Taking a fairer approach to employability
Over the past few months things have been moving at a rapid pace on employability with this month marking the launch of the transitional services.
The priority with these new services is that we give continuity of support to unemployed people who have been faced with barriers to work. Work First Scotland will deliver support for up to 3,300 disabled people, while up to 1,500 people with a disability or a health condition will access services through Work Able Scotland.
These are distinctly Scottish services which will support those who need extra help to get into work.
The devolution of employment support services is a real opportunity to make Scotland fairer. They are distinctive because they are entirely voluntary meaning that people can participate without the threat of sanctions. This is important as our services should be seen as an opportunity not a threat.
Services will be consistent across Scotland but delivered locally in a flexible, tailored and responsive way that meets the needs of disabled people and those at risk of long-term unemployment.
— scotgoveconomy (@scotgoveconomy) April 3, 2017
This sets us up for creating a strong platform for our full programme of support from 2018.
Preparations for this full programme are well underway with the Invitation to Tender now issued. This ITT will look to establish the foundations for new partnerships. Through our procurement of Fair Start Scotland we want providers to be ambitious in meeting – and exceeding what this new service can deliver.
This move is particularly significant as for the first time we have reserved one contract of the nine that will be in place across Scotland, for supported businesses as part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to creating a more inclusive workplace.
Fair Start Scotland will run from April 2018 for three years of referrals and will look to support up to 38,000 disabled people and those at risk of long term unemployment over that period.
By taking a voluntary approach, there will be a different relationship between service providers and participants and I believe it will drive continuous improvement by ensuring participants stay engaged.
When our programme is up and running we will be continually looking to make improvements by listening to those who use the services, and learning for 2021 and beyond.