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National Probation Service

Issue 34 May 2006


There is now greater policy and operational focus on the linkage between sustained employment and reduced re-
offending. A new offender shadow employment and training target was introduced to the NPS in 2005/06. This was
the first time that Areas were asked to measure the employment status of offenders and to track a change in the
offender status whilst on supervision. This briefing provides information on:

• The 2006/07 Employment Target

• The PS Plus programme
• Evaluation of the Employment Pathfinder
• Developments in Financial Literacy

Employment Target for 2006/07

To sustain and develop the momentum that the shadow target has created, while taking into account the experience of
the shadow year, we have replaced a single measure for sustained employment/training outcomes with a combination
of a target and a measure:

• A target of 15,000 confirmed job entries.

• A measure of 12,000 for sustainability: retention at the four-week point

The evidence requirements have been amended to introduce an element of discretion with corroborating evidence
recommended but not mandatory in every case.

There is an important linkage between the development of ‘soft skills’ and some vocational skills in Unpaid Work
placements and employability. It is proposed that we capture the linkage between Unpaid Work and paid work in the
monitoring of NPS employment outcomes. The monitoring will also capture gender and race and ethnicity in
accordance with the overall NPS diversity monitoring strategy. A breakdown, by area, of the target and measure is

Further details about the target can be found in Probation Circular 16/2006.

A team from Bristol and Leicester Universities have been appointed to undertake an evaluation of the Employment
Pathfinder (EP2) that has run for two years in seven NPS areas. The research approach is primarily qualitative but will
also provide indicative outcome data on the performance of the pathfinder. This will be used to inform the nature of
future models for employment assessment and intervention work.

The evaluation will provide NPD with a critical appraisal of the Pathfinder and also answer a number of related
research questions about probation offender employment work. The research will also contribute to the development
of any further approaches to the evaluation of employment interventions for employment and reduction of re-offending
outcomes: key factors for the Education, Training and Employment (ETE) reducing re-offending pathway.

An economic evaluation is also being conducted to provide a cost analysis of offender employment interventions
against the potential benefits.


An audit of the finance, benefit and debt work in probation areas in early 2005 identified a range of models of provision
operating both in-house and in partnership with local advice agencies. The relevance of this work to the reduction of
re-offending is demonstrated by an analysis of NPS area OASys data for a six month period in 2005, which identified
that between 67% and 81% of assessed offenders had a financial need linked to offending.

The audit indicated that there was a significant level of activity in many areas in the area of debts and benefits and a
best practice circular (PC68/2005) was issued to support this. The ‘preventative’ work of financial literacy was less
well-developed. We are therefore promoting opportunities for financial literacy work. There are two initiatives:
Warwickshire College is currently testing a National Open College Network (NOCN) money management module with
Warwickshire Area. SWing (South West Integration) resettlement partnership received NPD funding to explore the
development of a money management tool that can be used in custody and in the community. This work has been
developed with Manchester Metropolitan University. The model being developed uses gaming/simulation and may
offer an innovative process of engagement focusing on the development of personal financial skills.

Following the testing phase for both initiatives, it is envisaged that pilots will run in a range of community order settings
and prisons. Longer term there is potential for this work to become part of an Activity Requirement under the CJA,
part of an approved regime activity and/or to become part of the Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS)


Fifteen NPS areas will receive a total of £8m from the European Social Fund (ESF) for employability work in
partnership with PS Plus. This income will be matched by resources from local boards giving a total programme value
of £18m for the period April 2006 to June 2008.

The interventions will be delivered in-house and through existing and new partnerships with ETE providers. They will
be distinct from the OLASS delivery arrangements, but are intended to complement the learning and skills
arrangements commissioned by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

PS Plus is a NOMS sponsored project and provides an excellent vehicle for effective through-the-gate work, a
particularly important feature given the imminence of custody plus. However nearly all offenders in the participating
areas will be eligible, including those on Community Orders.
This programme puts NPS areas in a contractual arrangement with PS Plus. This provides a developmental
opportunity for NPS areas in relation to the commissioning and contestability environment.

The interventions in the PS plus programme range from job search and careers guidance to employability cognitive-
skills programmes and employer engagement. There is a beneficiary access fund that enables direct funding to
beneficiaries to overcome barriers to progress. Attached is a summary spreadsheet showing the participating areas
and the interventions that they are planning to deliver as part of the PS Plus contract. NPD will work with PS Plus and
the 15 areas to develop ‘best practice’ models of assessment and intervention, drawing on the experience of earlier
PS Plus programmes and the NPS employment pathfinder.


Performance Target 9: Performance Measure 6:

Offenders Placed into Offenders Placed into
Employment1 Employment which is
Retained for four weeks1

Region Area
West Midlands Staffordshire 293 235
Warwickshire 114 91
West Mercia 272 218
West Midlands 999 799
West Midlands Total 1,679 1,343
North East County Durham 204 163
Northumbria 485 388
Teesside 236 189
North East Total 925 740
East of England Bedfordshire 149 120
Cambridgeshire 168 134
Essex 352 282
Hertfordshire 202 161
Norfolk 202 161
Suffolk 155 124
East of England Total 1,228 982
North West Cheshire 253 202
Cumbria 139 111
Greater Manchester 901 721
Lancashire 445 356
Merseyside 543 434
North West Total 2,281 1,825
East Midlands Derbyshire 266 213
Leicestershire & Rutland 263 210
Lincolnshire 159 127
Northamptonshire 167 133
Nottinghamshire 344 275
East Midlands Total 1,199 959
Humberside 297 237
Yorkshire &
Humberside North Yorkshire 166 133
South Yorkshire 449 360
West Yorkshire 734 587
Yorkshire & Humberside Total 1,646 1,317
South East Hampshire 430 344
Kent 386 309
Surrey 160 128
Sussex 316 253
Thames Valley 411 329
South East Total 1,703 1,362
South West Avon & Somerset 354 283
Devon & Cornwall 368 294
Dorset 143 115
Gloucestershire 123 98
Wiltshire 136 109
South West Total 1,124 900
London London 2,274 1,819
Wales Dyfed-Powys 131 105
Gwent 198 158
North Wales 188 150
South Wales 424 340
Wales Total 941 753
England & Wales 15,000 12,000

Targets based on share of basic budget formula

North Yorkshire

West Yorkshire



West Mercia
PS Plus 2006-2008



Model of intervention (● all services to be included)

i) IAG (outside of OLASS arrangements)

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
ii) Employment and Training assessment (outside
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
of OLASS arrangements)
iii) Job Search
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
iv) CV preparation
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
v) Disclosure of convictions
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
vi) Careers guidance
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
vii) Finance, Benefit & Debt
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
viii) Accommodation counselling
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
ix) Communication Skills
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
x) Cognitive skills programme (not accredited
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
xi) Mentoring
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
xii) Employer work
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
xiii) Job Club
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
xiv) Other (please specify)
● ● ● ● ●













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Further Briefings like this one will be produced as necessary and will be posted on the
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