Evaluation of New Deal 25 Plus for the over- 50s

[ employment-and-welfare  randomised-trial  ]

New Deal 25 plus (ND25+) provided job search assistance, training opportunities and work placements to people aged between 25 and the State Pension age, who had been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for 18 out of 21 months. It comprised three stages: Gateway (up to four months of intensive job search assistance); Intensive Activity Period (IAP - a variety of assistance (training, work experience, etc. lasting 13 to 52 weeks; and Follow-through (further job search assistance for up to three months). In 2006, the government announced the intention to make participation in the IAP mandatory for the over-50s. Prior to this, participation had been voluntary for customers in this age group, in contrast to younger customers for whom IAP participation had always been mandatory. This project investigates the effects on employment and benefit receipt of making full participation compulsory for the over-50s. This policy change was piloted in a number of areas within the UK and evaluated by individual random assignment of the requirement to participate. The results show that mandating participation resulted in a sustained increase in employment and a corresponding reduction in benefit receipt. The results were driven at least in part by a deterrent effect.


Dorsett, R., Smeaton, D. and Speckesser, S. (2013) The effect of making a voluntary labour market programme compulsory: evidence from a UK experiment Fiscal Studies 34 (4): 467-489

Dorsett, R. and Smeaton, D. (2008) Mandating Intensive Activity Period for jobseekers aged 50+: final report of the quantitative evaluation DWP Research Report 500

Dorsett, R. and Speckesser, S. (2006) Mandating IAP for older New Dealers: an interim report of the quantitative evaluation DWP Research Report 362


Department for Work and Pensions