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New Futures Fund Initiative: evaluation of management and operation - final report


The New Futures Fund Initiative (NFFI) aimed to target problems of social exclusion and disadvantage, particularly in relation to the labour market in Scotland, and support the development of a coherent infrastructure of agencies to point the client group towards opportunities in education, employment and training. The evaluation aimed to assess the progress of individual clients or service users, the progress of projects, Scottish Enterprise’ s project management, and the role and effectiveness of the Advisory Management Group (AMG).


The methodology consisted of: an in-depth analysis of twenty case study sample projects; a questionnaire to all projects; analysis of information about programme management, strategy and policy influence; and consultations with relevant organisations.


Suggests that the NFFI has achieved its objective of providing employability support for a hard-to-reach vulnerable group. Finds that it has engaged a minimum of 5,105 clients. Considers that the projects’ understanding of their target client group is now better than it was at the interim stage. Notes variations in the levels of referrals and early drop out rates. Observes that at least 3,030 clients have left NFFI. Shows that outcomes are better than expected for this client group, since NFF is principally intended as a step towards the labour market. Notes that employers are a ‘missing piece of the employability jigsaw’.


For Phase II of NFF, recommends there is a need to: re-state the core target group; review the referral process; effectively publicise projects; track to ascertain the likelihood of sustaining employment; establish a relationship with employers; and secure social work involvement. Presents detailed recommendations on: the New Deal and the pathway to mainstream employment and training; personal characteristics and issues for clients; transitional support, after care and tracking; addressing outstanding barriers, promoting employability, and components of an effective project; measuring distance travelled and the use of the Rickter scale; partnerships and networks; and management, policy and mainstreaming.

Author LRDP Ltd, Policy Research Institute, David Smart Consultancy Services
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Skills Development, Economic Inclusion