Partnership Action for Continuing Employment: client experience survey 2022

Research into the experiences of clients receiving redundancy support services through Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE). This research is the seventh iteration of research assessing client experiences of PACE.

This document is part of a collection

6 Conclusions

6.1 Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 survey findings continue a number of the trends seen in previous years, with client experiences of PACE remaining 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.

Service delivery

6.2 As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic there was a significant change in the format of service delivery, with the majority of clients receiving services online or over the phone, which, in previous years, would have been delivered face-to-face. Despite this change in delivery, and the additional challenges in the employment market as a result of the pandemic, client satisfaction with services remained unchanged from the 2020 survey. Indeed, there was an increase compared to 2022 in the proportion of clients who felt that they received services at the right time[8]. This demonstrates that PACE services can be delivered effectively remotely.

6.3 Results do not suggest that delivery of PACE services should move entirely online and it is important to note that around half of clients indicated they would prefer a return to face-to-face service delivery. However, there are a significant proportion of clients, particularly those in younger age brackets, who are happy to continue accessing services online or by phone. In addition to this, around half of clients would prefer to access certain services such as information about training, funding and benefits online or over the phone. As a result of this, a blended approach to service delivery should be considered in the future. If a return to face-to-face delivery cannot be supported across the board, key services that clients feel would benefit from face-to-face delivery are those around individual (and potentially more sensitive) support such as like mental health support and money advice services.

6.4 The most commonly accessed resources continue to be information about training and funding sources, the PACE presentation and information pack and help with CVs, applications and letters. However, there was a fall in the reported usefulness of help with CVs, applications and letters in comparison to 2020. There was also a reduction in the reported usefulness of help with job searches. Given the perceived usefulness of these services is likely to be directly related to whether or not clients were able to promptly secure a new job, these reductions may reflect recent challenges in the job market, rather than a change in the quality of the services. It is important to monitor this, and to see if the perceived usefulness of these services increases as the job market recovers from the impact of the pandemic. If the perceived usefulness of these services remains low, future research may wish to investigate further how they can be improved.

6.5 Although the most commonly used services mirrored previous years, the proportion of clients accessing some of these services had fallen since 2020. Most notably, there was a dramatic drop in the proportion of clients accessing the PACE presentation and information pack, compared with 2020. This may be a result of a number of contributory factors, including the move to online delivery modes (which may have made the presentation less appealing), and an active decision by SDS to move focus away from this particular service. Given the drop in the proportions using of a wide range of services, this may be indicative of a need to better promote the support available, particularly if delivered remotely.

6.6 Webinars and pre-recorded content were a newly introduced service in 2021. Clients who had engaged with these services reported very high levels of satisfaction. Again, this suggests that a blended approach should be considered in the future, and that these webinars should remain even if service delivery returns to be predominantly face-to-face. It is noteworthy that around half of clients surveyed were unaware these webinars existed. Given they have been received so well, there is clear benefit to future promoting these as an available resource.

Employment outcomes

6.7 A large majority of clients have positive employment outcomes after taking up support from PACE services. The proportion of participants who had secured work before or after their redundancy in the 2022 survey had increased compared to the 2020 and 2018 surveys. However, possibly due to the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it took longer for clients to secure work than it had done previously, with fewer being able to secure work within six months. Only a minority were able to secure work prior to their redundancy. As previously mentioned, few felt that they received PACE services too late, and around half of clients felt that PACE had helped them to at least some extent in securing employment (in line with 2020). These measures indicate that the delay in finding work may be as a result of challenges in the job market, rather than an issue with timing of PACE services.

6.8 Employment outcomes (both short- and longer-term) were most positive among younger clients, with these respondents being more likely to secure full-time, permanent work. Younger clients were also more likely to secure jobs requiring a higher level of skills and responsibility, and with higher pay, compared to older respondents. This confirms findings in previous years, which have shown younger workers tend to have more positive prospects for labour market re-entry compared to older workers, and suggests there continues to be space to improve employment outcomes for older clients.

6.9 While overall the was an increase in the proportion of clients undertaking training or personal development outside of PACE since their redundancy compared to 2020, older clients remained less likely to have done so. Encouraging and supporting older clients to access training and development, potentially with tailored messaging and resources, could be one way to improve employment outcomes for this group.

6.10 Whilst levels of satisfaction with PACE services remains high, and services continue to have tangible positive impacts on employment outcomes, it cannot be overlooked that just over half of longitudinal survey clients indicated that PACE made no difference in moving back into employment. This indicates there is still room to improve services directly related to securing new work, and to further promote the services that are already available in this area.

Key recommendations

  • PACE Partners should continue to monitor through future surveys how quickly clients are able to secure work as the economy recovers, and consider any steps that could be taken to address barriers to clients securing work more quickly. In particular, they should establish what more could be done to support older customers.
  • PACE Partners should continue to raise general awareness of PACE services to further improve service take-up. In particular, SDS will look at how to widen awareness of the new webinars.
  • To improve satisfaction levels, it is important that PACE Partners establish which formats of delivery clients prefer and allow them to access services via their preferred channels of contact. The majority still prefer face-to-face, however some key groups (including young people) prefer alternative forms of delivery.
  • PACE Partners should consider how best to reverse the drop in satisfaction with the PACE presentation in 2022. This is an important consideration given that this is likely to be the client’s first point of contact with the PACE suite of resources. Partners should consult employers to establish the most effective channels for delivering this service to employees.
  • PACE Partners should continue to explore how PACE support can reach individuals from under-represented groups.



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