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Management Extension Programme Evaluation of the period 1997-2000 - final report


The Management Extension Programme (MEP) is primarily a business development tool supporting Lanarkshire companies. It contributes to the Scottish Enterprise (SE) Lanarkshire “Changing Gear” objectives of building and attracting businesses, by encouraging SMEs to grow and expand successfully, and building a learning industry by encouraging individuals to participate in learning and skills development. The evaluation aims to examine the programme’s performance, firstly in terms of labour market benefits for participating individuals and then in terms of business benefits for companies.


The methodology consisted of discussions with the two Small Business Gateways (SBGs) running the MEP (Monklands and Hamilton); a survey of individual formerly unemployed participants; and a survey of companies who have provided placements.


The programme has been implemented well by both SBGs in the period of the evaluation (1997-2000). The matching process appears on the whole to have been good: far fewer placements ended for ‘negative’ reasons than prior to 1997 and 80% of respondents felt that their placement was suitable. It appears that the training involved in the Monklands programme has been significantly more successful than that at Hamilton in terms of relevance and interest to the participants. The labour market outcomes have been strong, with 80% of participants in employment at the time of the survey. Companies have experienced on average three improvements in business performance as a result of MEP, although a third believe they have not experienced any. Unfortunately very few companies report any of these business improvements feeding into bottom line economic impacts. Overall, it seems that the public sector has absorbed most of the costs, both direct and indirect, of recruitment that without the programme would have been borne by the companies – or not at all.


It is recommended that, in a constricting funding environment, MEP be discontinued as there appears to be no significant additional benefits to the wider Lanarkshire economy. It is suggested that it may be more appropriate to consider whether it is better to develop local intermediaries to reinforce recruitment processes than continue with wage-subsidy based activity.

Author Cambridge Policy Consultants
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Leadership/management development