Scotland’s Devolved Employment Services

An Experimental Statistics Publication for Scotland.

This experimental statistics release is the seventh in a series about the devolved Scottish employability services. This edition publishes:

  • statistics for the first year of Fair Start Scotland, which launched in April 2018
  • the first two years of Work First Scotland and Work Able Scotland, both of which launched in April 2017
  • the first nine months of the Health & Work Support Pilot (HAWS), which launched in June 2018

This edition also includes the first release of statistics on outcomes for Fair Start Scotland participants – those entering employment (‘job starts’), and sustaining employment (‘job outcomes’), as well as those who leave the service early (‘early leavers’). Demographic data for those joining the service (‘starts’ by age and gender) at Local Authority area level, is also included for the first time. For the Health & Work Support Pilot, the first statistics on self-reported disability and ethnic group of participants are also included.

Information on employment outcomes (‘job outcomes’) for Work First Scotland and Work Able Scotland participants is included in the publication, as are figures on those entering employment (‘job starts’) and those leaving the services early (‘early leavers’).

Key findings

Up to 29 March 2019:

  • Of those referred (17,616), 58% of people chose to join Fair Start Scotland (FSS). In total, 10,063 people joined FSS in the first year
  • The first quarter of 2019 saw an increase both in referrals (46%) and starts (48%), compared to the last quarter of 2018
  • 2,013 participants started a job after joining FSS. 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%)
  • 930 people enrolled in the Health & Work Support pilot since it was launched in late June 2018. The most common health conditions reported by participants were musculoskeletal (62%)
  • 1,914 Work First Scotland and Work Able participants had started jobs


This is an Experimental Statistics publication. Experimental Statistics are a type of official statistics that are undergoing development. They are defined in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics as: 'new official statistics undergoing evaluation that are published in order to involve users and stakeholders in their development as a means to build in quality at an early stage'.

The scope of this statistical series has expanded since the first publication in December 2017, as new devolved services have launched and more data becomes available to publish as the services mature.

To ensure the publication is developing in a way which is useful to people, we are asking for users’ views on a range of topics.

Data sources

Fair Start Scotland (FSS)

Number of referrals, starts, job starts and job outcomes for FSS reported through The Scottish Employability Tracking System (SETS).

Work First Scotland (WFS)

Number of job starts reported by WFS service providers.

Numbers of job outcomes from WFS reported through the DWP Provider Referrals and Payments (PRaP) system.

Work Able Scotland (WAS)

Number of job starts reported by WAS service providers.

Number of starts and job outcomes reported by SDS’ Corporate Training System (CTS).

Health & Work Support Pilot

Number of referrals and enrolments reported by the Syntax system (Salus, NHS Lanarkshire).

Please see the Background Information section of the main publication for further details on data sources and methodology.

The full Experimental Statistics publication.


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