Understanding the difference you make: An evaluation toolkit for adult learning and career change programmes

Developed as part of the Careertech Challenge, this evaluation toolkit provides a simple step-by-step guide to developing realistic, proportionate and high quality evaluations.


11 03 2021


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The future of work is changing, providing opportunities for new careers and novel ways of working. Changes to the world of work will be driven by long-term trends such as technological and demographic change as well as the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Future skills requirements will increasingly emphasise interpersonal, higher-order cognitive skills (such as fluency of ideas and active learning) and systems skills (such as judgement and decision making). The future workforce will need a combination of broad-based and specialised knowledge and there is currently limited evidence of ‘what works’ to support people to build these skills and support them into new careers.

This evaluation toolkit has been developed by Learning and Work Institute (L&W) based on their experience as the evaluation partner on the Nesta and Department for Education CareerTech Challenge in 2020/21, a £5.75 million programme to encourage bold solutions to improve people’s working lives and unlock employment opportunities for the future. Since March 2020, L&W have been working closely with 11 innovators to evaluate the effectiveness of their digital and online learning solutions in building career adaptability skills and learner motivation amongst people who are working in shrinking sectors and occupations.

The toolkit is designed to support delivery organisations, developers and providers to consider the best ways to evaluate online learning interventions designed to support adults to build skills that support their careers. Through a collection of case studies, checklists, templates and question banks, this toolkit provides advice on how to evaluate interventions with a step-by-step guide to developing realistic, proportionate and high quality plans for an evaluation.

Download the full toolkit