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Social Research

Evaluation of the Employability Skills Programme

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  • Release date: 7 February 2019
The aim of Employability Skills Programme is to support unemployed adults into sustained employment by improving their employability skills.

The programme is voluntary and targeted at unemployed adults that are thought to be within six months of gaining employment.

Mid-programme evaluation

The report makes eight recommendations for the remaining delivery period of the programme. 

Among the key findings of the evaluation were:

  • Referral to the programme can be from National Probation Service, Community Rehabilitation Company and Jobcentre Plus. At the time of the evaluation almost all of the 3,273 participants in the Programme had been referred by Jobcentre Plus.
  • In relation to achieving employment outcomes, the programme appears to work best when linked to good quality work placement opportunities. However, not all programme participants had the opportunity to access a work placement. Participants who didn’t, usually remained unemployed at the end of the programme.
  • The commercial viability of the programme remains a challenge for most providers. Commercial viability of the programme is dependent on ensuring a sufficient number, and a steady throughput of participants.
  • An uneven geographical distribution of the Programme delivery has occurred. Provision is focussed towards the more populated urban areas where referral rates are highest, and lower in the less populated rural areas.
  • Employment was not the only positive participant outcome from the Programme. Many participants noted that they had gained valuable softer outcomes such as developing their ICT skills, gaining work experience, good contacts, strengthening their CV’s and improving their job interview skills.
  • The employment outcome of many of the participants (30 percent) remains unknown, as providers were unable to obtain details of their employment status.


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