Evaluation of the new Jobcentre Plus approach to providing support for 16-17 year olds

Jobcentre Plus (JCP), in partnership with local authorities (LAs), implemented a new approach to providing support for 16-17 year olds not in education, employment or training  (NEET) and not in receipt of an income-based benefit.

The approach saw trained work coaches help young people navigate the services available to them and link with local employment and training opportunities. The aim of the pilot was for JCP to enhance the existing offer that LAs and Voluntary and Community Service (VCS) sector organisations delivered to 16-17 year olds by contributing its skills, networks and experience around the local labour market.

IES, working in partnership with National Centre for Social Research (lead contractor) was commissioned to undertake an evaluation of the new service. Specifically, IES led a theory of change evaluation involving an exercise to elicit the theories behind the design of the pilot that should assure its success, followed by case study research to test whether the policy worked as intended by policymakers.

IES researchers also led an impact assessment and cost-benefit analysis drawing on techniques first used for the IES evaluation of the Youth Contract for 16-17 year olds.