Research and analysis

Labour market learning, innovation and local flexibilities evaluation

This report evaluates Department for Work and Pensions learning and innovation systems.


Labour market learning, innovation and local flexibilities evaluation

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) commissioned this independent appraisal of its learning and innovation systems, including informal bench-marking with external exemplars, to feed into continuous improvement activity.

The research covers 3 main questions designed to help DWP:

  • evaluate how the Freedom and Flexibilities regime has been used by Jobcentre Plus for more innovative and effective employment support
  • explore DWP’s overall arrangements for labour market learning and innovation, and future options and implications
  • understand external best practice around evidence and learning, and explore options for collaboration and sharing across wider employment sector

This involved qualitative research with staff from across DWP and wider labour market intermediaries, conducted in spring/summer 2015. A further in-depth assessment of the current DWP approach to generating and sharing evidence was conducted, with comparison drawn against What Works centres.

Findings from the evaluation are being used by the DWP to develop its approach to improve innovation, both within the department and across providers of its labour market services. The report is also informing DWP’s design of tools for capturing and sharing learning from local innovation and the way evidence is used. This includes building internal capabilities to support innovation and better communications within different parts of the department and across its provider network.

Authors: Learning and Work Institute and Nesta.

Published 30 September 2016