What Works Unit for Learning & Work

The What Works Unit exists to promote and enable the use of evidence in decision making in employment, learning and skills.

Aligned with our core mission as an organisation, we work collaboratively with others to champion the use and creation of evidence to support lifelong learning, full employment and inclusion.

Our core activities include:

  • Understanding the challenge. We analyse key trends within the labour market to identify key challenges and opportunities to help policy makers and practitioners prioritise investment and design interventions. Our Labour Market and Skills dashboard summarises the latest available data.
  • Summarising the best available evidence. We gather and summarise high quality, UK and international evidence for commissioners, policy makers and practitioners, while also identifying where the gaps are. Our evidence reviews cover a range of topics, from essential and life skills and attainment among learners with more challenges to employment support for disabled people.
  • Supporting the use of evidence. We work with policy makers and practitioners across the UK to disseminate evidence through events and hand-on support to organisations.
  • Generating new evidence on what works to improve employment and learning outcomes. We develop strategic partnerships to identify promising programmes, test new approaches and build evidence.

Explore our what works unit

Improving attainment among disadvantaged students in the FE and adult learning sector

This research completed on behalf of the Social Mobility Commission looks at interventions to improve the level of attainment for disadvantaged students.I t recommends that the government should invest £20 million over 5 years to establish a What Works Centre for further education which should focus on: what works across all stages of the learner journey,from participation to longer term socio-economic outcomes; and what works for specific groups of learners

Want to know more?

For further information about out what works unit for learning and work: contact Fay Sadro, head of evidence