Does Individualized Employment Support Deliver what is Promised? Findings From Three European Cities

Deborah Rice*, Vanesa Fuertes, Lara Monticelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Since the inception of the European Employment Strategy in 1997, individualized employment support has been a key priority of the European Union and its Member States. Nevertheless, empirical research on the delivery of individualized services for the unemployed is still underdeveloped. In this article, we explore how local employment agencies in three European cities tailor counselling and services to jobseekers’ individual needs. We find that limited service budgets and underdeveloped organizational interfaces with social service providers tend to constrain the substantive individualization of services in practice, which works in the disfavour of vulnerable jobseekers. Individualized counselling is more widespread, at least for selected target groups. However, organizational capacities for offering individualized problem assessment and advice vary considerably across “worlds of individualization” in Europe.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Social Security Review
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)91-109
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Employability
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Social policy
  • Social security administration
  • United Kingdom

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