Our latest thinking on the issues that matter most in economic and social development through our Viewpoint series, and our latest published reports. Our older Viewpoint ‘thought piece’ publications are available from the archive.
Mentoring has been defined as a voluntary, mutually beneficial and purposeful relationship in which an individual gives time to support another to enable them to make changes in their life. SQW have been working with the Careers & Enterprise Company to evaluate the effect of its Mentoring Fund which aimed to support mentoring activities for young people.
Major service change (often called ‘reconfiguration’) may be required to make services safer, more sustainable and improve population health. SQW conducted over 110 in-depth interviews to help NHS England and NHS Improvement understand what it can do to better facilitate and support reconfiguration in areas including specialised commissioning, A&E, maternity, stroke and mental health services.
Covid-19 will lead to a major increase in unemployment. Any response needs to be done with urgency and therefore without perfect foresight. We have highlighted a series of insights from our work which could help to improve the effectiveness of different responses in the coming months.
The £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund was launched by the British Business Bank in 2017 to support small businesses in the Midlands. Our Early Assessment Report found that the Fund has helped to create 629 jobs, with 37 per cent paying above the UK upper quartile income of £36,500 a year.
The Fund of Funds is a holding vehicle through which Invest NI organises the delivery of a continuum of risk capital funding, from start-up finance to development capital. SQW's interim evaluation found that this structure provides a robust mechanism to oversee delivery of a suite of access to finance funds in Northern Ireland, at a relatively low cost.
The Office for Budget Responsibility’s reference scenario implies that the manufacturing sector will be one of the worst hit by the Covid-19 crisis with a fall in output of 55% in the second quarter. Manufacturing is particularly important to the economies of the Midlands and North of England, so the impacts of Covid-19 will hit these areas disproportionately hard.