The DWP has published an early evaluation of the Youth Contract. The survey took views from 279 employers who recruited someone eligible for a wage incentive and included interviews with Work Programme providers and representatives from Jobcentre Plus.

Overall providers taking part in the survey felt wage incentives could ‘tip the balance’, making young people who already had the right skill set more attractive to employers, however some Work Programme providers commented that the roll-out of information about wage incentives had been slow and of poor quality, which had affected their ability to produce marketing materials to raise awareness in the early stages.

The survey also considered recommendations for improving the scheme, the most common of which concerned increasing advertising and the information available about the scheme, with Work Programme providers suggesting that national and local level marketing and press coverage would enhance the effectiveness of their activities.

In addition the survey also raised the following points of interest:

Employer views

Work programme providers

March 2013 – Early Evaluation of the Youth Contract