Evaluation of the Working Neighbourhoods Pilot - Final report

Dewson S, Casebourne J, Darlow A, Bickerstaffe T, Fletcher D R, Gore T, Krishnan S | Research Report DWPRR 411 | Department for Work and Pensions | Feb 2007

The Working Neighbourhoods Pilot (WNP) was introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions in April 2004 to test a new approach to offering intensive support to help people to gain work.

The pilot was targeted towards people who were without work, including claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Income Support (IS), Incapacity Benefit (IB), partners of claimants and workless non-claimants.

The pilots operated in 12 areas, which were selected because of very high levels of worklessness and deprivation, and were delivered by a combination of Jobcentre Plus and private Employment Zone contractors (WNP/EZ). Essentially, the pilots tested very local approaches to overcoming worklessness. The delivery organisations - Jobcentre Plus and EZ providers - worked within the framework of Local Strategic Partnerships to determine how best to overcome barriers to work, and move local people into jobs.

This report presents the findings of the evaluation of the WNP. The evaluation comprised four main elements: a literature review; analysis of secondary and administrative data, undertaken by DWP analysts, to compare trends in benefit flows over time and against 12 selected comparison sites; detailed case study work with stakeholders in each of the pilot sites, and their matched comparison sites; and an eligible residents' survey of 1,200 residents across the 12 pilot sites looking at attitudes and motivations towards employment, and their experiences of employment, unemployment and the pilot.

This research was undertaken by the Institute for Employment Studies, in partnership with Policy Research Institute, the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research and GfK NOP.