Project Description

The Employment Retention and Advancement demonstration

The Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) demonstration piloted a package of in-work support, designed to improve the labour market prospects of low-paid workers and long-term unemployed people. Launched in 2003, over 16,000 people from six regions of Britain applied to the programme. Random assignment was used in order to conclusively test whether or not ERA helped participants work more, earn more, advance further and achieve better outcomes in other specific areas. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to the programme, while the remainder served as a ‘business-as-usual’ control group-a counterfactual which did not receive any assistance from ERA and thus provided a benchmark indicating what would have happened in the absence of the ERA programme.  Participants in ERA had access to a distinctive set of ‘post-employment’ job coaching and financial incentives, which were added to the job placement services that unemployed people could normally receive through Jobcentre Plus. Once employed, ERA participants could receive at least 2 years of advice and assistance from an employment adviser to help them continue working and advance in work. Those who consistently worked full time could receive substantial cash rewards, called ‘retention bonuses’. Participants could also receive help with tuition costs and cash rewards for completing training courses while employed. The programme has been carefully evaluated though a large-scale randomised control trial.  Using administrative data and surveys carried out 1, 2 and 5 years post-randomisation, this evaluation assessed the long-term impacts of the support available under ERA.

Outputs

Dorsett, R., Hendra, R. And Robins, P. (2016, forthcoming) Using Administrative Data to Explore the Effect of Survey Nonresponse in the UK Employment Retention and Advancement Demonstration. Evaluation Review.  PDF – accepted manuscript

Hendra, R., Riccio, J., Dorsett, R. and Robins, P. (2015) Breaking the Low Pay, No Pay Cycle: The Effects of the UK Employment Retention and Advancement Program.  IZA Journal of Labor Policy 4(14).  PDF

Dorsett, R. and Oswald, A. Human well-being and in-work benefits: a randomized controlled trial. NIESR discussion paper PDF

Dorsett, R. and Robins, P. (2013) A Multi-Level Analysis of the Impacts of Services Provided By the UK Employment Retention and Advancement Demonstration.  Evaluation Review 37(2): 63-108.  PDF – gated

Dorsett, R. and Robins, P. (2011) In-work support for lone parents: using the UK ERA demonstration to examine cross-office variation in effectiveness Department for Work and Pensions Working Paper No 105.  PDF

Hendra, R., Riccio, J., Dorsett, R., Greenberg, D., Knight, G., Phillips, J., Robins, P., Vegeris, S. and Walter, J., with Hill, A., Ray, K. and Smith, J. (2011) Breaking the low-pay, no-pay cycle: Final evidence from the UK Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) demonstration. DWP Research Report  765.  PDF

Miller, C., Bewley, H., Campbell-Barr, V., Dorsett, R., Hamilton, G., Hoggart, L., Homonoff, T., Marsh, A., Ray, K., Riccio, J. and Vegeris, S. (2008) Implementation and second-year impacts for New Deal 25 Plus customers in the UK Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) demonstration.  DWP Research Report 520.  PDF

Riccio, J., Bewley, H., Campbell-Barr, V., Dorsett, R., Hamilton, G., Hoggart, L., Marsh, A., Miller, C., Ray, K. and Vegeris, S. (2008) Implementation and second-year impacts for lone parents in the UK Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) demonstration.  DWP Research Report 489.  PDF

Dorsett, R., Campbell-Barr, V., Hamilton, G., Hoggart, L., Marsh, A., Miller, C., Phillips, J., Ray, K., Riccio, J., Rich, S. and Vegeris, S. (2007) Implementation and first year impacts of the UK Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) demonstration.  DWP Research Report 412.  PDF

Funder

Department for Work and Pensions

Partners

MDRC, Institute for Fiscal Studies, Office for National Statistics, Policy Studies Institute