Skip to main content

Barriers to Work

Have you ever wondered what may prevent someone from getting a job? In this activity, you will have the opportunity to explore some of these reasons and get a taste of what it feels like to have something out of reach.

Back to Activity Finder


  • What holds people back from getting a job? 
  • What do you think you need to do to get a job? 
  • Have you ever wanted something that you were unable to have? How did that make you feel


  • Place yourselves in a circle to symbolize the job market.  
  • One person will stand in the inside of the circle to symbolize a job. As a group, decide what job that is. 
  •  One person will be on the outside of the circle to symbolize a person who really wants a job (job hunter). The job hunter will have their eyes closed/wear an eye covering.  
  • Now work together and keep the person outside the circle from entering and catching the person inside the circle by forming a circle and holding hands. The circle will stay still during the process. If they can manage to sneak in, under arms, crawl under legs, etc., they get the job.  
  • You can change roles when the “job” person has been touched by the job hunter. 


  • How did it make you feel when you could not get the ‘job’? 
  • How did you feel if you did achieve the ‘job’? 
  • What challenges might someone who cannot find work be facing? 
  • Remember to submit your activities on our Scouts for Sustainability Take Action Map



Writing Utensils 

Keep it Simple

Keep it simple by conducting a list of reasons why people are unable to obtain work. What might be holding someone back? Work as a group to come up with an extensive list.  

Take it Further

Consider assigning an obstacle to each person in the circle, e.g. something standing in the way of someone getting a job (no computer to apply, no phone to take calls, no car or money for bus fare, no appropriate interview clothes, no one to care for their child while they work, etc). Give them an extra ability while playing, maybe they can tag with a hand, or take one step in to make the circle tighter, etc.