Evaluation of the Participation Program

Sector: Vocational Education and Training
Client: Western Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development

The Participation Program is aimed at improving employment and further training and education outcomes for specific target groups (including Indigenous people, ex-offenders, people with disability and youth at risk) and is available across all Western Australian regional areas. The program is funded by the Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD) and is delivered by a mix of private and public registered training providers (RTOs).

This formative evaluation considered the:
•    Appropriateness of the Program’s contracting, funding and management frameworks;
•    Drivers behind variations in the take-up and distribution of training in different target groups, across different regions and for different qualifications;
•    Impact on target groups’ movement into further education and/or employment; and
•    Quality and effectiveness of the support services provided.

The following data collection methods were developed and applied by Miles Morgan:
•    Document review of program relevant material published by the Department and other national and state/territory based VET-related Government sources;
•    Review of relevant literature and documentation for programs/policies related to VET and the Participation Program’s target student groups;
•    Semi-structured workshops and personal interviews; and
•    Online surveys (both open-ended and quantitative-type questions).

MS Excel and SPSS  were used to produce descriptive statistics to synthesise and analyse the survey data collected from the surveys, and to analyse program data provided by DTWD and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census data. Text analysis and coding techniques were applied to the qualitative data collected, with the assistance of Atlas.ti software. Triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data was executed to validate the analysis. A comprehensive report that provides an evidence based response to a range of key evaluation questions posed by DTWD has been accepted by the Department and will be used to help inform future funding of the program.

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