Cost benefit analysis of NEET early intervention programmes – West London Alliance
Rocket Science has been working on the Youth Strand of the West London Alliance’s 6–borough “Whole Place Community Budget” pilot. We conducted a ‘deep dive’ review into the provision and support for 16-18 year olds in West London, the barriers and challenges, what works and the implications for programmes to reflect requirements for Raising Participation Age. Our research led us to a new model of early intervention developed by Impetus PEF (“Think Forward”) designed on an “invest to save” basis to prevent young people becoming NEET by offering those identified as most at risk a dedicated life coach. A 2-year pilot of 5 coaches in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets had enjoyed a 98% success rate – only 6 of 320 teenagers referred to the programme did not progress into post-16 learning or work. Tower Hamlets was nevertheless unable to continue the model owing to budget constraints.
The Private Equity Foundation (PEF) was at the time looking to scale up a programme to reduce NEETs, and to fund Think Forward through a Social Impact Bond. Rocket Science worked with Impetus PEF and the West London partners to identify ways to replicate the Think Forward model in the context of Whole Place Community Budgeting. In making the business case for a new preventative approach to tackling NEETs, Rocket Science consultants were trained in how to use the New Economy Manchester Cost Benefit Analysis toolkit which enabled us to quantify the anticipated cashable savings over 5-10 year of more effective early intervention with young people showing a clutch of RONIs (Risk Of NEET Indicators) in years 6 and 7.
We assessed the potential impact of a proposed West London pre-NEET 14-16 intervention. This involved 100 young people selected as being at risk of NEET supported by a dedicated coach for the duration of the programme (up to 5 years). The aim of the £450,000 intervention is to reduce the numbers of NEETs in the target area/group of schools by 50%. We estimated, from previous pilots, that the outcomes would be:
- Reduction in numbers moving onto JSA at 18 – 55%
- Reduction in people claiming ESA/IB by 50%
- Reduction in numbers claiming LPIS by 60%
- Increase in level 2 qualification by 60%
- Increase in level 3 qualification by 40%
- Reduction in mental health interventions by 20%
- Reduction in ASB committed by the cohort by 25%
- Reduction in all crimes committed by the cohort by 25%
- Reduction in safeguarding by 20%
- Reduction in drug and alcohol abuse by 25%
- Improvements in individual family and community well-being by 40%
- Using the New Economy Manchester Cost Benefit Analysis toolkit we assigned monetary values to outcomes finding that the cost benefit overall was:
- A fiscal benefit cost Ratio of 1.64 (£745,000 in benefits)
- A economic benefit cost ratio of 0.83 (£380,000 in benefits)
- A social benefit ratio of 1.86 (£848,000 in benefits)
The fiscal and social benefits indicators are positive over a five year payback period. The economic benefits are lower owing to the age of the young people involved and the fact that they are not in the work place for several years of the proposed CBA timeframe.
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