Evaluation of Work-Based Learning for Adults

Funded by: Department for Work and Pensions


March 2002 to December 2003


National Centre for Social Research

PSI researchers:

Background, summary and aims


Work-Based Learning for Adults (WBLA) is a voluntary training programme aimed principally at those in England aged 25 and over who have been out of work for at least six months and who are currently in receipt of JSA or another qualifying benefit (although there is also provision for other priority groups to participate).  It offers a choice of four elements, each of which offers a particular type of training to a particular client group.  In March 2001, responsibility for delivery of WBLA moved from the Training and Enterprise Councils to the Employment Service (now WAED).  The proposed evaluation aims to estimate the impact, effectiveness and quality of the various elements of WAED-delivered WBLA.

Study design

The study is a quantitative evaluation of WBLA, seeking to determine whether it has helped participants find work or improved their employability.  It will involve both descriptive and econometric analysis of survey data.  The survey data will be collected by the National Centre for Social Research using questionnaires designed in conjunction with PSI and WAED.  Propensity score matching will be used to provide estimates of the effects each element of WBLA.  There is the possibility of the study being extended to include a follow-up survey of initial respondents in order to allow the longer-term effects to be considered.