Fairer Scotland Action Plan

Fifty actions to help tackle poverty, reduce inequality and build a fairer and more inclusive Scotland.

Annex A

Fairer Scotland Pledges In Full

Carnegie UK Trust

The Carnegie UK Trust pledges to help improve access to affordable credit in Scotland. Thousands of people in Scotland currently borrow money from high cost lenders to meet their everyday needs. Reducing the cost of credit by offering people viable, attractive, more affordable alternatives has the potential to save thousands of pounds every year for individuals in Scotland's poorest communities. We want to help Scotland's not-for-profit affordable credit providers to grow, to reach many more people, building financial capability and improving wellbeing. We will commit resources and work in partnership with the Scottish Government, local authorities, affordable credit providers, housing associations, banks and charities to achieve this goal. Our vision is that everyone in Scotland, wherever they live, should have access to more affordable credit which reduces the cost of borrowing, supports financial inclusion and promotes equality and fairness.

Angus Hogg,
Chair of the Carnegie Uk Trust

Dundee Partnership

'When the Dundee Fairness Commission published its recommendations earlier in 2016, we hoped that they would be taken seriously. We were delighted when the Dundee Partnership immediately approved all of them and promised to produce a costed, comprehensive and ambitious action plan before the end of this year. It will contain a range of positive measures including both of the major pledges.'

Cllr Jimmy Black,
Chair of the Dundee Fairness Commission

The voices and experiences of people struggling against poverty in Dundee were a powerful influence on the work of the Dundee Fairness Commission. To enable this important conversation to continue and to raise awareness of the real challenges faced by people on the lowest incomes, the Dundee Partnership will establish a new organisation for the city, modelled on the Poverty Truth Commission. Jointly funded with the Scottish Government, this new body will make sure that the voices and experiences of people struggling against poverty in Dundee continue to be heard to inform future efforts to tackle and reduce the causes and impact of poverty in the city.

While Dundee City Council has recently raised the value of school uniform grants by up to 80%, parents and children can still face hidden, additional costs associated with attending school. These may well be unintentional but they can often be unaffordable and stigmatizing.

The Dundee Partnership will commission the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland to facilitate a Cost of the School Day initiative during the 2016/17 school year. This will work with pupils, parents and teachers to identify and remove cost barriers and take action to reduce or remove stigma, exclusion or disadvantage so that all children and young people from low income households can fully engage in their education.

Inclusion Scotland

Disabled people are among the very poorest people in Scotland. We have borne the brunt of welfare cuts with over half of all those made by the last Government falling on disabled people and their families. Many of us do not get anything like the social care support we need. According to the latest research, almost a half of all those living in poverty live with disabled people or are disabled people themselves. Families with disabled children are particularly likely to experience child poverty. Our employment rate is persistently around about a half that experienced by non-disabled people. Young disabled people are more likely than their non-disabled peers not to be in education, employment or training. Although disabled people make up 11.6% of all 16-24 year olds, in 2015/16 only 3.9% of Modern Apprenticeships went to disabled people - and that's an improvement on the shockingly low 0.4% of places in 2014/15. Disabled people too often experience discrimination, social isolation and negative attitudes, including hate crime. Such experiences may be particularly acute for certain groups, such as disabled people with other protected characteristics or those in segregated settings. Meanwhile, disabled people are significantly under-represented in politics and public life. We make up one in five of Scotland's population, yet only one of the new intake of 129 MSPs has identified as a disabled person.

In short, every single one of the 50 actions identified in the Fairer Scotland Action Plan touches on the lives of disabled people. While the forthcoming Disability Action Plan is expected to set out specific initiatives for disabled people, it is vital that disabled people's views and interests are mainstreamed throughout all action to promote equality and inclusion if that action itself is to be equally inclusive. Disabled people have much to contribute to their communities and the economy. Yet, we are prevented by barriers like negative attitudes, and inaccessible premises, communication methods, transport, services, housing, events, employment practices and so on. Inclusion Scotland will work to remove - and support others to remove - such barriers to disabled people's equality and inclusion. Only then can action to create a fairer Scotland be equally inclusive. And only then can the goal of
a more equal and inclusive fairer Scotland hope
to be achieved.

