Scotland’s first fully devolved employment support service has been accessed by more than 10,000 people in its first year.
Fair Start Scotland (FSS), which launched in April 2018, encourages people to access employment support on a voluntary basis.
The service has published its latest set of statistics to 29 March 2019 which show that:
- 10,063 people accessed support from FSS in its first year
- 2,013 participants have been supported into work – 898 of those who started a job had sustained employment for at least 13 weeks and 418 had sustained employment for at least 26 weeks
- Almost two-thirds (64%) of FSS participants reported having a long-term health condition. Mental health conditions were the most commonly reported (35%)
The employment support service works with those who have challenges in accessing the labour market such as long-term unemployed people and those with health conditions or disabilities.
Fair Work Minister Jamie Hepburn said:
Fair Start Scotland is designed to help people find and stay in jobs that suit their circumstances so I am pleased it has enjoyed such a strong first year. The statistics support the idea that many people need a bit more assistance to help them into employment.
The fact that Fair Start Scotland is a voluntary support service means people choose to participate rather than being driven by the fear of sanctions. This, combined with a clear ethos of treating people with fairness, dignity and respect is something I know people value from the many conversations I have with participants up and down the country.
Delivering a fairer, prosperous economy – with a more inclusive workforce – is a priority for the Scottish Government. To achieve this, we aim to deliver a more inclusive labour market and to continue to enhance the skills of our workforce. Fair Start Scotland is giving people the support they need to help them find and stay in work.
Chair of Employment Support Scotland Kate Still said:
Whilst Fair Start Scotland has only been running for a year, today’s figures show more than 2,000 people have already been supported into employment by the programme. This is a promising start for Scotland’s newly devolved employment support service, which aims to deliver dynamic and innovative approaches to support people furthest from the labour market. As a long-term programme, we will need to wait for it to progress before we can fully assess its performance, but today’s figures give a strong indication that the tireless efforts of the providers and participants are starting to pay off.