Case Study: Research, Evaluation & Design

EKC Group – Skills Renewal Project pilot evaluation



East Kent College (EKC) received money from the UK Community Renewal Fund (UKCRF) to enable them to pilot innovative new approaches and programmes in their locality. Their findings from these projects prepared them to take full advantage of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund when it launched in 2022. The project took place across three distinct geographical areas – Thanet & Dover, Ashford & Swale, Canterbury & Folkestone and Hythe. 

The front cover of the final report for the Ashford and Swale area impact evaluation

The project encompassed three separate strands – Learning for Life and Work, Digital Devices and Connectivity, Employer Skills Renewal. These all aimed to target different beneficiaries from across the areas.



A main aim of the project was to engage with a large number of beneficiaries from different educational and employment backgrounds, including those who have not engaged in the educational system in many years.

Three distinct groups of beneficiaries were identified:

  • Economically inactive – those who are not engaged in any work or training and are not intending to engage
  • Unemployed – those who are not currently in work but who are seeking employment
  • Employed – those in employment but are looking to upskill

The projects introduced beneficiaries to a range of ‘taster’ courses in a wide variety of topics.

always possible produced an evaluation framework that measures and validates the progress made by beneficiaries, the impact of the Community Mentors and Job Brokers in helping beneficiaries to progress when compared to existing funded provision and the impact of digital devices on the confidence, wellbeing and progression of beneficiaries. The final evaluation report detailed the difference the project has made over the 8-month period, testing the project delivery models of all strands against existing mainstream models to see if there is learning that can be applied to improve local, regional and national funded delivery.


  • Research and development of a robust evidence base to make the case for this model of 3-pronged local support
  • A Theory of Change workshop
  • Evaluation framework and plan
  • Beneficiary focus groups
  • Stakeholder consultation with Job Brokers, Community Mentors, Tutors and EKC Group strategic leads


  • A full evaluation report per geographical area (3 in total) ✓
  • Identification of which interventions had the greatest impact ✓
  • An understanding of key learning and future recommendations ✓
  • An executive summary report ✓
  • A presentation to analyse and compare findings for all three areas ✓
  • Infographics to illustrate key findings ✓