Greater Manchester's Working Well Programme

Client: Greater Manchester Combined Authority

SQW was first commissioned at the end of 2013 to evaluate Greater Manchester (GM)’s Working Well pilot programme.  It aimed to support 5,000 long term unemployed people back to work.  The programme was the first time that the Department for Work and Pensions had devolved money to GM, which would then commission and oversee delivery of the programme as part of the wider public service reform agenda. 

SQW’s role was to define and establish a monitoring and evaluation framework for the programme, and then to analyse the data to present at monthly performance review meetings with the programme office and both providers.  In addition, we undertook a range of qualitative fieldwork and combined that with the quantitative data in a series of annual reports.

In April 2016 the programme was broadened out to offer similar support to a further 15,000 people, across a wider, more varied client group.  This programme runs until 2020.  SQW’s role was extended to cover this programme.  We have therefore worked across both programmes for over six years, producing regular quantitative analysis and publicly available annual reports.

The new devolved Working Well: Work and Health programme began in Greater Manchester in early 2018 and will run until 2024.  SQW has now been appointed to also evaluate this programme.  Programme clients are expected to be drawn from three groups:

  • Health and Disability: people with a health condition or disability who are in need of more support than can be provided by Jobcentre Plus. These clients are expected to account for 75% of participants and are referred on a voluntary basis.
  • Long-Term Unemployed: people who have been unemployed for over two years and are either receiving Universal Credit in the Intensive Work Search (IWS) Group or receiving JSA. These clients are expected to account for 15% of participants and are mandated to the programme.
  • Early Entrants: people from disadvantaged groups that may be at risk of becoming long-term unemployed, including ex-offenders, carers, ex-carers, a homeless person, ex-armed forces, those with drug/alcohol dependency, care leavers and refugees

The latest report on all of these programmes can be found here