Denny, S., Hazenberg, R. and Seddon, F. A. (2011) Evaluating the outcome of employment enhancement programmes for young people not in education, employment or training (NEET): does organisational type affect delivery? Paper presented to: 3rd International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC), South Bank University, London, 12-13 September 2011.
As work-integration social enterprises (WISEs) become providers of programmes that aim to improve the employability of socially disadvantaged groups, performance evaluation becomes an issue they must address in order to both justify their current funding and to help secure future funding. There is growing pressure on WISEs to improve their performance evaluation processes by ensuring evaluation is based in social science concepts rather than ‘common sense’ notions of improvements that lack rigor in their measurement. The ongoing research reported in this paper builds upon work conducted in a prior pilot study and reveals the NEET perspective of engagement in two employment enhancement programmes (EEPs), one provided by a WISE situated in the East Midlands, the other by a work-integration private enterprise (WIPE) company situated in Birmingham. The research adopted an intervention methodology involving a total of 106 participants, from both WISE and WIPE completing questionnaires at Time 1 (T1) and 49 participants at Time2 (T2) (24 from the WISE and 25 from the WIPE). In order to provide a rigorous outcome measure, in addition to eliciting the participant perspective, all participants completed General Self-efficacy (GSE) questionnaires and a random sample engaged in individual semi-structured interviews with researchers before and after engagement in their respective programmes (15 from the WISE and 6 from the WIPE). Results from the qualitative analysis of the interviews and the statistical analysis of the questionnaire data are triangulated to evaluate the outcome from both programmes, providing the participant perspective alongside changes in GSE. The results from the two programmes provided an opportunity to compare and contrast programmes delivered by a WISE and a WIPE in order to give an insight into differences between the programmes based on the orientation of the delivery organisation