7.1 Findings this year continue a number of the trends seen in previous years: client experiences of PACE remain very positive overall. PACE continues to support a large majority of clients back into work after their redundancy, often to a similar or better role.
7.2 The proportion who felt that they received the services too late after being made redundant has remained low, in line with 2018, after a significant improvement from 2016. There is still an opportunity for further improvement in relation to the timely delivery of services however, given the sizeable minority (around a quarter in 2020, in line with 2018) who still feel they have received assistance too late to be useful. The timeliness of services was also picked up in clients’ spontaneous comments about how their experience of PACE could be improved. Notably, a similar proportion to that in 2018 (almost one in five) still feel the introductory PACE presentation and pack came too late. Given the importance of this service in acting as a gateway for directing clients to other PACE services, efforts to improve the timeliness of this service should be ongoing.
7.3 While the PACE presentation continues to be the most commonly used PACE service, the proportion of clients reporting use of other PACE services in addition to the pack has risen compared to previous years. This is positive as take up of services following the initial presentation leads to a more positive client experience overall. Those who had made use of services in addition to the PACE presentation were more likely to feel that PACE had helped them back into work, indicating that it is important to ensure that clients go on to access various forms of redundancy support (in addition to the introductory PACE pack) should they need to.
7.4 PACE clients continue to be satisfied with the services they have received through PACE, with a large majority finding each service relevant and timely. Services which provide more practical support, such as help with interviews or job search, career management workshops, or help with writing CVs, continue to be most popular, with clients giving these consistently high satisfaction ratings over time. In particular, help with writing CVs remained the most influential service in helping clients get back into work. A number of clients also spontaneously noted that they considered this particular service to be the main benefit of PACE. It is important, therefore, that the PACE suite of support continues to include an emphasis on developing practical skills to support clients back into work.
7.5 PACE is committed to continuous improvement in its offer to clients. We have seen that the new PensionWise service has been well received and that other longstanding services are still well received (with some services, such as the Money Advice Service, seeing improvements in their scores this year); however over time we have seen some services performing less well. These are quite niche (such as help with starting up a new business, understanding tax responsibilities, or help with reading and writing) but it would be worth reviewing these survey results with delivery partners to see if any changes need to be made to services, as well as monitoring client views over time in future surveys.
7.6 As seen in previous years, awareness and usage of wider PACE support, including the online support and helpline, continues to be relatively low. However, clients who have accessed this support have consistently given positive feedback, suggesting that these services would be well received and may benefit from greater promotion. Given the positive experiences of people using PACE services online and over the phone, there may also be scope to review the default delivery approach for some elements of the offer, and to explore other modes of delivery in addition to, or in replacement of face-to-face (where appropriate).
7.7 A large majority of clients have positive employment outcomes after taking up support from PACE services: eight in ten have gone on to secure work either before or after being made redundant, in line with 2018. Employment outcomes were most positive among younger clients, with these respondents being more likely to secure a job requiring a higher level of skills and responsibility, and with higher pay, compared to older respondents. This confirms previous findings which have shown that younger workers tend to have more positive prospects for labour market re-entry, compared to older workers.
7.8 Encouragingly, even though older workers have poorer employment outcomes, they are still equally as likely to recommend the PACE service to others facing redundancy. It is important to acknowledge that workers of different ages will have different experiences when going through a redundancy, so PACE should continue to consider age-specific barriers when supporting older workers in moving back into labour market
7.9 Longer-term outcomes continue to be positive overall and the proportion in work two years later has risen since 2018. Over the longer-term, clients who changed jobs from their post-redundancy role were more likely to secure a job with a higher level of pay. Promoting the longer-term support available through PACE or wider Skills Development Scotland services may therefore help clients to make the most of potential opportunities and to improve their post-redundancy prospects.
7.10 The trend noted in 2018 around perceptions of PACE being less helpful has been reversed to an extent in 2020: six in ten clients who were followed up in 2020 reported that PACE assisted them in both life and career, an increase from 2018 but consistent with results from 2016.
- There remains scope to improve the timeliness of services, as a minority continue to feel they receive support later than desired.
- Review client feedback on service delivery with partners to see if any changes need to be made to services, as well as monitoring client views over time in future surveys.
- Consider greater use of telephone and online delivery modes, given positive client feedback on this type of PACE support; these modes are also more flexible which might also help to ensure services reach clients in a timely way.
- Promote longer-term support available through PACE or wider Skills Development Scotland services, as this may help to improve clients’ post-redundancy prospects.
- Continue to explore how PACE support can reach individuals from under-represented groups.