No One Left Behind: review of employability services

Steps the Scottish Government will take to develop an employability system which is flexible, joined-up and responsive.

Improvement, Collaboration and Design Thinking

The workforce delivering employability services, alongside those using provision, are clearly the key people that will determine the effectiveness of the system.

We recognise that all partners in the employability system are operating at full capacity to deliver the support, services and provision for current service users. The improvements identified through the review require new approaches to be developed to understand user needs in a way that can support strategic planning and provide the information we need to evidence the impact of the employability system and demonstrate value for money.

As noted earlier, if we are going to develop more joined-up services, responsive to user needs, we need to give the space to frontline professionals to build empathy and effective relationships with the people they are working with – enabling them to deliver support and advice based on a full understanding and appreciation of user capability and need. Building on approaches already in place in many areas we would like to do more to help embed innovation and approaches that focus on the ongoing improvement of services.

We have signalled our intention to build on the success of improvement collaboratives across the public sector, and invest in and build a similar commitment to improvement, innovation and user-led design across the employability sector. Greater investment in improvement approaches and design thinking will be a key focus of our work to build more joined-up, flexible and responsive services.

We will therefore work with Local Government and partners and providers in the Third and Private Sectors to determine where additional capacity can be provided within the system at the outset to help collaboratively design, implement and continuously improve our new delivery model.

As a key first step, we will work with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) to collectively agree a new Partnership Working Agreement in Employability to create a framework which can positively shape and join up employability provision nationally and deliver it locally.

Under this agreement we will work jointly with local authorities to agree a shared action plan that will set out how we will work collaboratively with other key partners, including the third sector, other employability providers, SDS and communities to create a new funding model that will deliver the more person-centred vision we all want to see.

Among other things, the plan will set out how we will address the challenge of designing and delivering more integrated services, how we look at measurement and outcomes and how we design a funding approach, with the right levels of governance and accountability that will facilitate the changes we want to see. This will ensure that our employability system is flexible and responsive enough to deliver local and national priorities and give people the support they need to get into and stay in work now and in years to come.

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