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Learning from ESF Evaluation in Wales

Rhys Davies, Jennifer Alstrom, Kathryn Helliwell, Tom Smithson
Keywords: evaluation, ESIF, ESF programmes Wales, ESF leavers survey, counterfactual impact evaluation, CIE findings

This article explores the use of a large scale telephone survey to evaluate the ESF Programmes in Wales. It firstly describes the structure of the ESF Programmes in Wales. It then describes the survey (known as the ‘ESF Leavers Survey’) and the Counterfactual Impact Evaluation (CIE) undertaken using data from it. Finally, the article discusses the CIE findings and links these to wider research and evaluation evidence on the effectiveness of interventions aimed at assisting people to find employment. The article suggests that, in the short-term, Employability Support and Engagement Signposting can be very effective types of support. It also suggests that support for those recently made redundant can result in high deadweight in terms of entry to employment but can help such people find better paid work than they would otherwise have done. The article suggests that the impact of Basic Skills Training may take a while to materialise but that it is worth persevering with this kind of support given other evidence on its longer-term effectiveness. The article concludes by discussing some of the weaknesses in the analysis and the steps being taken to improve this work in the future.

Rhys Davies is Research Fellow / Associate Director at the Administrative Data Research Centre Wales, the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD); Jennifer Alstrom, Kathryn Helliwell and Tom Smithson are working at the Strategy Branch of the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) of the Welsh Government. The views expressed in this article are personal.


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