British Sign Language (BSL): national plan 2023 to 2029

Sets out a range of government actions to tackle barriers faced by British Sign Language (BSL) users to help make Scotland the best place in the world for BSL users to live, work, visit and learn.

Access to Employment

No One Left Behind is our all-age approach to employability support in Scotland. Support is available to all who need it, though it is aimed at supporting those further from the labour market.

Helping people into fair, sustainable jobs is central to achieving the Scottish Government’s vision for a wellbeing economy and delivering on the ambitions in Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET – March 2022) and in tackling child poverty as outlined in Best Start, Bright Futures (March 2022).

In partnership with Local Government, we aim to build an employability system that tackles inequalities in Scotland’s labour market by creating a more responsive, joined up and aligned employability system that meets the needs of employers and the local labour market helping support people on their journey towards, into and within employment.

This complements our approach to Fair Work that is underpinned by the principles of equity and equality of opportunity for all regardless of any individual or group characteristics. People from all backgrounds should receive appropriate advice and support to be able to consider what route to employment is the right route for them, and employment outcomes are improved. Fair work practices are crucial at both individual level for worker and employer outcomes, and at a strategic level for Scotland’s economic performance. By achieving equality of opportunity for all to access and progress in work, Fair Work can drive productivity, release untapped potential and inspire innovation.

Our long-term goal:

BSL users will receive person- centred support to develop their skills, consider what route to employment is right for them and enter into the 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.

We will:


Develop opportunities for deaf and deafblind young people to learn about transitioning into and navigating the workplace, helping them understand the support available to them and develop their skills. This will include how to work with BSL/English interpreters.


Through No One Left Behind, deliver place-based employability services which support individuals to overcome structural barriers to entering and sustaining employment. We will work with the Implementation Advisory Group for this plan to identify solutions to specific barriers for BSL users accessing devolved employability support.



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