ERS Research & Consultancy, working in partnership with ARK Consultancy, are the chosen evaluation partners of the Towards Work programme. Their evaluation is both formative and summative; capturing learning and feeding that back on a timely basis to help improve delivery; and, ultimately, providing conclusions and recommendations that maximise legacy (especially in informing how future employability programmes are commissioned, designed and delivered).

The evaluation will focus on:

  • Project reach and participation
  • Individual progression
  • Participant involvement
  • What factors are working well/not so well
  • Assessment of wider impact and programme legacy

Baseline evaluation will provide an evidence-based picture of progress comprising:

  • A summary of the key processes and systems in place across the programme;
  • Emerging findings, a summary of delivery to date across Towards Work Hubs and Micro-Hubs’
  • Progress made towards outcomes for selected participants engaged by the programme;
  • Participant views on delivery.


  • Primary consultation with Hubs, Micro-Hubs and Participants.
  • Review of wider documentation, including quarterly reviews.

Participation and Engagement

  • Towards Work is committed to ensuring that participants take an active role in the development of the programme, co-designing their own pathways and providing an opportunity to connect the involvement and evaluation aspects.
  • The Participation & Engagement Strategy will set the vision and framework for participation, outline how this will be delivered and how this will influence partners activity, it will set out what success looks like and how we will know if the strategy has worked.
  • Participant involvement and feedback is crucial to ensuring the development of the programme, this will enable individuals to articulate their experiences, share their ideas and influence the programme development and future learning. A range of engagement approaches will be adopted to capture feedback. We will inform, consult and involve participants, through focus groups, one to one discussions, surveys, the co-production of marketing material and social activities.

Participation Ambassadors

  • In order to support and work closely with current participants
    and delivery partners, the role of Ambassador has been created. They will be recruited from the thematic groups’ representative of the range of participants engaged on programme. The Ambaassadors will support open days, drop-in sessions, breakfast clubs and social events, this will help to build rapport with other programme participants and gain valuable insights.
  • Delivery Partners and Ambassadors will support and create genuine opportunities for engagement and involvement, actively seeking new and innovative ideas through a “test and learn” approach.
  • All Ambassadors will have had direct benefit of moving through the Towards Work programme before gaining employment, and will therefore offer a unique insight into the participants’ journey and the support available.