Press release

Publication of DWP research report 767:"jobseekers regime and flexible new deal evaluation: findings from longitudinal customer surveys and qualitative research"

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A report by DWP that documents evaluation of the Labour Government’s Jobseekers Regime and Flexible New Deal (JRFND).

A report is published today by the Department for Work and Pensions that documents evaluation of the Labour Government’s Jobseekers Regime and Flexible New Deal (JRFND), Phase 1 of which was introduced in 2009 in 28 Jobcentre Plus districts in England, Scotland and Wales. This report presents findings from:

  • three follow-up surveys examining longer term customer outcomes, each conducted 12 months after an initial survey about experiences of Jobcentre Plus support between weeks 0-13 (Stage 1), 13-26 (Stage 2) and 26-52 (Stage 3) of their Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claim; and
  • 16 in-depth qualitative interviews with customers about their experiences of Stage 3 (weeks 26-52) of the Jobseekers Regime, as delivered in summer-autumn 2010.

Key findings from the research:

  • Each survey showed that, in both JRFND and non-JRFND areas, the work outcomes achieved by customers at the initial interview were largely sustainable. In most cases during the 12-month follow-up period customers had progressed in terms of employment contracts, responsibilities, hours or salary.
  • Across all three surveys, the proportions of 18-24 year olds customers in paid work at the time of the follow-up interview were higher in non-JRFND areas than in JRFND areas and the proportions still claiming JSA were correspondingly lower.
  • The gap between JRFND and non-JRFND areas found at the initial Stage 3 survey in the proportions of 18-24 year olds neither in paid work nor claiming JSA had closed after another 12 months.
  • The Stage 3 survey found no measurable difference between JRFND and non-JRFND areas in the “e;quality”e; of work outcomes achieved by young people 12 months after the initial survey.
  • There were no differences between JRFND and non-JRFND areas in the likelihood of customers aged 25-49 to have entered paid work. This holds true at points equivalent to the end of JRFND Stages 1 to 3 and 12 months later.
  • There were no statistically significant variations between JRFND and non-JRFND areas in the likelihood for customers aged 50 and over to be in paid work at the 12-month follow-up interview.
  • The qualitative research findings were largely consistent with those from previous JRFND research showing that customers welcomed the additional personal adviser support offered under Stage 3 but did not feel under any additional pressure to undertake work-related activities.

Notes to Editors

  1. DWP Research Report 767,”Jobseekers Regime and Flexible New Deal Evaluation: Findings from Longitudinal Customer Surveys and Qualitative Research” will be published on 1st September 2011.
  2. The report presents findings from three longitudinal surveys. Customers had been interviewed previously about their experiences of Jobcentre Plus support between weeks 0-13 (Stage 1), 13-26 (Stage 2) and 26-52 (Stage 3) of their JSA claim. The follow-up surveys summarised here were conducted a year later to explore longer term destinations and make comparisons between the experiences of and outcomes for customers undergoing the Jobseekers Regime in Phase 1 areas and the former regime in Phase 2 areas.
  3. The report incorporates findings from 16 in-depth qualitative interviews with customers about their experiences of Stage 3 of the Jobseekers Regime, as delivered in summer-autumn 2010. These interviews were designed to provide an update to previous qualitative research conducted between December 2009 and March 2010, reflecting Stage 3 as it was experienced in 2009, shortly after roll-out.
  4. The research was carried out on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions by a consortium led by the Policy Studies Institute (PSI). The surveys were conducted by IFF Research Ltd in September 2010 and January/February 2011. The qualitative research was conducted by PSI in November/December 2010.
  5. The authors are Lorna Adams, Katie Oldfield and Catherine Riley (IFF Research) and Sandra Vegeris, Fatima Husain, Christine Bertram, Rosemary Davidson and Kim Vowden (PSI).

Website: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rrs-index.asp