Evaluation of the Work Choice Specialist Disability Employment Programme
Work Choice is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) specialist disability employment programme introduced in October 2010. It provides employment support to disabled people who cannot be supported through mainstream employment programmes and their employers. Work Choice was the first specialist disability employment programme to be commissioned under the terms of the 2008 DWP Commissioning Strategy.
This report offers findings from the Early Implementation and Steady State waves of research. This follows on from the previous Transition Wave of research, the findings of which were published by DWP in 2011 ‘Work Choice Evaluation: Commissioning and Transition of Clients to the Programme’. The Early Implementation and Steady State research took place over two years and involved a series of case studies and interviews with programme participants, their employers, provider staff, Statutory Referral Organisations and staff from Jobcentre Plus and DWP, as well as an on-line survey with providers both inside and outside the Work Choice supply chains.
Findings from the research explore the success of Work Choice against the programme aims and Critical Success Factors. This includes an examination of factors which influence access to the programme and participant profile. They also cover an exploration of what works in specialist disability employment provision, a review of the Work Choice wage incentive for young people and a comparison of Work Choice and Work Programme delivery. Commissioning findings examine the provider market structure and how this was affected by the commissioning of Work Choice. They also present views on the relationship between the provider market and programme delivery, and examine other features of the DWP commissioning model, including performance management and outcome-based funding.