No One Left Behind: delivery plan

This publication outlines the next stage of No One Left Behind – the collective approach to delivering an employability system which is flexible, joined up and responsive.

7. The Plan

In this Plan we seek to outline the key Objectives, Actions and Outcomes expected as we work towards delivery of the next phase of No One Left Behind from April 2022. This not only involves the transfer of funding from national programmes into local governance arrangements but the increasing and sustained shift towards user engagement, service design, partnership working, shared measurement and a common approach to inclusive communications. This forms a primary programme of activity throughout 2021 which will require the collective leadership of partners at national, regional and local levels to deliver more effective and joined-up employability support across Scotland.

We recognise that partner involvement, including Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Training Federation will be critical to helping us shape the approach and in achieving our ambitions under No One Left Behind. Whilst key Objectives, Actions and Outcomes are set out below, partner input will be crucial as detailed planning and critical path timeline development progresses. We will share details of this via regular communications on the Employability in Scotland website, the next of which is expected to be shared in January 2021.


To use the Scottish Approach to Service Design to co-produce a national framework which establishes an all age employability system that is person centred, more joined up, flexible and responsive to individual needs.

To involve service users throughout the process


  • Establish Lived Experience Panels
  • Establish National Design Group to build capacity for Design across the system
  • Publish first iteration of Customer Charter which will set out our commitments to users, and co-designed by our lived experience panel
  • Publish first iteration of Employability National Standards Framework to ensure consistency of services across Scotland

Outcome: To work with partners across sectors, as well as service users, to co-design a set of national service elements which enable partners to develop and deliver services that address user needs.

Workstream: Service Design


To ensure an appropriate approach to governance providing collective leadership ensuring a robust framework for decision-making and risk management.


  • Refresh governance groups to ensure cross sectoral representation to facilitate stronger collaboration with partners.
  • Establish and agree framework for strengthened Local Employability Partnerships to support local governance models with key delivery partners
  • Implement a model of external scrutiny building on existing governance approaches amongst delivery partners
  • Agree with delivery partners an assessment of readiness framework to support the transfer of resources in scope to local governance arrangements as part of future implementation plans

Outcome: To build on existing national and local responsibilities to ensure an approach and model of governance which supports strong, inclusive and agile employability partnerships.

Workstream: Governance and Risk


To establish a national outcomes and shared measurement framework


  • Publish dates for No One Left Behind statistical release schedule
  • Publish the common key questions which will be included in the Shared Measurement Framework
  • Develop Evaluation and Annual Reports framework for No One Left Behind
  • Publish Employability Continuous Improvement Strategy, providing a strong framework to capture, share and act upon feedback and learning

Outcome: Through the engagement across sectors we will identify the common data needs across the employability system, which our shared measurement framework should address.

Workstream: Shared Measurement Framework


To develop a strategic financial approach that reflects an overall national coherence and balances this with appropriate levels of local and regional flexibility, evidenced by the needs of individuals and local/regional geographies


  • Confirm budget allocations for delivery of No One Left Behind employability services further to completion of annual spending review and budget approval process.
  • Agree a partnership delivery plan based on evidence and need which aligns resources to improve outcomes and informs a local commissioning strategy

Outcome: To agree a flexible approach to commissioning which promotes improved collaboration with an overall national coherence with appropriate levels of local and regional flexibility

Workstream: Policy and Finance


To effectively communicate with partners, stakeholders and service users adopting an inclusive, collaborative and flexible approach.


  • Publish Communications and Engagement Strategy and Plan
  • Launch refreshed Employability in Scotland website.

Outcome: To establish a framework that enables consistent, timely and inclusive methods of communication.

Workstream: Communications


To align public policy and practice to improve outcomes and value from public expenditure


  • Continue to work at local and national level to improve the connectivity between employability services and other provision such as health, housing and justice through the adoption of a Whole Person/Whole Systems Approach.
  • Establishing a key role for employability in underpinning the approach and activities of City & Growth Deals and Regionalisation ensuring plans are flexible to respond to emerging economic crisis and future changes within the labour market.
  • Working with Community Wealth Building projects to ensure employability is embedded within this approach.
  • Alignment of employability support funding from other policy areas into No One Left Behind including the emerging Shared Prosperity Fund

Outcome: To deliver more effective and joined-up employability support across Scotland, and ultimately better employment outcomes

Workstream: Alignment and Integration



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