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Task Squad does this through a supporting those with volunteer experience into employment including the completion of short term paid work, known as tasks, via an online portal. Task Squad’s business model looks to build on the assets of vInspired, such as its database of young people with volunteering experience, to work one-to-one with them to improve their work readiness. Read the full impact evaluation.

About the evaluation

Level on Standards: Level 1 - you can describe what you do and why it matters, logically, coherently and convincingly.

Evaluator: Renaisi

Aim: the evaluation aimed to assess the effectiveness of Task Squad’s support in getting those with volunteer experience into employment.

Key findings:

  1. The report suggests Task Squad had a positive effect on communication, self-confidence, interpersonal relationships and self-management skills.
  2. Young people reported an increased understanding of the workplace, alongside their confidence in being able to shape career goals.
  3. Young people claimed that they valued increased confidence/awareness at interviews, better knowledge of the labour market and the experience of paid employment.

Methodology:

  • Method: semi-structured interviews, observation, on-line metrics and quasi-pre-post surveys.
  • Participants: 1032 young people were approached for evaluation – 188 filled in the pre- survey, with 15 filling in the post- survey.
  • Other data: 21 separate young people were also randomly selected from the programme to take part in interviews. 8 staff interviewers and 9 employers were also randomly selected for interviews.

Why this Level: The evaluation did include baseline and follow-up surveys, but there were two issues that prevented validation at Level 2 – a) less than 10% of young people who filled in the baseline survey also filled in the follow-up, and so we can’t be sure that this sample is representative of all young people who took part in the service; and b) the questions asked at baseline and follow-up were slightly different, and so cannot confidently show a positive change in outcome.

About the evidence journey

Progress: The focus of this evaluation was on process, and it has generated a wealth of insight on the Task Squad processes and user experience. Harnessing these insights will hopefully empower the programme to maximise its impact going forward.

Lessons learned:

Service design learning

As part of the development vInspired’s new organisational strategy, there will be a more explicit focus on how Task Squad supports young people’s transition from social action to accessing employment. vInspired will use the evaluation to inform how they reshape existing services to provide better support for young people to translate their social action experiences into work based competencies through their revised awards offer. vInspired will re-design their journey to then ensure young people are referred directly onto the programme to receive job searching support. This will help to build a pipeline of work ready young people for Task Squad to match to employment opportunities.

Methodological learning

This evaluation enabled Task Squad to review and improve data capture and understanding of young people accessing Task Squad in the early autumn (six months into the project). This was crucial to understand how Task Squad capture and measure the social impact of the programme. A formative approach is particularly suited to innovation projects which need to constantly evolve and develop- we will look to replicate this approach.

The combination of using web analytics plus more transitional evaluation tools to measure impact has provided a unique contribution to their learning, for how they both scale and maximize impact for the service. As a result, in future evaluations vInspired undertakes, they will be looking to include web analytics and marketing data as part of the analysis.

Next steps:

  • vInspired will review and refine the existing theory of change for Task Squad to understand how they will use the evaluation to build their data on the social impact of Task squad using the PEF Impetus Ready to work framework.
  • Maximise returns for young people on the follow up survey to begin to better understand the longer term impact of task Squad on young people. This will need to link to wider service development on creating an alumni offer for young people using Task Squad and vInspired.
  • Consider more structured reflection support to enable young people to recognise and articulate their achievements through social action, is best placed within vInspired.
  • Review learning from use of the Youth Social Action Outcomes Framework (Cabinet Office) and Ready to Work Framework (PEF-Impetus) to develop shared language of outcomes for vInspired’s work which also resonates with young people
  • Embed the learnings from the journey to Task Squad into a new marketing strategy for Task Squad (and the journey between vInspired and Task Squad).