Our progress to date:
At the end of December 2022, 1,263 carers and former carers had registered with the project, exceeding the overall target of 1,253. Participants are from all 33 London boroughs.
So far, 58% of those registered with the project have accessed training, 48% have been supported to job-search, 20% have moved into employment, and 13% have accessed volunteering opportunities. 72% of those who have moved into employment reported that they sustained employment for 26 out of 32 weeks.
Participants who move into employment, job-searching and/or training complete a satisfaction survey: 86% reported that their confidence had improved; and 82% said their skills had improved.
Wavehill Social and Economic Research
Key findings from the evaluation of the project by Wavehill Social and Economic Research:
- Working for Carers is by design carer friendly and is therefore likely to appeal to carers seeking to move back into employment. The majority of participants have a current caring role when they register.
- The biggest barrier to moving into employment for carers is finding work or education/training that fits around the caring role; this is followed by low confidence and skills that are not up-to-date.
- 82% are economically inactive (not in employment or actively job-searching) when they register with the project, which is significantly higher than all projects funded by Building Better Opportunities (47%).
- Participants who are economically inactive are more likely to require pre-employability support: space to consider their needs and barriers to employment, and make an informed decision about next steps.
- A holistic approach to supporting carers to move into and sustain employment is important, which considers support needed at different stages:
- Pre-employability: encouraging carers to transition into actively seeking work
- Employability: supporting carers to progress into work
- Employment: supporting working carers and encouraging employers to adopt carer friendly policies.
- The most effective mechanism for promoting the project and generating referrals is through the development and management of strong local referral networks.
Wavehill also produced two interim evaluation reports for Working for Carers:
Research with carers and service providers (August 2022):
Wavehill Social and Economic Research conducted research to learn more about employability and employment support needs of unpaid carers. Key findings include:
- Concerns about household finances and the cost of living are a major reason why carers want to find work.
- Carers seeking work have specific needs over and above general employability support, for example advice on balancing work and caring.
- A lack of access to alternative care is a key barrier to carers progressing into employment or balancing their work with caring.
- Carers are concerned about stigma in the workplace and are worried about disclosing their caring role.
- Financial concerns, such as loss of Carer’s Allowance, are a barrier to entering work or increasing hours.
- Access to flexible working is very important for carers looking to enter or sustain work.
- More than 1 in 3 working carers report that they are struggling to balance work and their caring role.
- Carer’s Leave may help carers balance work and caring.
Key findings from the evaluation of the project by Ecorys:
- There are benefits to a national charity working with community-based organisations: Carers Trust provides a national voice; and the Network Partners contribute an important reach into local communities.
- There is a need for carer specialist organisations to deliver Working for Carers. Carers Trust Network Partners understand the needs of carers and have established trust with local communities.
- Delivery needs to be tailored to the demographics of the local area; it is important to be able to establish positive working relationships and a sense of a shared identity.
- Individualised, and varied, support is important, which looks holistically at needs and barriers to employment; however, there are limits to support Employment Advisors can personally provide.
- An internal audit of local services should be conducted to support Advisers to signpost carers to relevant specialist support.
- Internal communications are important during a long-term funded project with multiple partners.
About Working for Carers
Working for Carers supports unpaid carers and former carers to move into or closer to employment. The project is jointly funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.