Fair Start Scotland
Fair Start Scotland (FSS), the Scottish Government's devolved employability service, supports people towards and into work through personalised, one-to-one support, tailored to an individual's circumstances, treating them with fairness, dignity and respect. It is aimed at supporting those facing the greatest challenges accessing the labour market, including disabled people, and contributing to tackling inequalities and growing Scotland's economy.
Statistics published in November 2022 show that to September 2022, FSS had supported over 51,000 starts on the service, with over 17,500 job starts since its launch in 2018. Those who started work have high rates of sustained employment1:
- 73% of starts that entered employment went on to sustain employment for at least 3 months;
- 81% of those who sustained employment for 3 months reached 6 months;
- 77% of those who sustained employment for 6 months reached 12 months.
Statistics also show that 63% of people receiving FSS support reported a long-term health condition and 45% were disabled.
There were over 22,500 starts on the service by participants that reported a disability, with over 6,500 job starts. Disabled participants who started work also achieved similarly high rates of sustained employment:
- 72% of starts reporting a disability that entered employment went on to sustain employment for at least 3 months.
- 81% of those reporting a disability who sustained employment for 3 months reached 6 months.
- 79% of those reporting a disability who sustained employment for 6 months reached 12 months.
On 16 July 2020 the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills announced the extension of FSS delivery with the current contractors up to 31 March 2023, providing stability and continuity for FSS participants and to allow the anticipated COVID-19 related increase in demand for support from the most disadvantaged in our communities. The extension also ensured there is sufficient support in place for disabled people and those with long term health conditions.
Extending FSS services allows further development time to deliver on our No One Left Behind ambitions, our strategy for the transformational change of the employability system in Scotland. Building on the successful implementation of Fair Start Scotland, we are working with local government partners and the public, third and private sector to develop an employability system that delivers joined up, flexible, responsive, person-centred provision.
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