You are on the Natcen site

Click here for Scotcen

natcen map

You are on the Natcen site

Click here for Scotcen

natcen map

Activity Agreement Pilots Evaluation

Work brainstorm
Researchers: Emily Tanner
Published: April 2009


We tested the effectiveness of a Government initiative – the Activity Agreements Pilot - to encourage disengaged young people back into education, employment and training.

Activity Agreement Pilot

Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) were given financial incentives to take part in activities that were tailored to their needs and interests. These activities could be job related, focused on personal development or college based.


We found it had had a small but positive impact on taking part in positive activities 12 months after becoming NEET:

  • 26% of participants reported participating in personal development activities who without an Activity Agreement (AA) would not have done
  • about 3% of participants entered work-based training as a direct impact of AA
  • 7% of participants took up a qualification as a result of AA

However, take up of paid work without training was 10% lower than it would have been without AA.

It had a small impact on young people’s attitudes towards the future and learning.

  • They were less likely to say that their confidence had worsened in the past year.
  • They had slightly more interest in learning.


This was a quantitative impact evaluation comparing two samples of NEETs, those in Activity Agreement pilot areas and those not. It fed into a wider evaluation of the pilot for the Department for Children, Schools and Families carried out by NatCen, the Institute for Employment Studies and the Centre for Employment and Industry.

Read the report