3. Reach of services: April 2018- March 2019
The following chapter shows how the demographic profile of those starting on FSS up to the end of March 2019 compared to the unemployed population in Scotland as a whole, using Management Information (MI), data from published employability statistics and the Annual Population Survey (APS).
This chapter looks to address three key questions:
- Who started on FSS in the first year and what barriers might they face?
- Who has moved into work in the first year?
- Who left the service early and why?
A full list of the eligibility criteria for FSS is included in Appendix 4.
To better understand who FSS services are reaching in the first year, and the kinds of barriers they might encounter, the analysis focused on:
- participant protected characteristics (as defined by the Equality 2010 Act; such as age and gender);
- FSS early entry groups, where entry to FSS after six months unemployed is open to people in specific situations that are linked to poorer employment outcomes. This includes, when people are from a minority ethnic community; are a lone parent; have a conviction; are a refugee; are care experienced; or live in one of Scotland’s most deprived areas (within the lowest 15% SIMD (2016)); and
- other demographic and social characteristics that are known to present barriers to employment, such as length of time spent unemployed and qualifications level.
The infographics on the next three pages provide a summary of our analyses.
Who started FSS and what barriers might they face?
FSS received 17,616 referrals in the first year, and 10,063 people joined (58%)
Compared with the unemployed population in Scotland, FSS has:
- A higher proportion of men and a lower proportion of woman;
- A lower proportion of people from an minority ethnic background;
- A higher proportion of people aged 35 and over and a lower proportion of people aged 16 to 34; and
- A higher proportion of people with a disability.
- 7.1% were lone parents
- 4.7% were care experienced
- 1.1% were refugees
- 13.1% had convictions
Compared with the unemployed population of Scotland, FSS has:
- A lower proportion of people living in rural areas;
- A higher proportion of disabled people who have been unemployed for more than two years; and
- A higher proportion of people living in the 15% most deprived areas in Scotland.
Who started (and sustained) work in the first year?
Of the 10,063 people who joined FSS in the first year, 2,013 got a job, 898 sustained a job for 13 weeks and 418 sustained a job for 26 weeks
- Gender did not make any difference to the likelihood of sustaining work
- Participants from minority ethnic groups were more likely to sustain work for 26 weeks
- Older participants (aged 35 plus) were proportionately less likely to sustain their employment past
Proportions of participants from each early entry group who sustained work for 13 weeks
- Participants from all early entry groups were less likely to reach their 13 week job outcome than all others
- Having a conviction, being care experienced, and receiving benefits were all significant* barriers to sustaining work.
Proportion of participants who achieved their 13 week job outcome by length of time (previously) unemployed
- Participants who were unemployed for between 6 months and 2 years were more likely to sustain work for 13 weeks than any other group.
- The group least likely to meet the 13 week job outcome were participants who had been unemployed for more than 2 years. This group accounts for 60% of all FSS starts in year 1
(* X2 sig at p< .05 for all comparisons)
Who left the service early and why?
Of the 10,063 people who joined FSS in the first year, 2,838 left early
Proportion of participants who started and left early by protected characteristic (Equality Act (2010))
Across the protected characteristics:
- A slightly higher proportion of males left early than started;
- A slightly lower proportion of females left early than started;
- A slightly higher proportion of disabled people left early than started; and
- People aged between 25 – 34 and 50 – 64 made up a higher proportion of starts than leavers
Proportion of participants who started and left early across early entry groups and other barriers
Across the early entry groups:
- People with convictions were more likely to leave early*;
- Lone parents, refugees and people who are care experienced were less likely to leave early;
- People in receipt of a benefit were less likely to leave early*;
- People from the 15% most deprived SIMD areas, and people who live in urban areas were more likely to leave early*; and
- the most common reasons for leaving early were “disengaging with the service” (66%); health reasons (8%), and “other” reasons (4%). (Not shown on graphic)
(* X2 significant @ p<.05)
What worked well?
FSS services are successfully reaching participants with a broad range of different personal, social and economic characteristics, including those that may present barriers to finding and sustaining work.
Once participants have started receiving FSS support, we see that gender and disability do not have any disproportionate negative effects on sustaining employment.
Some of the hardest to reach groups of participants are more likely to sustain employment once they’ve had FSS support. For example, people from Minority Ethnic communities and younger participants (aged 16-24) are under-represented in the numbers starting on service, but are proportionately more likely to sustain work for 13 weeks.
How could we improve?
Some people with particular barriers and characteristics are not as well represented as they could be, given the proportions in the wider national unemployed population. There is scope to improve on the proportions of women, young people (aged 16-24), people from diverse communities and rural residents who are engaging with FSS services. Similarly, there is also scope to improve our support for older (aged 50+) participants to sustain work as there are fewer alternatives by way of support available to them.
There is also scope to improve the proportions of participants from early entry groups who can sustain work for up to 13 weeks. For example, participants with a conviction, who were care experienced and who were receiving benefits were all significantly less likely to achieve their 13 week job outcome than those without these characteristics, suggesting that these groups of participants may need additional support to stay in employment.
The amount of time that a participant is out of work prior to engaging with FSS support also has a significant influence on their likelihood of sustaining employment. Participants who were out of work for more than two years make up 60% of all starts in year 1, but only just over 8% of them achieved a 13 week job outcome, compared to 13.6% across all FSS starts.
What are we doing?
Scottish Government is working closely with FSS providers, JCP and other partners to optimise the ‘reach’ of FSS services into more vulnerable and under-represented communities across Scotland. More specifically, we are working with JCP to run a series of pilots aimed at supporting the needs of specific groups as part of our shared improvement plan.