The Youth Contract was launched in April 2012 to provide additional support for unemployed young people between the ages of 18 and 24, including:
- more intensive support from Jobcentre Plus advisers;
- additional funding for up to 250,000 work experience and sector-based work academies (sbwa) placements; and
- a wage incentive of up to £2,275 for employers recruiting a young person who has been claiming for over six months or is attached to the Work Programme.
Further information on the Youth Contract can be found under the following link: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/youth-contract/
The evaluation of the Youth Contract consists of a mixed methods approach, including impact assessments carried out in-house, as well as externally commissioned research involving interviews and surveys with staff, claimants, employers and Work Programme providers. The first report from the evaluation on early findings from research on wage incentives can be found here: Early evaluation of the Youth Contract wage incentive scheme
This latest report provides feedback on the implementation and delivery of the Youth Contract, based on interviews and focus groups with advisers; adviser and office managers; employer engagement and partnership staff; and District Managers, in five Jobcentre Plus case study districts. Discussions also explored specific elements of the Youth Contract including additional adviser support, work experience, sector-based work academies and the wage incentive (two of the case studies included a ‘hotspot area’ eligible for the wage incentive). Interviews were carried out in November 2012, around 3 months after wage incentives had been introduced in the ‘hotspot’ areas. Since the research was carried out the wage incentive scheme has been rolled-out to all Jobcentres for young 18-24 year old claimants from 6 months of their claim (from 17 December 2012).
DWP have used findings from the research to inform continuous improvement activity for delivering the Youth Contract. This includes:
- a wide range of marketing activities, including a media campaign for the wage incentive scheme linked to the extension of eligibility
- continuing to set up mechanisms to share learning and good practice amongst Jobcentre Plus districts, given the increased flexibility and responsibility they have to provide individually-tailored services and support to claimants more widely (through the Jobcentre Plus Offer)