Working Well is a 5 year pilot run by Salford City Council on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). It is aimed at Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants in Greater Manchester who are in the work-related activity group and have completed the Work Programme.
We commissioned this research to investigate whether a locally designed and delivered approach to employment support, complemented by integrated local services, achieves better outcomes for long-term workless clients, with often complex and multiple needs, compared to the alternative Jobcentre Plus business as usual provision.
This evaluation provides an early state impact assessment of the Greater Manchester Working Well pilot programme. It looks at the early outcomes of participant’s job outcomes and time spent on benefits.
Qualitative and process evaluation of the Working Well pilot programme has been commissioned by the GMCA. The latest report, the Working Well Annual Report 2016, provides further context on the participants of the pilot programme and its impact.
This early impact assessment only covers participants who joined the programme in the first 17 months, up until August 2015. Outcomes observed over a longer period might show a different picture to the ones observed in this early assessment.
For instance, the Working Well Annual Report 2016 from the GMCA noted that there had been marked improvements in the mental and physical health, qualification/skills and work experience of individuals on the programme for 18 months or more. Whilst a similar pattern was evident for individuals who had been on the programme for a shorter period of time, the scale of improvement was lower.
Alongside other evidence, the findings from this impact assessment will be used to inform the development of future support including the Intensive Support Offer for the harder to help group. The report can also help inform the evaluation and delivery of other contracted provision such as the Work and Health Programme. Following on from Working Well, the Work and Health Programme will also be devolved to the GMCA and is due to commence in January 2018.
Authors: Duncan Melville, Paul Bivand, Carmen Hoya Quecedo, Lovedeep Vaid and Alex McCallum (Learning and Work Institute).