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Comparison of the value for money from labour market programmes


The evaluation looked at existing information on labour market programmes operating in Glasgow and the West of Scotland: ‘Glasgow Works’ and ‘Training for Work’. Comparison between labour market programme outcomes was the aim.


The comparisons took into account the following factors: performance according to client characteristics rather than across each scheme as a whole; the long-term impact of the schemes; overlap between programmes; and the wider benefits of the scheme to the local community.


The evaluation concluded that: few programmes worked equally well with all types of clients; the cost-effectiveness of each programme varied according to how the data was analysed; the wider, intangible benefits were impossible to measure in monetary terms; clients on the Glasgow Works scheme earned more in the longer term than those on the Training for Work scheme; initial post-programme success was found to be very significant for the long-term; welfare take-up dropped proportionally with job success; and when the wider benefits of the programmes were considered, they did appear to pay for themselves.


Questions were raised about future issues for policy: the relative importance of ‘sustainability’ in jobs; the need for longitudinal analyses; how best to measure the importance of wider social benefits arising from labour market programmes; the need for benchmarks for future programmes; and the long-term impact of employment on individuals’ quality of life and on social inclusion.

Author Cambridge Policy Consultants
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Skills Development, Economic Inclusion