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Evaluation of Support for Very Long-term Unemployed (SVLTU) Trailblazer

Job Centre Plus
Published: December 2012


We evaluated the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP’s) Support for the Very Long-Term Unemployed (VLTU) Trailblazer, a scheme designed to test ways of supporting the long-term unemployed following completion of the Work Programme.

DWP designed two mandatory six-month support programmes:

  • the Community Action Programme (CAP), a full time work experience placement delivering a community benefit with job search support;
  • Ongoing Case Management (OCM), an intensive offer of flexible and personalised support from a Jobcentre Plus (JCP) adviser.


Neither programme was more effective than current support in achieving job outcomes

Between 15 and 18 per cent of claimants in each group found paid work but this did not differ significantly between the trial groups and the control group.

Staff felt six months was too short to achieve job outcomes in the current economic climate

The programme achieved a range of softer outcomes but staff felt six months was too short to achieve job outcomes because these claimants typically had substantial and complex barriers to work.

Staff were positive about the programmes helping claimants

In spite of the above findings staff saw strengths in each programme. The CAP work placement was seen to bring about greater motivation to work, employability and wellbeing. The intensive OCM approach helped advisers understand and support each participant's needs.

OCM helps claimants overcome barriers to work and personalised support is linked with getting a job

Over half of claimants who received OCM support said it had helped them overcome their barriers to work and get closer to work. OCM claimants who received more personalised support were significantly more likely to be in work at the end of the programme than OCM participants who did not feel their support had been tailored to their needs.

CAP work placements gave participants a sense of achievement

Three-quarters of claimants on CAP placements said they gained a sense of satisfaction from being in a routine while over two-thirds reported increased self-confidence.


Qualitative feedback on the SVLTU programme from Jobcentre Plus and external employment service staff and SVLTU  participant claimants; quantitative survey of 1,500 SVLTU claimants.

Read the report