Evaluation Blog #9: Findings from 2015 Evaluation Reports

A suite of new reports have been published from the Talent Match Evaluation. These latest reports are available here https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/talentmatch/

We have presented the main findings in the infographics attached to this blog.

At the end of June 2015 Talent Match had engaged 6,910 young people of whom 643 had secured employment. Those engaged are likely to be white males (Figure 1). Nearly three fifths live with their parents/guardian and around half will have at least A*-C GCSEs (Figure 3). Although a small proportion of total beneficiaries, significant numbers (compared to the general population) will have experienced homelessness, have a criminal record or been in local authority care (Figure 4).  Of those on the Programme: 23% have a disability; 14% have a disability which limits their activities; and 18% have experienced mental ill health. Although most report common labour market barriers (lack of work experience, lack of jobs or lack of qualifications), significant proportions face barriers which require far more intensive and wrap-around support (such as childcare, gaining basic skills and addressing having a criminal record) (Figure 5). 

Although it is too early to determine the overall impact of the programme it is possible to reflect on where the main challenges lie for the programme. The following are the key issues the programme faces:

  • Targeting of those furthest from the labour market: the new evidence from the evaluation shows that on the whole these groups are being targeted. However, there is significant variation between the groups supported by the 21 partnerships.
  • Sustaining the involvement of young people: this remains a key part of the programmes as well as for most partnerships. We found that there is variation between partnerships as to the extent of involvement in project delivery.
  • The local coordination, capacity and capability to deliver the programme: the likelihood of further devolution to city-regions in England will bring different challenges to the programmes, especially those inside and outside the initial plans for devolution and city-deals. A key challenge will be how to ‘coordinate the local system’ to avoid duplication with local and national system.
  • Innovation: in the mental health theme report we have published provides an example of genuine innovation in the configuration and delivery of youth mental health services. A key point here is the extent to which a local partnership can reshape the local system of support to disadvantaged young people.

We will be returning to these themes in future reports and blogs.

Professor Peter Wells, Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR), Sheffield Hallam University

TM Infographic

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