Job Start Payment evaluation: annex B - qualitative research

This report forms the annex to the main report on the evaluation of Job Start Payment. It presents findings from qualitative research conducted to support the overall evaluation.

Appendix C- Stakeholder Discussion Guide

Job Start Payment

Stakeholder Discussion Guide, November 2021

Prep- interviewer highlights questions relevant for each stakeholder group

Set up (5 mins)

Introduce Diffley Partnership Team

Welcome to the Discussion Group/ Interview–

  • Explain this will last an hour
  • There will be plenty of time to get your views across, my role is to keep the conversation flowing, ensuring we cover the broad areas we need to and ask any follow-up questions,
  • Fully anonymous and confidential; The Diffley Partnership abide by the Market Research Society Code of Practice and the SRA Ethical Guidelines.
  • Request permission to record discussion – with your permission I will record the discussion; this is just so we can go back and listen again after the discussion

Do you have any questions before we start?

Introductions and opening discussion (5 mins)

To begin, please can we go round everyone to briefly outline your role and connection with JSP to date.

Context of benefit- young people and employment

First, let's discuss the context of JSP.

What are your key observations of the challenges faced by young people in securing and sustaining employment? Prompts- Covid recovery

What are the main barriers experienced by young people? Prompts- financial, skills gaps, opportunity availability, inequality

Do you have any observations on the hours of employment this age group are?

  • Seeking
  • Securing

Follow up for both- Is over 12 hours a week the norm?

Take up and Eligibility

How does your organisation support young people to apply for JSP?

Have you come across cases where young people choose not to apply for JSP?

Prompt- eligibility criteria

Let me quickly run through the eligibility criteria of JSP to get your feedback.

On the day of the job offer they must be aged 16-24, offered a job averaged at least 12 hours per week over a four week period, have been out of work and receiving an income related benefit continuously for at least 6 months, be living in Scotland.

Care leavers have to be out of work (not for min of 6 months) and in receipt of a qualifying benefit. They can apply up until their 26th birthday.

Have you any reflections on the eligibility criteria concerning?

  • Age groups
  • Hours of work within a four-week period
  • Continuous period of income related benefit- the qualifying benefits

JSP has had high levels of non-eligible applications. What are your thoughts on reasons for this?

Have you any examples of supporting young people whose applications have been rejected?

  • Reasons for rejection
  • Reactions
  • Implications

Have you observed any other barriers to eligible young people accessing JSP?

  • Associated with the application process
  • Due to lack of awareness/ promotion
  • As a result of Covid pandemic

Do you feel that JSP is missing any groups of young people?

Prompts- protected characteristics, groups they work with

(Interviewer n.b. Consultation and reference group work suggested enhanced payments for disabled young people, people living in rural areas and older people. The distinction between care leavers and care experienced may also come up – the former are defined in the legislation and have easier eligibility rules. The latter are not treated differently)

Views on Impacts for individuals

We are now going to cover the impacts you are aware of from JSP since its introduction

Do you have any examples of how JSP has supported individuals?

Do you feel that JSP helps meet costs associated with starting a new job, and enables clients to take-up employment offers?

Do you feel JSP helps people be more confident about starting a job, and reduces anxiety during the transition to employment?

Do you feel JSP then helps people sustain employment?

Have you any examples of how JSP has led to improvements to young people's lives during and after their transition to employment?

  • helping them build and/or sustain social networks
  • allows them to participate more fully in society
  • broadens lifestyle choices
  • impacts the health and well-being of clients' families (including children, where applicable)

Are you aware of any other impacts from JSP we have not covered?

Recommendations for improvement

Do you have any thoughts on factors which influence the impact of JSP during the pandemic?

Prompts- types of jobs, distance travelled to jobs, salary for jobs, types of contract

Given your reflections on JSP and its impacts do you have any recommendations for improvement?

Going forward have you any views on how JSP can- [go through each dimension separately]

  • Treat clients fairly and with dignity
  • Invest in people
  • Reduce poverty
  • Bring value for money

Conclusions and wrap-up

Thank you very much for the discussion, is there anything not already covered that you would like to mention?

Thank and close



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