By Anne Bellis, Maria Sigala and Joy Oakley
The ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Pilot was designed to demonstrate how work-focused ESOL provision could support access to sustainable employment and progress in work. The Pilot targeted parents for whom English is not their first language and are in receipt of benefits or tax credits. The Pilot programme was located within the London City Strategy Pathfinder (CSP) areas of East and Southeast London and West London, which face typical inner-city problems of social deprivation and worklessness.
The Institute for Employment Studies carried out an evaluation, which was commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The evaluation took a qualitative approach; consisting of an inception phase, followed by two waves of qualitative interviews with participants, provider staff and other stakeholders. In total, there were 175 interviews conducted during the course of the research: 104 with participants, 61 with providers and their partners and 10 with stakeholders.
Research themes include:
- partnership working on the Pilot
- engaging and recruiting participants
- profile of Pilot participants
- approaches to project delivery
- learner support and childcare issues
- learner views of the Pilot
- employment outcomes
- ‘soft’ outcomes and other progression pathways.