Evaluation of Partners Outreach for Ethnic Minorities (POEM) - Final Report

Aston J, Bellis A, Munro M, Pillai R, Willison R | Research Report DWPRR 598 | Department for Work and Pensions | Sep 2009

The Partners Outreach for Ethnic Minorities (POEM) programme began in February 2007 and ran for two years. It supported people of working age who were not in contact with Jobcentre Plus services, who were neither working nor claiming benefits.

POEM was primarily targeted at the Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Somali communities, but was open to all ethnic minority groups, and focused on outreach as the most effective way of engaging clients. The ultimate aim of POEM was to help clients into work, however, it was recognised that some of the target clients would be a considerable distance from the labour market on entering POEM, and that some may not have entered employment by the end of the programme.

The programme operated in Birmingham, Bradford and Leeds, Leicester, London and Manchester, and support was provided through ten provider contracts, six of which were in London.

The evaluation of POEM was conducted over two years and included three rounds of case study work with providers, 101 face-to-face interviews with clients and analysis of POEM Management Information (MI).

This report presents the findings of the evaluation, including the ways in which providers engaged with clients and recruited them onto POEM, how providers worked with clients on the programme, and how clients were helped to move towards or into work.

The report also presents the hard and soft outcomes of POEM and considers the impact of POEM on clients, providers and the wider community. Finally, the evaluation conclusions and implications for future ethnic minority outreach programmes are outlined.