Introduction and background
- PACE (Partnership Action for Continuing Employment) is the Scottish Government’s national strategic partnership framework for responding to redundancy situations. Its aim is to ensure that public sector agencies respond to potential and proposed redundancies as quickly and effectively as possible.
- The Scottish Government set up a national strategic group chaired by the Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning, to oversee a continuous improvement programme to enhance the operation of PACE. In June 2009 the “PACE Partnership” was established which brought together the Scottish Government with 18 partner organisations.
- Skills Development Scotland commissioned IFF Research Ltd. on behalf of the PACE Partnership to evaluate the performance of the refocused PACE as part of the continuous improvement programme.
- The findings in this report are based on a telephone survey of 803 individuals conducted between 15th March and 8th April 2010. Interviews were conducted by telephone, using Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing (CATI), from IFF Research’s telephone centre at its offices in London.
- More specifically, the core aims of this piece of research were to:
- gauge the extent to which clients have accessed specific PACE services;
- examine the perceived relevance, usefulness and timeliness of each service that PACE clients have received, as well as their satisfaction levels more broadly;
- establish the influence that PACE has had on clients’ progression into learning and/or (intended/desired) employment, as well as the extent of “softer” benefits to individuals’ lives such as self-confidence and motivation;
- channel the insight gained from the study into the development of recommendations for further enhancing the focus and effectiveness of the PACE initiative.
- The PACE service is perceived as having a positive influence on users’ employment and employment prospects, and on their motivation to find work. Around half of those who had left their redundant job role by the time of survey had secured new employment at some stage post-redundancy (51%), and most of these (58%) felt that the PACE service had helped them to move into (new) work.
- Almost two-thirds (63%) of PACE service users who had left their redundant job role had either found new employment or undertaken training or development.
- The PACE service also helps people to develop new skills. A quarter (26%) of PACE service users who had left their redundant job role had undertaken training or development since their job was selected for redundancy. Three fifths (59%) reported that the PACE service led to improvements in their ability to write a CV or job application, and around one in five (19%) said that PACE had greatly increased their motivation to apply for more jobs.
- Most users believed the intervention to have been delivered at exactly the right time. Seven in ten (70%) agreed that the initial presentation/information pack was perfectly timed; among the remainder there was a more or less even split between those who believed it to have been delivered too early (17%) and those who believed it to have been delivered too late (13%).
- Users are highly satisfied with the package of support that the PACE service is delivering, and perceive it to be useful and relevant to their needs. In terms of the specific elements of the PACE services:
- 89% of users who reported they had received a general group presentation and information pack from PACE rated it as relevant, 91% as useful and 94% were satisfied with the intervention;
- Personalised support with regard to CV development, job search and application processes and interview technique are seen as the most relevant and most effectively delivered aspects of the service (each with satisfaction scores of over 90%);
- Other support services were also rated positively.