Evaluation of Blackpool Council’s 'Youthability Hub'
What was the project about?
The ‘Youthability Hub’ arose from a consultation exercise with unemployed 16-24 year olds who asked for all the help they need to be in one place, e.g.:
I don`t just want to be asked how many CVs I`ve sent. I want to be asked how I am (Unemployed young person).
A small scale ‘Youthability Hub’ pilot was set up to meet this need, operating as a weekly drop-in centre bringing together a wide range of services for 16-24 year olds. Core services that were involved on a weekly basis included Connexions, Jobcentre Plus, counselling and substance misuse support. A range of training providers and employers attended the ‘Youthability Hub’ on a rotating basis so that young people could find out directly about employment, education and training opportunities.
The aim of the evaluation was to assess whether this approach added value to existing services and systems in place to help unemployed 16-24 year olds, and specifically to:
- identify who was using the ‘Youthability Hub’ and their views on the service;
- find out how the ‘Youthability Hub’ was experienced by young people and any perceived impact it was having on barriers to employment, education or training and movement into these opportunities;
- explore with stakeholders involved in delivering the ‘Youthability Hub’, how the service was working and suggestions for future improvements.
What did we do?
There were three main phases to the evaluation:
Phase 1: Collaborative planning of the evaluation and design of the research tools
Phase 2: Data collection:
- Exit surveys with young people were administered by stakeholders in the ‘Youthability Hub’
- Reflective discussion sessions were held by stakeholders with agencies involved in the ‘Youthability Hub’
- RiP undertook face-to-face interviews with young people and telephone interviews with stakeholders
- All young people who had visited the Hub since its creation were contacted to find out about their education, employment and/or training status.
Phase 3: RiP collated and analysed the data and presented a report outlining stakeholder views, experiences and outcomes, and recommendations for the future.
Feedback from Mike Taplin, Senior Manager (Post 16 Learning), Blackpool Council: