GovWire

Get help to retrain beta assessment report

Government Digital Service

February 4
14:03 2020

From: Government Digital Service
Assessment date: 21/11/2019
Stage: Beta
Result: Not met
Service provider: Department for Education

Previous assessment reports

Service description

The service allows users to create an action plan to help them identify another type of work they could move into and what training might be available nearby to support them in their application.

Service users

People who are in employment; age 24+ and without a degree or equivalent level 6 qualification; who work in jobs at high risk of automation.

1. Understand users and their needs

Decision

The service did not meet point 1 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team had clearly focussed on iterating the service design based on testing with users and were able to point to a number of changes made as a result of testing. There were a number of occasions when the panel suggested alternative design options (e.g. incorporating salary options, returning to a task list) and the team were able to respond by confirming that these options had been tested but found to compromise key user needs
  • the team have recognised that a significant proportion of their users will have lower digital skills and have targeted the participant recruitment to reflect this in their research and testing. As a result of this research they have scaled back functionality in the service so that it works for users with lower digital skills rather than risk excluding these key groups with additional complexity
  • the team have not hidden from research findings that may be difficult for them to address as they like outside the teams control. A good example of this was the reaction to the use of the term apprenticeships. Users found this term as off-putting as they associated it with younger people at a different life stage and the team have sought to avoid the use of the term within their service and manage the hand off to the Apprenticeship service to minimise negative impacts for users

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • test the content more thoroughly, as the service contains a lot of content which the team described as motivational but there was little evidence of this actually being tested. We would expect user research to check comprehension and recall of text-heavy pages once users had left them rather than while they were still on the page and able to re-read. At a higher level the team were able to articulate the goal of the motivational content (e.g. help people understand that this training wont be like going back to school) but they didnt then test that understanding at the end of sessions. The team should carry out this testing to see if the current content heavy design is effective and alter as necessary

2. Solve a whole problem for users

Decision

The service did not meet point 2 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team had identified that users were interested in training as part of a wider journey to find a new job. They had therefore taken steps to position their training offer as part of this journey and to integrate with the DWP Find a Job API
  • the team has shared governance with NCS and have committed to exploring how to line up their user journeys further in future. They have also some shared governance with DWP, and are working to help them integrate routes to the GHTR service into Universal Credits user journeys where appropriate, including Universal Credit and Find a Job
  • the team had a shared board that included stakeholders from DWP and the National Careers Service, and seemed to be in regular conversation with these stakeholders
  • the team had identified that the word apprenticeships also had negative connotations to their user group and were working with the apprenticeship service to explore whether another name might be used
  • the team has worked hard to create handovers to other services from Get help to retrain where their service does not serve the needs, even if they had not yet explored how other services might link back to their service
  • the team are working hard to address the significant challenge of delivering complex behavioural change policy in a way that complies with the Standard. This is a hard problem to address

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • map out the service landscape from the users perspective based on user insight, including overlapping products and services from DWP and NCS across all channels, and use this as a basis for clarifying the proposition and scope of their service, and understanding how these services need to work better together or integrate to help all users across the problem space to get what they need. This is particularly important for routing users into the right services, and helping users find the thing they need for the thing they are trying to do. The team presented good evidence that their target users found words like career and apprenticeship to be for younger users and hence off-putting. They also identified that their aim to provide career guidance to get users into better work was different from the Careers Services aim to provide impartial advice - however this seems like a difference created by policy, rather than a user problem. While the team is doing work to join up with services across DWP and NCS to route users, understanding how users perceive the different offers in this space would help them to scope their proposition with more clarity so users know where to start. The team should also consider what will happen to users from their target group, who do attempt to use the National Careers Service and are not funnelled into the correct type of support on the Get help to retrain service
  • really challenge themselves and policy stakeholders about the name of the service and the problem the service is trying to solve. The team explained that Get help to retrain is testing well among users and helps prime users to understand that training will be part of the service, but the panel recommend that the team continue to test other service names that dont include the word training to see if this impacted users when training was shown as an option. The name of the service is important in the context of other service offers in this space, to ensure users understand its purpose and value
  • do further work around how to help users realise their job is insecure and they should use this service. If this falls within the remit of another service team, the panel recommends questioning as it is likely to be key to making this service a success
  • continue work to improve the relevancy of job recommendations and the viability of the jobs they are promoting to users, for example by exploring how to provide an indication of the size of the job market as well as if its growing or not

3. Provide a joined-up experience across all channels

Decision

The service did not meet point 3 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • phone support was prominently advertised on the service and that the team had considered a range of reasons why a user might call that werent limited to the user not being able to use the digital service. Call centre operators were also able to provide career advice
  • the team are planning on testing with users of the Universal Credit service and were planning to test what kinds of communication could encourage these users to use the Get help to retrain service
  • the team are planning to work with job centres to raise awareness of the National Retraining Scheme in that context
  • the team are working with the Find a job service to influence how they might route users to the NRS services where relevant

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • continue to think hard about routes into their service and make sure they are making decisions about these routes based on clear evidence. The team should continue to build on the good work with trade unions and DWP, but they could also think about other routes in such as

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