We have a substantial programme of work to develop the evidence base about what will be most effective in supporting people to progress in work. We know very little, nationally and internationally, about the impact labour market policies could have in helping people in low income jobs to earn more.
These proofs of concept help to increase our understanding of in-work progression from both employee-facing and employer-facing perspectives. Though only making a relatively small contribution, these proofs of concept add to our learning and complement the research and knowledge gains from the larger Universal Credit: In Work Progression Randomised Control Trial. Our test and learn strategy ensures that we are able to explore a range of interventions and thoroughly test further the approaches that seem to be effective.
We commissioned the 3 proofs of concept to:
- understand what works in supporting people in work to earn more
- understand further the barriers to progression faced by people in low paid work
- improve our learning to help support Universal Credit work coach capability
- build our understanding of how employers could support low paid people to progress and increase earning potential, with a particular aim to look at how to improve progression pathways in the retail and hospitality industries
Timewise Foundation’s Flexible Career Pathways in Retail proof of concept originated as one of 7 projects supported by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. It focused on one of their 5 productivity challenges – progression pathways in retail and hospitality – and is referred to in the Evaluation of UK Futures Programme: conclusions and guidance.
We will be incorporating the findings from these proofs of concept and other trialling and analysis as we move forward to developing further trials and to shaping our approach to supporting progression. The findings show in particular the importance of engaging employers and others inside and outside government in this agenda, and this is a key part of our ongoing work.
Authors: Benjamin Ashton, Brenda Gonzalez, Emma Hill and Aynur Rigby (Department for Work and Pensions).