Dr Sally Witcher OBE,
Chief Executive Officer
Inclusion Scotland

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Scotland should be a country where, no matter where you live, everyone has the chance of a decent and secure life. Instead, the shameful reality sees almost a million Scots - mostly in working families - struggling to meet their needs. Poverty is real: it is costly, risky and wasteful but not inevitable. JRF's strategy to solve poverty sets a vision for 2030, in common with the Fairer Scotland Action Plan.

The causes of poverty in modern Scotland are many and, just as the Fairer Scotland Action Plan envisages, the contribution of many will be needed: the Scottish Government, as well as the UK Government and local authorities, employers in all sectors, housing providers, public and voluntary services, market providers of key goods, citizens and communities. We believe action to solve poverty must seek to:

  • Boost incomes and reduce costs
  • Deliver an effective system of social security and employment support
  • Improve education and raise skills
  • Strengthen families and communities; and
  • Promote long-term inclusive growth

Many actions will involve changes in culture, addressing stigma and a shift in spending over time to deal more robustly with the causes of poverty. JRF has committed £15m to social investment, to support projects across the UK that address the root causes of poverty. In addition to our ongoing research programme, we are supporting:

  • Glasgow Together, a Community Interest Company ( CIC) that creates full-time, Living Wage jobs for ex-offenders in construction, as well as meaningful work experience for current offenders in prison environment. JRF in alliance with other trusts and foundations raised £2m to fund the setup of Glasgow Together. http://glasgowtogether.co.uk/purpose
  • Partnership with Big Society Capital to raise £20m to invest in organisations which tackle the poverty premium in key goods and services - like Fair For You, a not-for-profit company enabling households to buy white goods and furniture more affordably than costly rent-to-buy providers: https://www.fairforyou.co.uk/
  • Existing and new organisations based on the Poverty Truth Commission model, a commitment we share with the Fairer Scotland Action Plan and will pursue with the Scottish Government where we can. This will enable people with experience of poverty to share their ideas with civic leaders, in order to develop better solutions to poverty.
  • The next phase of the Building Connections demonstration project in North and East Glasgow, in partnership with Glasgow Centre for Population Health and What Works Scotland. It takes a co-location approach to advice on housing, childcare and debt delivered in GP surgeries and Job Centres, to reduce people being passed from pillar to post.
  • A three-year Place-Based philanthropy programme of Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, taking a local assets-based approach in areas including East Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire.

Jim McCormick,
Associate Director Scotland

Lloyds Tsb Foundation Scotland

Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland (the Foundation) pledges to help the Scottish Government support innovative approaches to tackling poverty and deprivation.

We know that there are areas of Scotland where people face multiple, complex challenges; many have borne the brunt of welfare reforms and increasing pressure on public expenditure.

Through our work, we see the everyday impact of a whole range of issues including poverty, drug and alcohol misuse and social isolation. These undermine people's opportunities, aspirations and hope and rob our society of their potential contribution.

As well as continuing to be a thoughtful grant-maker, we will work differently to reach the communities that historically have accessed very little charitable funding. We will listen to people, support them to come together to share ideas about how their community could be a better place in which to live or work, enabling them to make changes that may seem small, but which collectively will help to build lasting social change.

Making a difference will take much more than simply redirecting cash; it will rely on a shift in the balance of power so that the people of Scotland are in the driving seat, taking decisions and having more control of their own lives.

Fiona Duncan,
Chief Executive
Lloyds TSB Foundation Scotland - At the heart of funding Scotland's charities

NHS Health Scotland

I pledge to help the Scottish Government in its ambition to end child poverty in Scotland.

The challenge is significant as more than 1 in 5 children in Scotland are living in poverty and two-thirds of children in poverty also live in families where someone is working. As a national health board, NHS Health Scotland, have a clear public health role in improving health outcomes for families and children living in poverty. We will work with public, private and third sectors to reduce health inequalities and improve health and pledge to make ending child poverty one of our priorities.

We will work to ensure that evidence of what works is used quickly and consistently to help reduce and mitigate the impact of poverty on health. We will provide practical evaluation support and staff development programmes.

