Evaluation of Partners Outreach for Ethnic Minorities (POEM) - Interim report

Aston J, Bellis A, Munro M, Pillai R, Willison R | Research Report DWPRR 561 | Department for Work and Pensions | Feb 2009

The Partners Outreach for Ethnic Minorities (POEM) programme began in March 2007. It supported people of working age who were not in contact with Jobcentre Plus services, were not working or claiming benefits, and were non-working partners in low income families. Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Somali communities were the target groups, with a particular focus on women.

The evaluation of the first year of POEM comprised case study work with providers, partners and other stakeholders involved in delivering POEM; 50 face-to-face interviews with POEM clients; and analysis of POEM Management Information.

In total, there were 1,016 job entries achieved during the first year of POEM. Soft outcomes included greater confidence and motivation, increased awareness of opportunities, jobsearch, application and interview skills, and improved English language skills.

Overall, factors which contributed to success were: creative outreach strategies; making clients feel comfortable; a wide range of provision, employer networks; and flexibility.

Partnership working was vital in engaging clients and delivering the programme successfully. Tailored and one-to-one support was a key element of POEM, and drew all other aspects of provision into a coherent whole.