New Deal for Young People

Funded by: Employment Service


January 1998 to January 2000


British Market Research Bureau (BMRB), Nuffield College, Oxford, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), New York and University of Western Ontario

PSI researchers:

Background, summary and aims


The New Deal for Young People (NDYP) is an important part of the Government's welfare-to-work strategy. The first of the New Deals announced by the new Labour Government, it was rolled out nationally in April 1998 following a four-month trial period in twelve Pathfinder areas. Funded from the windfall tax on utilities, it aims to help young unemployed people into jobs and increase their long-term employability 'thereby making a positive contribution to sustainable levels of employment' (Employment Service, 1998). The target group are 18-24 year olds who have been claiming unemployment benefits for six months or more, plus others in the same group with shorter unemployment spells who are deemed special cases worthy of earlier assistance. Participation in the programme is compulsory for the target group, in the sense that failure to participate results in benefit sanctions.

Study Design

A random sample of 11,197 participants was selected from the September-November 1998 cohort of NDYP entrants. Participants were interviewed twice, initially six months after becoming eligible for the programme, and then again nine months later. Interviewing is conducted face-to-face in respondents' homes, using Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI). The first wave interviewing was carried out between 26 February and 18 July, 1999. 6,010 interviews were achieved, that is, 54 per cent of all sample cases interviewed, or 66 per cent of those where a correct address was available. The second wave is currently in the field.


This large-scale national survey of participants NDYP has been commissioned as part of the government's evaluation of its welfare-to-work programme. The study will establish what effect the programme has on participants' labour market prospects, and find out what they think of NDYP. The compulsory nature of the programme -- sometimes referred to as 'no fifth option' -- has important implications for evaluating the programme. This is because the study does not contain a like group of non-participants against which to compare programme effects. Instead, the study will be comparing like participants taking different routes through NDYP.