Scotland’s Devolved Employment Services

An Experimental Statistics Publication for Scotland.

This experimental statistics release is the ninth in a series about the devolved Scottish employability services.

Statistics published today cover the first 18 months of the Scottish Government's Fair Start Scotland employment support service, which launched in April 2018.

This voluntary service seeks to give personalised help to people who want to get back into work, including those with a disability, additional support needs or a health condition. It also supports the long term unemployed, care leavers or those from a minority ethnic background.

These statistics also cover the first fifteen months of the Health & Work Support Pilot which launched in June 2018. This service delivers increased health and employability support for people living with disabilities and health conditions in Fife and Dundee.

Key findings up to the end of September 2019 include:

• a total of 26,333 unemployed people were referred to Fair Start Scotland (FSS) in the first 18 months of the service, and 16,130 of those (61%) joined. The proportion of people joining from referrals made to FSS was lower when it launched (48% in the first quarter) but has increased since and was 65% in the most recent quarter* 
• after joining FSS, 4,126 people started a job. Of these, 2,080 had sustained employment for at least 13 weeks, 1,062 for at least 26 weeks and 276 for 52 weeks. There are lower numbers for longer job outcomes - many people have not been in the service long enough yet to achieve them
• almost everyone in the first quarter of starts (those joining FSS between launch to the end of June 2018) has had enough time to reach a 13 week job outcome. 22% achieved a 13 week job outcome. So far, 72% of these people going on to sustain employment for 26 weeks and 34% for 52 weeks. 52% of those who started left the service early, without completing the support offered or achieving a job outcome
• FSS participants can have various barriers to work but their health is the most commonly mentioned barrier to returning to work. Two in three people joining FSS reported a long-term health condition and half reported a disability. Mental health conditions were the most commonly reported (38% of all long-term health conditions). Compared with the profile of those joining, participants reporting no long-term health conditions or little limitation achieved higher proportions of job outcomes, whereas those reporting a lot of limitation achieved lower proportions of job outcomes
• the Health & Work Support Pilot in Dundee and Fife has received 1,913 referrals since launch at the end of June 2018. Of these, 1,774 were enrolled in to NHS led case management support. In the most recent quarter, 432 people were referred and 417 of these subsequently enrolled. This represents a 6% decrease in referrals and a 2% decrease in enrolments from the last quarter


* The proportion of people joining FSS will continue to increase for the most recent quarter because some individuals referred to the service will not have had enough time to join the service before the end of September 2019.  

Read the full Experimental Statistics publication.

These statistics include the first data on 52 week job outcomes.

Work First Scotland closed in July 2019, and Work Able Scotland closes in November 2019, so commentary on the services have been removed from publications. Statistics on both services are still available in the Excel tables (Tables 17 to 36) which accompany the publication. The last publication to contain commentary was published in May 2019.

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


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