Work Coach Provision of Employment Support

A Work Coach-focused interim report from the research project ‘Cross-Cutting Evaluation of Plan for Jobs’

Buzzeo J, Campbell B, Newton B |   | Department for Work and Pensions | May 2023

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In 2022, the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and Ipsos were asked by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to produce a report in response to a series of recommendations made by the Public Accounts Committee. The Committee recommended that:

a) The Department should commit to undertaking and publishing a full evaluation by the end of 2022 of how well its Work Coaches provide employment support and how consistently they apply their judgement.

b) The Department should gather and use systematic feedback on claimants’ satisfaction with their Work Coaches, the service at the Jobcentre, and how the Jobcentre could be improved.

At the time of the recommendations, IES and Ipsos were undertaking a wider research project for DWP, from which relevant findings could be drawn. This report presents findings for the time period January 2021-October 2022, although fieldwork for this wider project finished in April 2023.

The research involved a nationally representative survey of 8,325 Universal Credit customers, 60 follow-up interviews with survey participants, and a series of case studies in 10 Local Authority areas. The case studies included in-depth qualitative interviews with Jobcentre staff, provider staff delivering local employment support provision, and customers within the Intensive Work Search regime.