No One Left Behind: next steps for employability support

The plan sets out the next steps we will take to deliver more effective and joined-up employability support across Scotland.

A Review of the Employability Landscape

Integrating and Aligning Employability Services: A Review of the Landscape and Scottish Government Funded Employability Services.

There are a lot of good examples across Scotland of employability support programmes that are providing the vital help people need to progress and move into sustainable work. Recent changes in the labour market and across the employability landscape, not least the devolution of some employability powers, provide an important opportunity to look at how we create a joined up employability system across Scotland – an employability system that does more to provide the right help for people of all ages, and particularly for those further from the labour market. This work is driven by a wish to create an employability system in Scotland that is defined by the values we set out in A New Future for Employability Support in Scotland [5] :

  • Dignity and respect
  • Fairness and equality
  • Continuous improvement

And by the following objectives:

  • A system that provides flexible and person-centred support;
  • is more straightforward for people to navigate;
  • is better integrated and aligned with other services, in particular, although not exclusively with health provision;
  • provides pathways into sustainable and fair work;
  • is driven by evidence, including data and the experience of users; and
  • that supports more people – particularly those facing multiple barriers – to move into the right job, at the right time.

Developing a simplified and more joined up employability system will require a long-term programme of change. Our first priority is to do more to ensure the funding that the Scottish Government provides is being used to deliver against the values and objectives outlined above.

As part of this work, we would like to understand whether there is merit in developing a referral and assessment system that can better direct people to the right support at the right time (this will need to include learning from the Single Gateway pilots which is Health Action 4 below).

We would also like to find out whether there are models of support, e.g. mentoring, that are critical if we are to deliver a step change in outcomes for equality groups and others with significant labour market barriers.

We will want to understand how we can best use our resources and approaches to performance measurement – recognising one of the key recommendations in the Independent Poverty Advisor's report, Shifting the Curve – to continue to simplify the landscape to help people decide which option they wish to pursue.

There are a significant number of organisations involved in the employability landscape acting as assessment and referral organisations, deliverers of skills and training, funding providers or a combination of these. In taking forward this work, it is important that we engage with users of employability services and work in partnership with organisations recognising their different roles and responsibilities, to understand what strategic and practical changes are needed to create a better employability system in Scotland.

This work will include the engagement we are taking forward with Local Authorities, as set out at Action 2, and it will also consider the potential impact of any future changes to EU funding for employability.

To successfully reform our employability system, leaders from across the employability landscape have a collective responsibility to continue to build person-centred services. Collaborative leadership across organisational boundaries will be crucial to achieve a simplified landscape and close partnership working will be required to achieve our shared aim of improving access and the quality of employment outcomes for the most disadvantaged people in Scotland.

The actions set out in this Plan are critical in helping us to deliver our objectives.

Action 1

During 2018, the Scottish Government will engage with people and organisations in a discussion on the future of the employability system in Scotland to explore how we create a more joined up system that is focussed on progressing people into the jobs and careers they choose. We will publish the findings of our discussions in Autumn 2018 and we will set out what action we plan to take.


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