We will provide advice to the Ministerial Advisory Group on Child Poverty and specifically we will:

  • By September 2017, develop and deliver training resources and events in partnership with the Poverty Alliance and others to raise awareness of poverty and its impact on health and wellbeing amongst public services staff.
  • By March 2017, produce an e-learning module on child poverty, health and wellbeing for undergraduate and continuing professional development programmes and agree development of further training and education for other factors causing adversity in childhood.
  • By March 2018, work in partnership with NHS Boards to develop national referral pathways between NHS services and local advice services to maximise the incomes of patients.
  • By March 2018, promote the importance and adoption of routine enquiry about money worries (and referral to advice services) by NHS staff to help patients maximise their incomes.

We will also work with the Scottish Government to explore how we can develop, via their commissioning and funding criteria of advice in Scotland, the co-location of advice services in NHS settings i.e. in places and services that people already use.

Given the significant challenge of child poverty in Scotland we will lead on developing partnerships, particularly with the NHS, to help shift the focus to interventions that can have the most impact on reducing child poverty.

Gerald McLaughlin,
Chief Executive, NHS Health Scotland.

The Poverty Truth Commission

The Poverty Truth Commission ( PTC) pledges to work to ensure that people experiencing poverty are at the heart of work to overcome it. From experience we know that when people living in poverty are included, change happens - and we want to continue and grow this work. So we will launch a 4th round of the PTC in January 2017, bringing together people experiencing poverty and key decision makers in Scottish society for an 18 month period. We will aim in this process to listen to the voices of some of the poorest in our society, not just the easiest to reach.

As a specific commitment for this plan, we pledge to offer advice to the Scottish Government on how new community groups, which follow the PTC model, can be best set up in three local areas of Scotland.

We will run a 3 rd Mutual Mentoring Scheme in autumn 2016 between civil servants and people living with poverty - sharing expertise with each other and breaking down any perceived barriers between the two groups.

We will continue to engage with other organisations who are looking to work in a more participative way and trying to involve people experiencing poverty directly in their work.

We will explore further with our Commissioners and others what our motto 'Nothing about us, without us, is for us' can really mean in practice.

Elaine Downie,
Poverty Truth Commission

The Prince's Trust Scotland

The Prince's Trust Scotland pledges to support 150,000 vulnerable young people by 2030 to overcome significant barriers and have increased access to education, training and employment opportunities.

Our key programmes include the following.

  • We will roll out the delivery of our new Mosaic mentoring programme creating opportunities for young people from black and ethnic minorities who are growing up in our most deprived communities. Our vision is for all young people to be supported to realise their potential. With the help of 38 volunteer mentors acting as role models through our structured programmes, we aim to bridge the aspirations-attainment gap. By linking young people with inspirational role models in this way, we will boost their confidence, self-efficacy and long-term employability. In 2016, we will work across four high schools in Glasgow, with an aim of supporting 120 young people.

We will launch two programmes this year:

  • Group mentoring for secondary school pupils, with enhanced World of Work visits and presentations by inspirational speakers.
  • Enterprise Challenge, a national school competition to promote entrepreneurship.
  • We are committed boosting the life aspirations of young people and closing the growing attainment gap. We will do this delivering our new education programme, Achieve. Aimed at those disengaged in school, it will equip young people with the confidence, skills and a qualification to re-engage in education, training or employment.
  • In 2016, the Achieve programme will work in partnership with 150 schools, and we plan to expand into over 50% of all secondary schools across Scotland by 2018. It will also be delivered in Prince's Trust Centres reaching those no longer in formal education.
  • Our research highlights that nearly half young people from poorer backgrounds receive no support when looking for jobs and rarely get help with their homework. We are committed to being that alternative support network for those young people who do not have the right support at home or in school.
  • We will develop new digital learning tools to ensure young people who can't access our services, such as young carers, those based in remote locations, or have poor access to public transport, can access our help to boost their training and employability skills.

Timewise & Family Friendly Working Scotland

Timewise and Family Friendly Working Scotland, a partnership including the Scottish Government, will work together to maximise the potential for flexible working in Scotland. Timewise will produce the first ever Flexible Jobs Index for Scotland - to analyse the current ratio of quality jobs advertised as open to flexible or part time working at the point of hire, and identify the proportion of people who need to work flexibly, and who could raise their living standards by doing so.

