Fair Start Scotland: evaluation report 4 - local area case studies - year 3

Part of the Fair Start Scotland series of evaluation reports which presents detailed findings from the third wave of local area case studies in in Fife, Motherwell and Inverclyde, incorporating feedback from FSS service providers, participants, and local delivery partners in these areas.

Appendix 3 Participant case studies

Following our interviews with participants we developed a range of case studies to articulate the journeys of a selection of Fair Start participants.

Following our interviews with participants we developed a range of case studies to

articulate the journeys of a selection of Fair Start participants.

Jim is 60 years old and has a long term health condition. He lives in an area classified as within the most deprived 40% of neighbourhoods in Scotland.

He was previously self-employed in a trade but gave that up after twice coming close to sustaining serious injuries.

He had been unemployed for four years, although had taken part in a 16 week course with another provider in 2018 which he enjoyed.

JCP referred him to FSS in October 2019. He was unsure what direction to take with his career and hoped FSS would help him to figure this out.

FSS helped Jim with his CV and checked that he would be better off financially working than on benefits. Key workers also carried out mock interviews and gave him advice on his routine at home, including incorporating some light exercise to improve his health.

Jim lacked skills in using the internet, so FSS showed him how to look for jobs online and set him up on Zoom so he could do interviews online.

Jim felt isolated during lockdown. Due to his health condition he became very cautious and stopped going out to the shops for over 14 months. He said that contact with FSS “kept him going” during lockdown but that the pandemic “blew everything out of the water” in terms of his job search.

Some progress was made in terms of enhanced confidence in using Zoom which allows him to take part in interviews and workshops online. Key workers said this was the “biggest achievement” and they noted that Jim became more chatty over the course of the support.

However, he left FSS without a job and is now planning to return to FSS for more support.

One of the first people he met after lockdown developed Covid so Jim had to self-isolate. He is now wary of going out and mixing with people again, so he needs support to feel confident doing this again before he can start applying for jobs.

Area: Fife

Provider: Start Scotland

Pam is 30 years old and lives in an area classified as within the most deprived 20% of neighbourhoods in Scotland.

She had worked in different roles – including security, care work and warehouse jobs – but most had been short term or zero hours contracts. She wanted something more permanent and secure.

After seeing an advert on Facebook, Pam began receiving support from FSS in December 2020.

She thought FSS could help her to find opportunities and maintain her motivation: “I need help in motivating myself...it felt like a slog getting a job”.

FSS provided support with her CV and covering letters. Helped her to find vacancies and make applications, and covered travel costs to attend interviews.

The key worker noted that Pam had an injury that meant she was not fit to do a physically demanding job so they encouraged her to apply for less physical roles.

Pam found a job with a supermarket in a customer support role.

She found FSS helpful: “[the key worker] kept me motivated and made suggestions for jobs I could apply for”.

The support continued when Pam was in work. Financially, FSS provided travel costs for the first three weeks of employment “as I could not afford the bus before I got paid”.

The key worker is still in touch with weekly phone calls. “It’s fine, I don’t really need anything, good to know I have back up though”.

The key worker said Pam “engages really well and is willing to keep in touch and takes all the help and advice offered to her”.

Area: North Lanarkshire

Provider: Remploy

Stuart is 27 years old and lives in an area classified as within the least deprived 40% of neighbourhoods in Scotland

Jobcentre Plus referred Stuart to FSS in December 2019.

His key worker said that Stuart was “totally and utterly disheartened”. He had a criminal conviction and this was making it difficult for him to find work.

FSS “pointed me in the right direction for jobs”, advising him of suitable vacancies and helping him to refine his CV.

FSS also helped Stuart to write a ‘disclosure letter’ to explain his conviction (and the mitigating circumstances around it) to potential employers in an open and transparent way.

Stuart was successful in finding work in the construction sector very quickly and started a new job in February 2020. FSS paid travel costs to enable to him to get to and from work.

However, he was made redundant when the first national Covid-19 lockdown was introduced in March 2020.

He returned to FSS and the advisers supported him to look for another job, Stuart had some problems with money at this time so FSS gave him two £30 food vouchers to help buy essential supplies.

In October 2020, Stuart started a new job in construction. He is still in that post as at July 2021 and has recently been promoted. He felt FSS’s support was important in helping him to find the job.

Stuart appreciates the in-work support that he has received from FSS. He received funding to cover the first eight weeks of travel costs in his new job as well as for clothing and personal protective equipment. He also values the regular phone calls and emails to check he’s ok – “they looked after their people” – but feels that he needs no further support now.

The key worker was very positive about Stuart, noting he engaged with the service willingly and enthusiastically.

Area: Inverclyde

Provider: The Wise Group


Email: Arfan.iqbal@gov.scot

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