Fair Start Scotland - year 4: annual report
Highlights the progress that our national employment support service Fair Start Scotland has made in its fourth year of delivery. It draws from evaluation research, provider and participant feedback to show the impact the service had on individuals and communities throughout 2021/2022.
4. Summary and Next Steps
The Scottish Governments flexible approach to devolved employment services continued to demonstrate its value in the face of the pandemic and our subsequent recovery from it.
Through our ongoing commitment to learn from delivery and the implementation of continuous improvement activities, participants have continued to be supported in the way that best suited them, while upholding the key principles of the service in treating people with dignity and respect. This has also involved using the flexibility of the service to adapt the type of support available to participants to help with the emerging cost crisis.
The service continues to be a positive intervention for those who wish to move into fair and sustainable employment. In Year 4 there were 12,532 starts to the service including 2,450 re-starts that previously had received support on Fair Start Scotland. More than one in three starts on the service (37%) have been supported into work.xxii
We know that not everyone who accesses support will enter employment; however, Fair Start Scotland is a positive intervention, providing support to people who are further from the labour market and it continues to have a positive effect on those who have joined the service.
We responded to previous evaluation findings to extend the reach and accessibility of Fair Start Scotland to under-represented groups. This was achieved through commissioning initiatives and test and learn opportunities. As we progress, these will allow us to learn from specialist support organisations, ensuring that those with real life experiences can share their knowledge and support to help Fair Start Scotland tailor delivery to meet individuals' needs to enter and sustain fair employment.
We will use the findings from the Supported Employment review and the Individual Placement and Support Review to help us improve the overall quality of specialist support services as part of our plans for employment provision in Scotland.
We will also continue to develop closer working relationships with Local Authorities and Local Employability Partnerships as part of local governance measures to progress towards closer alignment and flexibility of services to meet the needs of the local community and displaced persons.
These initiatives and learning will continue through the remainder of the service. We will share this learning with our local government, private and third sector partners and learning will help to shape and inform future employment support through No One Left Behind.
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