This study, commissioned by the Educational Guidance Service for Adults (EGSA) in Northern Ireland (NI), attempts to capture the current return to the economy of the investment in career/educational guidance services provided to the adult population by EGSA. This organisation had been in existence in Northern Ireland for 40 years. The research results clearly show the significant positive contribution that EGSA makes to Northern Ireland both in terms of labour market outcomes and economic impact. EGSA’s headline annual economic contribution is estimated to be:
Labour market outcomes:
- 580 clients progressing in work/being promoted
- 270 clients not being promoted but having higher productivity due to enrolling on a course
- 20 clients from full-time education starting a new job
- 770 clients not in employment or full-time education starting a new job.
800 more people in employment, contributing £26m in wages and profits (GVA) and £12m in net tax revenue (sum of income tax, national insurance, corporation tax and social security benefits saved). This translates into £9.02 net additional tax revenue for every £1 of public money invested in guidance services today. In terms of relativities to NI aggregates, the economic impact equates to 0.10% of both NI total employment and GVA.
One of the key targets of the Programme for Government, which the authors can relate to EGSA impacts, is the target for raising NI’s overall employment rate by 5% (by 2020). If EGSA’s current contribution is maintained, EGSA will contribute to assisting 1 in 10 people into employment of the overall additional jobs needed to meet the employment rate target.
The labour market and economic returns are based on the assumption of EGSA’s current annual 10,000 interventions (combination of individual clients and persons assisted by advocates to EGSA) and the current economic activity status of clients since the Client Relationship Management Information System was set up in 2006. The authors point out that the analysis and scenarios used in the study have been based on the response rates to EGSA’s tracking process of which returns have been around 10%. Actual outcomes may be higher than what has been measured.