Work Programme Evaluation

In 2011, the UK government launched the Work Programme, a major new active labour market initiative replacing a multitude of previous welfare-to-work initiatives. It goes further than any previous such programmes in contracting out the delivery of support for workless jobseekers to a variety of private and not-for-profit providers, under an innovative payment-by-results funding regime, which adopts a ‘black box’ approach, under which the government no longer prescribes the nature of the support to be provided.

IES carried out a multi-stranded evaluation of the Work Programme, including an evaluation of the approach to commissioning the Programme (through prime providers and sub-contractors) and an evaluation of the programme itself, through quantitative and qualitative research methods. The research was conducted by a consortium led by IES and completed in 2015.