Foot in the Door
M&E Lab was commissioned to evaluate Foot in the Door, a project by Creative Alliance which aims to address inequalities within the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) workforce. The project paired young people with partner organisations which would deliver work-based learning programmes, and it aimed to develop participants creative and cultural skills. Our evaluation of the project enabled Creative Alliance to learn from the experience and will inform future iterations of this pilot project. In addition, the evaluation highlighted outcomes which will inform policymakers at regional level about market failures in skills development and delivery within the creative and cultural industries.
Working with Creative Alliance, M&E Lab developed a program for evaluation which would not only measure the success of pre-identified deliverables for the project but also offer robust academic scrutiny. We initially acted to frame the project within the context of inequality of access to careers in the creative and cultural industries using, drawing on industry and academic publications and research. Analysis of the cultural background of participants, compared to the current CCI workforce was then used to consider whether the recruitment strategy had been successful.
A more qualitative approach was deployed to address objectives such as the success of the project in delivering work-based learning programmes, the impact on creative and cultural skills, and the impacts on career expectations and perceptions of the sector. This included observing facilitators working with participants on tasks such as making a music track, or sewing in a wardrobe department. Evaluations completed within the partner organisations also explored how participants impressions of the industry changed during the project. Organisational feedback and additional interviews with participants were also used to consider which aspects of the work-based learning programmes had been most successful, and the impact on partner organisations.
A written report which framed the evaluation of this project within the broader context of the cultural and creative industries was provided to Creative Alliance. This enabled them to not only see the measured success of the project against initial objectives but also learn from the experience and shape future iterations of the project based on the findings. Wider dissemination of the evaluation also acted to inform how partner organisations approach participant working projects and also inform policymakers at regional level about market failures in skills development and delivery within the creative and cultural industries.