Managing Challenging Behaviour Within Skills Provision for Unemployed Adults

Learning providers perceive an increased risk of challenging behaviour within the current skills provision for unemployed adults through the single Adult Skills Budget. The NIACE survey of providers delivering skills provision for unemployed adults (NIACE, 2011) revealed that eight in ten of the providers surveyed found it difficult to support learners exhibiting challenging behaviour. In response to this finding, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) commissioned NIACE to undertake research into the support and management of learners exhibiting challenging behaviour within skills provision for adults. This guide is the result of this research undertaken by NIACE between October 2011 and February 2012.

The guide describes: the range of people participating in skills provision for unemployed adults and their skills needs; the nature of challenging behaviour exhibited by unemployed adults and reveals some of the underlying causes of this behaviour; approaches that can be taken prior to delivery to lower the risk of challenging behaviour; and how to manage and incorporate motivational approaches towards addressing challenging behaviour during delivery.

Although the research primarily involved skills providers for unemployed adults through the Adult Skills Budget, the approaches described in the guide could be adopted by providers of any classroom-based learning provision for unemployed adults such as that within the Work Programme and ESF-funded programmes.