable groups in South. In addition, there is a connection with the master's in Human and Organizational Behavior through one of the teachers involved. The research results in 'socioprudence' (annotated cases and analysis of guidance provided) that will be used in education.