Refugee Employability Programme Evaluation

Group of multi-ethnic immigrant students attending international school working on an English language poster together, photo by pressmaster/Adobe Stock

Photo by pressmaster/Adobe Stock

What is the issue?

Refugees face many issues when adjusting to life in the United Kingdom (UK). This includes issues with accessing English language support, finding work and becoming self-sufficient. In response, the Refugee Employability Programme (REP) was introduced by the UK government under the New Plan for Immigration and went live in September 2023. It aims to remove the barriers refugees face when adjusting to life in the UK (for instance, through Personal Development Plans, employability support, English language support), which cannot be fully addressed or resolved by mainstream services. The REP is designed to align with and complement existing integration support delivered across mainstream services and the voluntary sector. The intention is to enhance current provision by offering additional support to refugees who would benefit from extra assistance in their journey towards self-sufficiency.

How are we helping?

The Home Office (HO) commissioned a consortium led by Ipsos UK with RAND Europe and Renaisi to undertake a process, impact and economic evaluation of the REP to understand the intended outcomes and impacts for service users. The evaluation includes the following main strands of work:

  • Process evaluation led by Ipsos UK: Helps to understand how the REP is expected to work by testing causal mechanism identified in the Theory of Change; how the programme is being implemented, whether there are any barriers and enablers to successful implementation and what lessons can be drawn for future commissioning of similar programmes.
  • Impact and economic evaluation led by RAND Europe: Examines the impact and value for money of the REP on service users' English language/ESOL level, employability and employment. In particular, the economic evaluation comprises of efficiency of service delivery, economic estimates of outcomes attributable to REP and cost benefit analysis.
  • Learning and knowledge sharing strand led by Renaisi: Examples of best practice and lessons learnt by REP suppliers are shared and identified through workshops and guidance documents.

The project builds upon a Theory of Change for the REP and will be informed by a rapid evidence assessment on employability support for refugees, interviews, surveys with service users and service providers.