British Sign Language (BSL): National Plan 2017 to 2023

Plan setting out actions to help ensure deaf and deafblind BSL users are fully involved in all aspects of daily and public life.

Training, Work and Social Security

Our long-term goal: BSL users* will be supported to develop the skills they need to become valued members of the Scottish workforce, so that they can fulfil their potential, and improve Scotland’s economic performance. They will be provided with support to enable them to progress in their chosen career.

By 2020, Scottish Ministers will:

Provide a wide range of information, advice and guidance in BSL for pupils and students to support their career and learning choices and the transition process. This will be delivered by Skills Development Scotland ( SDS) and will be taken forward as part of our work to implement the ‘Career Education Standard 3-18’, which is one of the commitments of the ‘Developing our Young Workforce’ ( DYW) strategy.

Promote Foundation Apprenticeships for school children who use BSL. This will be delivered through Skills Development Scotland ( SDS) and will provide the experience employers look for, backed by industry-recognised qualifications, enabling them to do well in their chosen career from the start.

Give BSL users* the highest level of Modern Apprenticeship funding for their chosen framework.

Work with Jobcentres and others to raise awareness of the needs of BSL users* to ensure that they are given relevant, appropriate and accessible advice about their options.

Ensure that every Scottish Government funded employment programme and training opportunity is accessible to BSL users* and that tailored and personalised support is available to them. This includes Fair Start Scotland ( FSS), our new employment programme which starts in April 2018.

Provide up to 12 months support to BSL users* who access our in-work support services, including those in Fair Start Scotland ( FSS). This is in addition to the ‘Access to Work’ ( AtW) scheme.

Work with partners who deliver employment services, and with employer groups already supporting employability (for example the Developing the Young Workforce ( DYW) Regional Groups) to promote more diverse recruitment, and provide specific advice on the needs of BSL users* so that they are clear about their responsibilities.

Raise awareness of the UK Government’s ‘Access to Work’ ( AtW) scheme with employers and representative organisations and with BSL users* themselves, so that BSL users* who are employed, (including those who are undertaking a Modern Apprenticeship) can benefit from the support it provides.

Establish a Workplace Equality Fund in 2017 to address long standing barriers in access to the labour market for people with a range of characteristics, including BSL users*. The aim of the Workplace Equality Fund will be to reduce employment inequalities so that everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential, and improve Scotland’s economic performance.

Ensure that our new social security system is fully accessible to BSL users* at all stages of the process – including advice, applications, feedback, complaints and appeals.

Over 2,400 volunteers from across Scotland have signed up to the Experience Panels. Panel members will help to design and test the new social security system to ensure it works for them, and help ensure our new system is fully accessible to BSL users*.


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