Evaluation of the Job Outcome Target Pilots: findings from the qualitative study
- Publisher: Department for Work and Pensions
This report presents the results of a qualitative evaluation of the pilot of the Job Outcome Target (JOT) in seven Jobcentre Plus Districts, covering the first six months of the pilot's operation from January to July 2005. The research comprised interviews and focus groups with Jobcentre Plus managers and staff, employers, providers and customers in the JOT pilot districts in three stages, beginning one month before the start of the pilots. The evaluators' conclusion is that the qualitative evidence supports the view that JOT is a feasible alternative approach to the Job Entry Target (JET) as a system for performance measurement and management for Jobcentre Plus. Many of the desired behavioural changes among Jobcentre Plus staff were observed, including greater team working, an enhanced focus on the quality rather than quantity of interventions with customers and encouragement of appropriate customers to use self-help channels. In addition, JOT led almost immediately to the reduction or discontinuation of activities that were felt to be wasteful of resources under JET, notably the extensive use of the Adviser Discretion Fund and speculative submissions to ensure that job entries are validated. No evidence was found of negative impacts of JOT on customers, providers or employers, a finding corroborated by quantitative analysis. The report suggests that, should JOT be rolled out nationally, a programme of communication, training and support, building on the lessons of the pilot, would be necessary in order to ensure that behavioural changes associated with JOT develop into more deep-seated cultural change within Jobcentre Plus.
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