The Youth Contract for 16-17 year olds not in education, employment or training evaluation

Research Report

Newton B, Speckesser S, Nafilyan V, Maguire S, Devins D, Bickerstaffe T | Research Report  | Department for Education | Jun 2014

cover image

In November 2011, the Deputy Prime Minister announced almost £1 billion of funding for a new Youth Contract (YC) to support 16-24 year olds to participate in education, training and work. This included a programme targeted at disengaged 16-17 year olds to support them to participate in education, an apprenticeship or a job with training.

Two models were established. One was national, commissioned through a prime provider-subcontractor approach and featured payment-by-results (PbR) with a focus on sustained ‘hard’ outcomes. It was subject to strict eligibility such that only low-qualified young people, care leavers and young offenders who were NEET could access it. The other model devolved funding to three core city areas where six local authorities (LAs) determined the shape and nature of delivery. The scope and nature of delivery and the eligibility criteria were locally determined.

This evaluation covered the experiences of early entrants to this Youth Contract component. It showed that some common approaches had emerged as part of delivery and demonstrated the importance of individualised support through keyworkers in assisting young people to re-engage.

By the end of the evaluation period, a 1.8 percentage point impact was demonstrated on the overall rates of young people NEET in England. In addition, 33 per cent of the young people who were re-engaged in learning, studied sufficient hours to comply with the Raising of the Participation Age legislation. It must be noted that not all young people NEET in England were eligible for support.