Step Up is an innovative programme trialling new approaches to help low-paid workers progress in their careers. An evaluation of the programme, which has been running since October 2015, is being launched at City Hall today.
The new Step Up evaluation report finds that through the Step Up programme:
- 540 local people were supported over 2 years. Half of those helped through the programme lived in Lambeth, a borough where 20% of residents are low-paid. The rest lived in neighbouring boroughs.
- One third of participants (179 people) achieved an employment outcome, most commonly starting a new job. The average (median) increase in hourly wage, among those achieving an outcome, was 15%. The average (median) increase in weekly earnings was 42%. It was highest for those who took an additional job. On average it took 5.3 months to secure an improvement.
- A wide range of other benefits were reported by participants including: greater confidence and motivation; employability skills; technical skills and qualifications; career management skills; and knowledge of the jobs market. Some of these may be converted into increased earnings in the future.
The key features of support that were felt to be most important to achieving outcomes included:
- A personalised approach, based on the individual’s needs rather than following a set process;
- One-to-one adviser support delivered flexibly to suit people’s availability, including out-of-hours support, and using a range of ways to communicate such as face-to-face, phone and email;
- Coaching and mentoring support to develop people’s motivation and confidence, which were important in keeping people engaged;
- Helping with employability skills as well as helping with wider issues e.g. with housing, debt or benefits;
- Partnership working with organisations that provide skills and training support, including specialists such as those supporting communities that speak languages other than English and, organisations with links to employers.
The findings are being discussed at an event attended by policymakers, researchers and low-paid workers themselves. The Step Up programme will continue until September 2018.