- analysis of changes in the Norfolk labour market, needs and barriers amongst disadvantaged groups
- customer research, focusing on the needs and experiences of individuals from different groups and parts of the county
- pulling together information on current worklessness provision in the county, building on a regional mapping project undertaken by the University of Glasgow
- reviewing the implications of a changing policy environment
Sep 21 2010
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Sep 20 2010
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May 27 2010
The Working Neighbourhoods Fund (WNF) was established by Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions in 2008. It replaced the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund and the DWP Deprived Areas Fund in allocating to 65 local authorities to help them and their partners tackle concentrations of worklessness.We were members of a team led by the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, alongside Cambridge Econometrics and the University’s Centre for Housing and Planning Research.
The brief was to provide a baseline and interim evaluation consists of three parts: (a) a top line analysis of labour market conditions in WNF areas; (b) an early assessment of how strategies and approaches to tackle worklessness were being developed in WNF areas; and (c) recommendations for future evaluation of WNF. The research involved a literature review, an online survey of all WNF areas, and depth interviews in 20. Download the Report (2,286 KB).
A further output was an assessment of the feasibility of a national evaluation of Working Neighbourhoods Fund. Action on this was negated by the change of government in 2010.
Derrick Johnstone was subsequently asked by CLG as a Local Improvement Advisor to lead a review of progress being made on the implementation of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund in preparations for the 2010 Spending Review.
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May 27 2010
- broker relationships and facilitate discussions around local needs for worklessness data
- facilitate data sharing and data management to achieve better outcomes
- help identify solutions to obstacles, including ways of ensuring data security
- working with local partners, CLG and DWP to test and provide exchange protocols, data sharing principles, Memoranda of Understanding, and other tools to underpin this process
- identify lessons and good practice to be shared more widely as outcomes from the project.
The project has informed guidance on data sharing and worklessness published by DWP, and the IDeA ‘How To’ guide on Good Practice in Data Sharing ( 840KB) drafted by Educe. It has also led to DWP providing working age benefits data at very small area level (Output Areas), the smallest areas for which statistical data can be supplied.
CLG have published an evaluation of the pilots, Sharing data to improve local employment outcomes ( download on CLG site).New possibilities for data sharing have since been opened up by the Sections 130-133 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012. Draft regulations have been published to extend data sharing to help identify people affected by new benefit rules, especially on housing, and families with multiple disadvantages who may require support to help turn their lives around, as part of the Government’s Troubled Families programme.
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May 27 2009
Derrick Johnstone acted as lead Neighbourhood Renewal Adviser for CLG and DWP in support of the Tackling Worklessness Review (2008/09) led by Councillor Stephen Houghton, Leader of Barnsley Council. This investigated the role of local authorities and partnerships and its final report proved influential, with the then Government accepting many of the recommendations. These include the introduction of the Future Jobs Fund, intended to create short-term jobs aimed at young people and at localities hardest hit by the recession.Derrick’s input involved co-ordination of NRA contributions to the Review, including support for fact-finding visits and analysis of briefings and visit reports, eg, in identifying good and promising practice and use of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund. He also presented on the Review to a conference organised by the National Association for Neighbourhood Management on ‘Tackling Worklessness: A pivotal role for neighbourhood management?’.
Material from this research phase fed into case studies and ‘How to’ guides published by the IDeA. Educe prepared case studies on the Manchester Economic Development Services Framework (which marks a radical change in the City Council’s approach to commissioning services), and Enable, Nottingham (a highly successful learning and skills consortium in the voluntary and community sector).
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May 26 2009
Educe Director, Derrick Johnstone was recruited as a member of the national panel of Local Improvement Advisors (LIAs), specialising in leadership and partnership development, performance improvement, local economy/worklessness and data sharing. Support from LIAs was available through Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships to support local authorities and Local Strategic Partnerships in improving public services and gaining efficiencies. Assignments, funded by Communities and Local Government, between 2009 and 2011 included:
- data sharing to tackle worklessness: CLG/DWP pilot programme with Kent, Leeds and Liverpool
- review of regional research and intelligence capacity in the East Midlands, and subsequent role in support of a follow-up regional project on customer insight and research (for the East Midlands Improvement and Efficiency Partnership)
- locality working in West Cumbria (for Allerdale, Copeland and Cumbria local authorities)
- workshop facilitation to review progress by national partner organisations on recommendations made by the ‘Supporting Local Information and Research’ report (for CLG)
- research into the use and impact of Working Neighbourhoods Fund (for CLG)
- Customer Insight Skills Audit, for Humber Innovation Partnership
- advising on the development of the Doncaster Work and Skills Plan
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