The Scotland Act 2016 devolved responsibility for contracted employment support for disabled people and those at risk of long-term unemployment. Fair Start Scotland (FSS) launched in April 2018, following a year of transitional services: Work First Scotland (WFS) and Work Able Scotland (WAS).
FSS is underpinned by the following principles:
- Delivery of a flexible 'whole person' approach;
- Services that are responsive to those with high needs;
- A drive towards real jobs;
- Services designed and delivered in partnership;
- Services designed nationally but adapted and delivered locally; and
- Contracts that combine payment by job outcome and progression towards work.
Delivery of FSS has been contracted out by the Scottish Government to six different service providers, over 9 different geographical Lots across Scotland. Between April 2018 and December 2018 there were approximately 7,000 starts on the service.
As part of an evaluation of FSS, IFF are conducting annual waves of telephone survey research among FSS participants, from 2019 to 2021. The aim is to provide a representative picture of how participants are experiencing FSS and the outcomes they achieve.
The first wave of data collection was completed in June 2019 and the findings are presented within.
Further evaluation research findings from year 1 are published separately in two reports: local area case studies, and an overview of year 1. These are available on the Scottish Government website.