3. Progress to date
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we have taken positive steps forward in our collaborative approach to redesigning the employability system whilst delivering on existing and emerging priorities. In recent months, support services have moved from face to face to telephone or web-based provision to protect both service users and staff and recognise the wider implications this has including accessibility and digital exclusion.
We have a strengthened partnership which at all levels is supporting a refreshed clarity of purpose. We will refresh, enhance and build on existing good practice to prevent a widening of the inequalities and continue to strive for a longer term sustainable employability infrastructure to be implemented. A local partnership framework for the delivery of employability services and the Young Person's Guarantee were developed and shared with partners and enabled local collaboration on emerging delivery plans.
The implementation of the first phase of change has enabled a better aligned and integrated response to COVID-19, enabling a national approach to better connect with local delivery. The early work that had been undertaken across partners regarding the warm handover of service users ensured the right support was available at the right time for those who were at risk of being left behind. Improved joint working ensures a no wrong door approach evident in the support provided for education leavers, those being made redundant and those at risk of poverty and exclusion.
The initial systemic step changes enabled the principles of No One Left Behind to be implemented as service users accessed a variety of support to meet their individual needs from a range of service providers demonstrating the ability to collectively solve whole problems for people. The ability to flex the No One Left Behind investment provided an opportunity for local re-purposing of resources to respond to emerging local needs providing a good foundation for increased collaboration and co-production moving forward. A distribution methodology was agreed between Scottish and Local Government to enable a fair and equitable approach to be applied in the allocation of national resources to local authority areas establishing a framework for further resource transfer in future phases.
The diagram below sets out a number of key areas of work which have been initiated over the last year, and which we will continue to build on, across the No One Left Behind Workstreams and wider employability landscape.
Diagram that shows progress on joint objective to develop better integration and alignment of employability services. Each section represents a point in the journey, commencing with the signing of the Scottish and Local Government Partnership Working Agreement on Employability in December 2018. Key points in the journey include publication of the joint action plan and establishment of the workstreams in February 2020, establishment of a lived experience panel to influence the Scottish Approach to service design and an ongoing focus on continuous development and improvement