The barriers associated with employment retention, for people moving off benefit and into paid work, are well documented in the New Zealand1 and international literature and are often identified as relating to financial difficulties, family life demands, particularly childcare, and labour market conditions. International research suggests that job retention can be as low as 29 to 44 percent over the 12-18 month period following initial employment.
The Department of Labour commissioned a meta analysis of three pilot projects, supplemented by findings from a further two New Zealand research projects and a limited scan of international literature, with the aim of consolidating current information about the issue of employment retention for people who have moved off benefit.
The primary objective of the meta analysis was to inform any new pilots which may be developed and to provide a framework of “critical success factors” to guide future development of post-placement support programmes in the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).
The meta analysis draws on the evaluation reports of three pilot projects the Post Placement Support Pilot (PPS, 2002); The Into Work Pilot (IWP, 2001); and In Work Support (IWS, 2001) - targeting Maori and Pacific people. In addition findings from two New Zealand research projects Qualitative Evaluation of the Shorter-term Outcomes of the DPB/WB Reforms and Investigation of the Reasons Why Clients Leave Employment to Return to Benefit in Auckland South are also noted. Further, the meta analysis notes key evaluation lessons from transition-to-work and employment retention programmes run in the United States.