Press release

Publication of DWP research reports 694 and 706: 'Jobseekers Regime and Flexible New Deal evaluation: stage 2 and stage 3 customer surveys' and 'Jobseekers Regime and Flexible New Deal evaluation: a report on qualitative research findings'.

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

Early evaluation of the Jobseekers Regime and Flexible New Deal (JRFND) between May 2009 and March 2010.

Two reports are published today by the Department for Work and Pensions that document early evaluation of the Jobseekers Regime and Flexible New Deal (JRFND) between May 2009 and March 2010.  These reports include findings from:

  • two national surveys of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) customers at the 3-6 and 6-12 month points of claim, comparing support received under JRFND stages 2 and 3 with equivalent support provided under the former JSA regime; and
  • qualitative research with staff and customers in six Jobcentre Plus districts, including three waves of research with Jobcentre Plus staff; one wave of research with FND prime provider staff; and two waves of research with JSA customers covering JRFND stages 1 to 3.

Key findings from the research:

  • The overall picture of JRFND delivery was positive, with some variation in the quality of delivery and customer experience.  Significant improvements in delivery were observed between April 2009 and March 2010 as initial implementation problems were overcome.
  • Overall, customer satisfaction levels were higher under JRFND than the previous regime.  There was better awareness of how to look for work and support appeared more matched to personal needs and circumstances.
  • The support provided under JRFND between the 6th and 12th month of claim (Stage 3) was welcomed for customers over 25, although outcomes for these customers were similar to those achieved under the previous regime.  18-24 year olds were less likely to leave JSA in JRFND areas than 18-24 year olds in areas operating the previous regime.
  • Lone Parents were as likely to find work through Stage 3 as other customers; compared to the previous regime where they were half as likely to find work.
  • The Flexible New Deal research was conducted too early to draw balanced conclusions on the effectiveness of provision but the main lesson learnt is the importance of communication and knowledge sharing between Jobcentre and FND provider staff, both prior to and during provision.
  • The support provided by Jobcentre Plus in the first 12 months of a JSA claim was felt to meet the needs of most customer groups, particularly customers with disabilities/health conditions and 18-24 year olds.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The DWP Research Reports, ‘Jobseekers Regime and Flexible New Deal Evaluation: Stage 2 and Stage 3 Customer Surveys’; and ‘Jobseekers Regime and Flexible New Deal Evaluation: A Report on Qualitative Research Findings’ will be published on 28th October 2010.
  2. These research reports explore service delivery, customer experience and outcomes from the Jobseekers Regime and Flexible New Deal (JRFND). They incorporate findings from a range of qualitative research with Jobcentre Plus staff, FND providers and Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) customers in six Jobcentre Plus districts. Research Report 694 presents findings from two national surveys of JSA customers at the 3-6 and 6-12 month points of claim, comparing support received under JRFND stages 2 and 3 with equivalent support provided under the former JSA regimes.
  3. The research was carried out on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions by a consortium led by the Policy Studies Institute (PSI). Qualitative research with Jobcentre Plus staff and customers was undertaken by PSI in three waves between May 2009 and March 2010. Qualitative research with Flexible New Deal providers was undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers in February/March 2010. The surveys were conducted by IFF Research Ltd in January and February 2010.
  4. The authors of Research Report 694 are Lorna Adams, Katie Oldfield, Sarah Fish, Catherine Riley and Edward Isherwood from IFF Research.
  5. The authors of Research Report 706 are Sandra Vegeris, Kim Vowden, Christine Bertram, Rosemary Davidson, Lucia Durante, Maria Hudson, Fatima Husain, Karen Mackinnon and Deborah Smeaton from PSI.

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