Making change for the better possible through robust applied research

People & Work was founded in 1984 to undertake applied research to help people cope with the economic and social impacts of the closure of heavy industry in the South Wales valleys. Since then, research and evaluation for the public and voluntary sectors has been integral to our work.

People and Work delivers a range of research services to our public and voluntary sectors clients including:

  • research to better understand people’s lives, aspirations and choices;
  • options appraisal and feasibility studies to assess the likely cost-effectiveness of projects and programmes;
  • programme and project evaluations, to explore design, implementation and impact, in order to inform practice and provide accountability; and
  • organisational reviews in order to review and improve performance now and in the future.

We offer expertise in quantitative and qualitative research and analysis, and primary and secondary research, including interviews, focus groups, surveys, systematic literature reviews and quantitative data analysis. We work throughout Wales and Europe.

Much of our work is inter-sectoral, focused upon different stages of the life course (covering childhood to old age), different policy areas (including most notably education, health and social policy), different types of organisation, policy and programme (ranging from the local to European) and different groups (including different ethnic and linguistic groups, different genders and disabled people). The golden thread running throughout our work, is our commitment to make change for the better possible.

Below are some examples of the many studies undertaken by People & Work over the last 33 years.

A Brighter Future

Brynefydd, (the names of the community and schools have been changed) is a small community in the South Wales valleys. The area has suffered economic decline, and in common with many other disadvantaged areas, members of the community and the schools are concerned that unless the educational attainment of young people from the community can be increased, the decline cannot be reversed. This study, funded by the Welsh Assembly Government’s New Ideas Fund and undertaken by People & Work, the local Communities First Partnership and the Centre for Applied Education Research at Cardiff Metropolitan University, explores the underlying reasons why the educational attainment of many, although by no means all, children from Brynefydd is lower than teachers and the community expect.

I Want Some of That

Trailblazers and Learning Brokers in the South Wales Valleys is a study funded by the Welsh Assembly Government’s New Ideas Fund. The aim of this study was to better understand the impact of educational role models in deprived communities in South Wales.

A Night on the Books (Build It, Interim evaluation)

“I sometimes have a night in on the books instead of going out with the boys. I study now ‘cos I see the need”: Build It Apprentice

Build It was a five year project exploring what it takes to enable sixteen young people with few or no qualifications from disadvantaged communities to achieve industry qualifications at NVQ Levels 2 and 3 and develop the ‘soft’ skills and ‘life’ skills they needed to sustain employment for the rest of their lives. The project demonstrated that the failure of individuals to reach NVQ level 2 at school, does not mean that they lacked the ability to succeed if given a genuine second chance. This report provides essential evidence on what it takes to enable these individuals to succeed.