We will use the findings from the Index to build a case for change to support both the Scottish Government and employers to design and advertise quality jobs as 'open to flexible working options' at the point of hire.

Family Friendly Working Scotland will also encourage and support employers across Scotland to use the Happy to Talk Flexible Working strapline in job adverts.

Emma Stewart,
CEO Timewise

Nikki Slowey,
Programme Director,
Family Friendly Working Scotland

Virgin Money

The publication of the Scottish Government's 'Fairer Scotland Action Plan' is a timely challenge to us all to do our bit to make Scotland a fairer place in which to live and work. I firmly believe that businesses as well as individuals have a key role to play in this movement.

For our part, at Virgin Money we are building a bank that aims to treat our customers and employees fairly. This includes people who may not have had easy access to the banking system or have struggled to get a job or a promotion at work, perhaps because of their background or gender.

I am committed to make banking fairer and more accessible. That's why we recently launched our basic bank account, the Essential Current Account, a fair and simple product that can help those who are finding it difficult to get a bank account. We are currently working with Scotcash to make basic bank accounts more readily available to people in the Glasgow area.

It's also why I was pleased to lead the UK Government-backed 'Women in Finance Review' earlier this year and make a pledge to promote gender diversity. We have made some challenging recommendations to the industry that I hope will make it easier for women to achieve their full potential in the financial sector and overcome some of the barriers that can hold them back.

There is much more to do, but I fully support the Scottish Government for taking this positive step forward.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia,
CEO Virgin Money plc

Working Families

Working Families is proud to be a partner in the Family Friendly Working Scotland programme. We pledge to help the Scottish Government build a fairer Scotland by sharing our experience of working with and supporting SMEs to introduce flexible working. We will advise on mentoring which we have carried out in Wales, and share the toolkit and guidance on job design and flexible hiring which we are developing with Welsh SMEs. We will also make available to SMEs in Scotland the Working Families SME online benchmark, so that owner-managers can assess the culture and practice of their own businesses and understand the changes they can make for more effective and fairer employment.

Sarah Jackson OBE,
CEO Working Families

Young Scot

Young Scot is collaborating with cross-sector partners to support and empower young people to build a fairer Scotland. Our pledge is that we will use the Young Scot National Entitlement Card ( NEC) and its embedded smart-technology to tackle inequalities through removing barriers and providing information to activate and connect young people to services and opportunities locally, nationally and globally.

Smart-tech is all-too-often considered to be only for those who can afford it. However, using the technology and existing digital public services infrastructure which the Young Scot NEC is part of, and working with partners across public services and the third sector, we know it is possible to focus support to those young people in greatest need or facing significant barriers to services and opportunities. In offering the Young Scot smartcard to all young people aged 11+, regardless of socio-economic circumstances, we can make a powerful and transformative contribution to mitigating inequalities in a non-stigmatising way, as well as contributing to a range of outcomes to support young people to be happy, healthy and able to fulfil their potential as active and informed citizens.

There are over 650,000 Young Scot smart-tech cardholders in Scotland and we know that by empowering young people and enabling access to opportunities - whether that be transport, leisure, libraries, training or employability - great things can happen. At Young Scot we believe that young people are not only Scotland's future, they are making powerful and positive contributions to our communities now - and could do even more. Working together with young people we can coproduce a fairer Scotland together.


YouthLink Scotland pledge to support the Scottish Government's aims of ensuring 'A Fairer Scotland for All' and 'A Strong Start for All Young People'. We will do this by continuing to support the significant contribution that youth work makes to equality and the realisation of young people's human rights. More specifically, in the coming year we will:

  • Work in partnership with Education Scotland, to provide training to the youth work sector on the use of the 'Recognising and Realising Children's Rights Toolkit'. The toolkit supports the development of human rights based policy and practice.
  • Provide support to the newly established Scottish Equalities in Youth Work Steering Group in their role to highlight and develop the contribution of youth work to equality, diversity and human rights
  • Work in partnership with Zero Tolerance to roll out the 'Under Pressure' (Preventing Teen Abuse) training programme to the youth sector.
  • Work in collaboration with the youth work sector and young people from across Scotland to research and promote the contribution of youth work to gender equality.


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