Evaluating ‘No One Left Behind’ Fife – tackling employment issues in Scotland

Evaluation Completed July 2022

Phase 1 interim report
Evaluability Assessment report

What does the research mean for Local Authorities?

The evaluation sought to understand whether employability services funded by No One Left Behind Fife (NOLB Fife) are being delivered according to NOLB principles and how these principles and the NOLB infrastructure influence service delivery. NOLB Fife is designed to provide person-centred, flexible, and holistic employability services to people who are further from the labour market. The formative evaluation informed the local authority’s approach to commissioning further services in the future and provided recommendations for ways to improve service delivery for both service providers and clients.

What does the evaluation research mean for the Public?

The evaluation aimed to support improvements to NOLB funded employability services for all users of the services. We found that NOLB Fife funded services were being delivered in line with the NOLB principles, although service providers had usually been working in a similar way for some years. NOLB Fife has allowed a greater degree of partnership working across services and widened the eligibility criteria for receiving services. This means that service users are receiving assistance with many personal issues that are potential barriers to employment, which is extremely helpful to them. The findings emphasised the importance of NOLB Fife being focused on wider issues than employment.

How are the public involved in the evaluation?

The commissioning framework was informed by the input of stakeholders, members of the public and experts by experience. Sixteen Collaborative Conversations were held with over 120 individuals. Following this, four participatory evaluability assessment workshops were held with a wide range of stakeholders, again including users of employability services. These informed the evaluation design and the decision to evaluate the commissioning process. Service users were interviewed for Phase 2 of the evaluation to find out about their experiences of using NOLB Fife services.

Lay summary of research

No One Left Behind Fife (NOLB Fife) provides funding for services to help people who may have a lot of personal barriers to getting into work. NOLB Fife is intended to be person-centred and flexible in order to help people overcome these barriers. Fife Council funded voluntary organisations to deliver these services. This evaluation aimed to find out if services were being delivered in line with the NOLB principles by asking staff and clients of services at the organisations delivering the services about their experiences. The evaluation found that services are person-centred, and clients are helped to overcome personal barriers and build self-confidence, but clients have a lot of challenges to address before they can start moving towards finding a job. Overcoming barriers often requires money to pay for specific things like bus passes or childcare arrears, and funders need to be aware of this and of how much help people may need before they can think about preparing for work.

Local Authority/Partner

Mike Crosbie , No One Left Behind Co-ordinator, Fife Council

PHIRST Fusion Research Team

University of Edinburgh
Professor Ruth Jepson
Dr Jan Pringle
Dr Ana Sofia Alvarado Vázquez Mellado
Dr Judith Fynn

University of Glasgow
Professor Peter Craig
Dr Nai Rui Chng
Dr Marcia Gibson

Newcastle University
Dr Andrew Passey