Fair Start Scotland, Work First Scotland and Work Able Scotland: statistical summary November 2018

Fifth publication in a series about the devolved Scottish employability services provides statistics for the first six months of Fair Start Scotland, which launched in April 2018, and the first 18 months of Work First Scotland and Work Able Scotland, which both launched in April 2017.

This document is part of a collection


Following the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014, the Smith Commission set out a range of new powers for Scotland which included devolution of contracted employment support, previously delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Powers in respect of employability have been enacted through The Scotland Act (2016).

In using the newly devolved powers, the Scottish Government (SG) made the decision to implement a year of transitional employment support services, commencing April 2017, before the introduction of the new service, Fair Start Scotland, in 2018. Work First Scotland replaced what was Work Choice, the Department for Work and Pension’s disability programme. Work Able Scotland did not replace an existing service, but was a new service supporting eligible individuals with a health condition. Together, Work First Scotland and Work Able Scotland aimed to provide continuity of support and help up to 4,800 people with disabilities and health conditions towards and into work.

Work First Scotland (WFS) aimed to deliver support for up to 3,300 disabled people. Scottish Ministers have contracted providers who previously delivered Work Choice for DWP - Remploy, Momentum Skills and Shaw Trust - to deliver Work First Scotland.

Work Able Scotland (WAS) aimed to deliver support for up to 1,500 people with a health condition. Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has contracted the Wise Group, Remploy and Progress Scotland to deliver Work Able Scotland.

Fair Start Scotland is the Scottish Government’s voluntary employment support service that aims to deliver support to a minimum of 38,000 people over a 3 year referral period. The service is primarily designed to meet the needs of those who may face a range of challenges in obtaining work. Scottish Ministers have contracted Falkirk Council, Momentum Skills, People Plus, Remploy, Start Scotland and the Wise Group to deliver Fair Start Scotland.

This experimental statistics release provides information on the first six months of Fair Start Scotland, and the first eighteen months of Work First Scotland and Work Able Scotland.

Experimental Statistics: data being developed

Experimental Statistics are a type of official statistics that are undergoing development. They are defined in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics as: ‘new official statistics undergoing evaluation that are published in order to involve users and stakeholders in their development as a means to build in quality at an early stage’.


Email: Kirsty Maclean

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