long road ahead

The journey to employment continues

By Ellen Harries 30 April 2014

It’s been quite a journey. Ever since we launched the first version of the Journey to Employment (JET) framework in May last year, we’ve been inundated with interest from youth organisations using it to measure their impact.

The JET framework is part of NPC’s work for Inspiring Impact on shared measurement and looks specifically at shared outcomes in the youth employability sector. These outcomes include emotional capabilities, like self-esteem, grit and determination, as well as harder outcomes like qualifications and training, and of course finding and sustaining good quality employment.

Over the past year, we’ve been busy holding roundtables, talking to experts and piloting the framework with a range of organisations—Acknowledging Youths, Blackpool Council, Cambridge House, East London Business Alliance (ELBA), Fluency and vInspired. Today we launch an refreshed version, incorporating new outcomes and measures based on feedback from these different activities.

At NPC we know measuring impact can be tricky, but the response we’ve had to JET shows there’s a real appetite for better impact practice, and that the JET framework and guidance can help overcome some of the challenges. As Beatriz Dominguez, Children’s and Adults’ Services Manager at Cambridge House, explains: ‘Measuring and evaluating the impact of your work is by no means straightforward, but using JET has really helped.’

The flexibility of the shared measurement framework is an aspect many have commented on. Sinead Mac Manus, founder and CEO of Fluency, one of the pilots, said the framework is ‘comprehensive and covered all, and more than, we had thought of. It’s modular, so we could pick and choose the elements most relevant to our work.’ Once organisations have developed a clear theory of change, they can identify their outcomes in JET and use the corresponding scales to measure their impact.

It doesn’t stop there; we want organisations to compare with and learn from others, and build the evidence base for what works. Some are already anticipating the effects. Rebecca Graham, Impact Co-ordinator at the large volunteering charity vInspired, said ‘the framework has minimised the effort we need to put in to get results, and I’m really looking forward to learning from what we find. Lots of organisations will be using the same measures as us, so we can begin to share our data with others and find out about what types of interventions are working.’

Now that the updated JET framework has been launched, we’d like to see more organisations taking it up so it can support the youth employability sector as a whole to improve measurement.

Access all you need on NPC’s website: the framework to enable you, the JET Pack to guide you, and case studies to inspire you. And please do get in touch on Twitter or via the LinkedIn page—we’ve got plans to make the JET framework available online, so organisations can pick their outcomes and administer surveys at the click of a few buttons. We want to know who you are, so we can keep you up to date!