The Impact of Public Job Placing Programmes


The Employment Service is Britain's public job placement service, dealing with one third of all vacancies. Staff in over 1000 job centres offer a range of labour market services and advice to many thousands of job seekers claiming unemployment benefits. This report gives a thorough evaluation of the effects on recipients of three of ES's main programmes:

  • The Work Trials programme, which provides an opportunity for a job seeker and employer to carry out a trial in a job before entering into an employment contract;
  • Jobclubs, which provide instruction, resources and personal support for job seekers; and
  • Job Interview Guarantee programmes, a 'matching and screening' process whereby suitable employers are brought together with claimants who have the appropriate skills and experience for the vacancy.

The study assesses the relative likelihood of participants finding jobs after the programme, and the quality of the jobs they got. It also looks at the wider labour market impacts of its findings, so that the issues raised may be encompassed in the develop-ment of future programmes of this type.

The study concludes that job search and placement programmes are capable of substantially increasing individuals' chances of employment. On average, Work Trials participants raised their employment rate by 35-40 percentage points: the largest improvement resulting from a national labour market programme that has ever been generated in Britain or elsewhere. However, although Jobclub and JIG also improved women's employment rates, they did not benefit men to the same extent. Why women should have gained substantially more advantage from the programmes than men is a crucial question which this study seeks to address.

This report makes valuable reading for all labour market specialist, economists, and all concerned with helping the unemployed into work.

White, M., Lissenburgh, S., & Bryson, A. (1997). The impact of public job placing programmes. (PSI report; 846). London: Policy Studies Institute.