The Evaluation of the Restart Scheme


Learning and Work Institute (L&W) led the evaluation of the Government’s Restart programme, in partnership with Ipsos UK. The research comprised: a longitudinal cohort study, a survey of Restart providers and case study research of 12 geographic areas.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) launched the Restart Scheme in June 2021, as part of the government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’, in response to the expected increase in long-term unemployment resulting from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Referrals to the scheme will continue to June 2026.

Our evaluation comprised:

  • A longitudinal cohort study
  • A survey of Restart providers
  • Case study research of 12 geographic areas

We found that the Restart Scheme was generally effective in achieving its objectives to:

  • move people into or towards sustainable employment
  • have a positive effect on participants’ wellbeing and life satisfaction
  • move people into different sectors

The Restart Scheme was less able to support people with health conditions as well as the more highly skilled or those with specialist qualifications. This is particularly significant in the context of rising levels of economic inactivity which means that future employment support programmes will need to be equipped to support high numbers of people with health conditions.