This report reviews initiatives designed to create or develop upskilling pathways within different sectors to help build understanding of how to promote in-work progression for low wage workers. Initiatives either supported in-work progression for individuals already working in entry level jobs within a sector, or supported individuals to progress into new sectors, by providing the specific skills and support required.
Evidence on impacts suggests that sector-based programmes can have make a significant difference across a number of outcomes, including participation in vocational training, qualifications, employment, job tenure and earnings. Given that most of these initiatives are US-based, gauging the scale of wage change that might be achieved in the UK through sectoral programmes is difficult.
The success of these programmes suggests that making substantial investment investments to enable individuals to get the ‘right job’ may be more effective than ‘work first’ approaches followed by in-work support. Relatively few initiatives focus solely on in-work progression. The main aim of many of the initiatives reviewed was to enable individuals to gain entry to good-quality employment opportunities which provide the opportunity for future progression and career advancement.
Evidence suggests that several factors have driven the success of sector-based programmes: