Evaluation of the New Deal in Scotland Phase 1

Funded by: Scottish Office

Duration:

June 1999 to April 2000

PSI researchers:


Background, summary and aims

Background

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. This study considers the impact of the NDYP in Scotland.

Study Design

It uses the sample of Scottish respondents to the national survey of NDYP participants in the UK, and adds a booster sample of Scottish participants. This brings the overall number of Scottish respondents to 1147.

The phase 1 evaluation uses the results from the 1st wave survey of NDYP participants, conducted approximately six months after entry to the New Deal programme. At this stage, many respondents would not have finished their New Deal programme, so it is too early to look at programme outcomes for the overall sample. Those young people who have left New Deal at the time of this survey may be regarded as an "early leaver" group with characteristics that are likely to differ from those of later leavers. For this reason, the phase 1 analysis focuses on the characteristics of New Deal participants, their experiences on New Deal and their perceptions of the New Deal programme.