Evaluation of the 18-21 Work Skills Pilot 1

Final report

Newton B, Hillage J, Buzzeo J |   | Department for Education | Sep 2018

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This report presents the findings of IES' evaluation of the 18-21 Work Skills Pilot 1, a pilot conducted with young Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) claimants aged 18-21 who could not provide evidence of possessing Level 2 English and Maths skills. Delivered through a randomised controlled trial (RCT), training provided through the Pilot was systematically compared to 'business as usual', or the support that would have been offered in the absence of the Pilot. The evaluation was initially funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, though responsibility from BIS was transferred to the Department for Education (DfE) in 2016 due to changes in the machinery of government.

Significant change in the economic context surrounding the RCT meant that the decision was taken to close the Pilot after its testing phase. As a result, this report brings together the emerging evidence from the evaluation from the Pilot's testing phase, and draws lessons for future RCTs on youth unemployment.

The report covers many areas of the Pilot, including Jobcentre Plus and provider referral processes; data consistency and its impact on analysis of RCT data; the content of training; outcomes for Pilot learners; and the benefits for these learners in terms of developing skills, attributes and behaviours. Learnings are also shared, such as the need for key staff to understand the rationale for an RCT, and the need to ensure accuracy in training delivery models to increase the utility and accuracy of RCT data.