Select Committee on Work and Pensions Minutes of Evidence

Annex A

A summary of the evaluation findings from DWP Research Report No. 156 `Short-term effects of compulsory participation in ONE'

  Clients from ethnic minority groups were:

    —  less likely to say that they had attended a personal adviser meeting

    (Lone parent clients: 73 per cent. compared with 81 per cent. of the white group)

    (Sick or disabled clients: 58 per cent. compared with 69 per cent.)

    —  less likely to report having discussed in-work benefits

    (Lone parents: 7 per cent. compared with 19 per cent.)

    —  less likely to mention a feature of ONE that they liked

    (Sick or disabled clients: 39 per cent. compared with 49 per cent.).

    —  However these clients were significantly more likely to report having received advice about jobs (Sick or disabled clients: 18 per cent. compared with 12 per cent. of white.)

  The numbers are too small for detailed analyses of individual ethnic groups and the findings must therefore be tentative. There were some patterns that emerged which suggest that Pakistani clients may have received a worse service than their white counterparts. Among lone parent clients, only 3 per cent. of Pakistanis and black Caribbeans had discussed in-work benefits compared with 19 per cent. of white clients. This variation persisted when other factors were controlled. Pakistani lone parent clients were also less likely to have attended a Personal Adviser meeting (66 per cent. compared with 81 per cent.) while, in the sick or disabled clients group, Pakistani clients were less likely to mention a feature of ONE that they disliked (34 per cent. compared with 49 per cent.). These variations did not prove statistically significant when other factors were controlled. It may be that the ethnic variation is reflecting the different characteristics of Pakistani clients or it may be that the numbers are too small. The proportion of Black Caribbean lone parent clients who had discussed in-work benefits was also relatively low (3 per cent.) but otherwise, these clients tended to fare as well as white clients on most measures.

  Another reason for caution is that clients from ethnic minority groups tended to be clustered in a small number of areas and some of the differences noted may have been partly attributable to variations in the procedures adopted in these localities. However, this was not the sole explanation. The variations still persisted when the analysis was confined to the three benefit office areas with high concentrations of ethnic minority clients.

7 February 2002

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