Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Liesbeth was a student at the University of Leuven, she proactively started looking for a job before her graduation. But she could not yet receive guidance at the public employment agency as she was still studying. She did go to workshops, but even when she asked personal questions the information provided did not fit her specific situation.
When she came to her first Co-Searching meeting she asked one question after another, 40 minutes in a row. And the whole group of 6 job seekers thought about answers. It gave rise to interesting discussions within the group and personal guidance for Liesbeth. Later she mailed us she had found a job and to thank us, the Co-Searching meetings were the best counselling she had got.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
In March 2015 we started in Ghent and Leuven and since October 2015 we are active in Antwerp. In total we have organized 25 sessions with 96 participants. Co-Searching's impact, as evaluated by participants, is:
(1) Social: meeting peers, not being alone, helping other job seekers, sharing stories, networking.
(2) Learning: personal and relevant answers, practical tips, gaining deeper insight in tips through group discussion, personal development, early access to support.
(3) Exploring: new websites and channels for solliciting, new career opportunities.
Currently the founders guide the sessions, but we wish job seekers themselves to organize and guide the meetings. We aim for a local volunteer team of 4-5 job seekers in every city to organize meetings. Co-Searching provides support through an online platform to facilitate and disseminate the meetings.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
Our online platform lies at the core of our future scaling. This platform will enable anyone to organize a local meeting for job seekers. But we also want to collect other services for job seekers on this platform. Many job market stakeholders have difficulty spreading their services (workshops, coaching, apps) to job seekers. By creating a cooperative platform (multiple stakeholders have confirmed their interest) where they too can offer their services to the unemployed, it collects the target group on a central portal.