Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Director, DMH & Associates Ltd


In late 2017, the Board of Careers Yorkshire and the Humber: National Careers Service commissioned dmh associates to undertake an economic review and analysis of the productivity and economic benefits of the service, "Productivity and the Economic Benefits: National Careers Service - Careers Yorkshire and the Humber".

The period under review focuses on data available from early 2015 – mid year 2017 and the primary focus is on face-to-face careers guidance for adults. 

Three key questions that were asked:

  1. What level of fiscal return does the National Careers Service: Careers Yorkshire and the Humber make to HM Treasury?
  2. Is the National Careers Service priority target group, set by the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), linked to a payment by results, sufficient to meet regional/local needs?
  3. What lies ahead in Yorkshire and the Humber when it comes to the National Careers Service face-to-face careers guidance work with adults in the coming year(s)?

Level of fiscal return

For every £1 invested in the National Careers Service: Careers Yorkshire and the Humber £9 is returned in fiscal benefits to the Treasury and the wider economy. The service paid for itself in less than 2 months. This would imply the service has already paid for itself 4 times over halfway through this fiscal year.

The economic benefits created for the Treasury are, as a minimum, the cost savings in payments of Job Seeker Allowance (JSA) and other benefits, as well as the additional income to the Treasury accrued from income tax payments from those adults newly employed.

The estimated economic benefit is calulated by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) to be £9,800 per successful intervention, and are the result of an individual entering work, paying taxes and ceasing to receive benefits.

Societal benefits were assumed to be £14,610, the average wage expenditure in the UK. When total societal benefits are considered, the impacts are greater still. Both of these figures were uprated for inflation for 2015 and 2016, to represent the likely larger real benefits job outcomes generated last year

A 2016 national survey on the face-to-face area based service conducted by the ESFA showed the following results:

  • 31% of customers moved from unemployment to employment
  • 55% of customers progressed in employment
  • 68% of customers progressed in learning
  • 58% of customers felt that the National Careers Service adviser played a part in achieving employment progression
  • 60% of customers felt that their National Careers Service adviser played a part in achieving progression in learning.

The level of funding is set to drop by 24% in Yorkshire and the Humber from October 2018. This reduction in funding is a false economy given face-to-face careers guidance gives direct fiscal benefits and creates the conditions for more individuals to progress towards meaningful education, training and/or employment. This, in turn, supports increased productivity and prosperity across Yorkshire and the Humber region.

By March 2018, the National Careers Service-induced Job and Learning Outcomes (JLOs) are expected to increase by 10% on the previous year, with those entering Learning or Training increasing by 24%. The Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is proposing significant changes regarding priority target groups.

Productivity and Economic

Two key questions for policymakers and regional influencers to consider are: 

  1. How adults with level 2 but below level 3 qualifications in Yorkshire and the Humber gain bespoke face-to-face careers guidance when they need it most?
  2. What is level of national financial investment in local careers services for adults?

This report is now released at a time when new National Careers Service Area-Based contracts in England will come into place from 1st October 2018. The National Careers Service Area-Based contracts (2014) totalled £75,400,000 across 12 geographical areas. From 1st October 2018, the contract value is approx £40,000,490 to cover 9 new geographical boundaries i.e. there are fewer but larger regions. Over a four year period, the budgets have shrunk by 46%.


While these cuts would save £1.3 million per annum in costs, they would see a £12 million fall in fiscal benefits, as well as a total societal benefit fall of at least £30 million.

Funding for face-to-face careers guidance does not only pay for itself, but it also returns 9-fold towards the cost of the service. The ROI is understated as it does not account for the value of learning outcomes or the value of progression in work and other societal benefits.

The real return is much higher, nearer double, given that this return on investment (ROI) is based on job outcomes within contractual rules (for 2016, 17.3% of job outcomes were claimable and used in the above ROI results versus 31% of customers who moved from unemployment to employment). Actual job outcomes are much higher. 

Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Director, DMH & Associates Ltd, Associate Fellow, University of Warwick, Institute for Employment Research (IER)

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 4 hours 41 minutes ago

Special Education Needs: “My battle to get an...

The BBC has obtained exclusive evidence that special education needs (SEN) support placements significantly drop post the age of 16 for students...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 4 hours 41 minutes ago

? New Podcast! "#VirtualCoffee with David Gallagher on the future of education, skills and employability" on… https://t.co/DoRg5w3wvT
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page