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Ecorys’ impact evaluation of the Youth Employment Initiative published

| Social Policy

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has recently published Ecorys’ evaluation of the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI).  

Using an innovative blend of theory-based impact evaluation and quasi-experimental techniques to robustly assess impact and capture the totality of the YEI’s effects, the evaluation found that support through the initiative had a range of positive impacts.  

To estimate the employment impact of the programme, Ecorys used propensity score matching, complemented by difference-in-differences analysis, to conduct a counterfactual impact evaluation (CIE) based on linking administrative datasets. The CIE compared outcomes between participants (the ‘treatment’ group) and a comparison group that possessed similar characteristics to the treatment group but who did not receive support. Compared to the comparison group, results from the CIE show that, on average, YEI participants were in employment for an additional 56 days in the twelve months following support.  

The theory-based impact evaluation element highlighted a wide range of beneficial ‘softer’ impacts, such as: 

  - enhanced communication skills;  

  - self-confidence around work; 

  - ability to do things independently; 

  - motivation to find a job or do more training; and, 

  - team working.  

Similarly, improved confidence, aspirations and motivation emerged as particularly strong and consistent themes in participants’ discussions of the effects of support.  

Download the full evaluation report in HTML and PDF formats.

For more information please contact Ian Atkinson.