1. Official and Experimental Statistics
Statistics for No One Left Behind are Experimental Statistics. Experimental statistics are defined by the Code of Practice for Statistics as 'a subset of newly developed or innovative official statistics undergoing evaluation, that are published in order to involve users and stakeholders in the assessment of their suitability and quality at an early stage'.
Statistics for Fair Start Scotland are official statistics – they are no longer classified as experimental statistics. This early stage has now passed, with user feedback used to improve the publication, though any comments or feedback are still welcome.
More detail on designation of statistics can be found at:
2. Reporting periods
Fair Start Scotland. This publication reports on all referrals and starts from 13 March 2018 to the end of the most recent quarter (31 March 2020). The service was launched on 3 April 2018 (Q1). There was an opportunity for referrals to be made and starts to be recorded for a short period prior to the launch of the service, commencing 13 March 2018. Referrals and starts which occurred before the official launch of the service are reported along with the April 2018 data.
No One Left Behind. This publication reports on all participants who received support from 1 April 2019 to 31 December 2020.
3. Fair Start Scotland (FSS) background information
Detailed statistics on the number of referrals to FSS, number of starts and job outcomes are presented in the accompanying tables, numbered 1 to 9. Tables 1 to 7 show changes to FSS over time, with Tables 4 to 7 providing breakdowns of equalities characteristics. Table 8 provides a breakdown of data by local authority and FSS delivery area. The caveats that apply to national data also apply to local authority data (see the end of Background Information section 3). Table 9 is newly included for the first time: it shows data on parents using FSS by year, and was included as a result of policy interest in this data
The Scottish Employability Tracking System (SETS)
SETS is the Scottish Government referrals tracking system for Fair Start Scotland. Information on those referred to FSS ('referrals') and outcomes relating to those individuals, including those who join FSS ('starts'), enter employment ('job starts'), and subsequently achieve employment outcomes ('job outcomes'), is recorded on SETS. It tracks the progress of referrals made to the service and provides management information in relation to performance.
The statistics in this release are based on figures extracted from SETS on 13 April 2021.
Information provided by service providers
The statistics on age, gender, long-term health conditions, disability and ethnic group are derived from information collected by service providers when an individual joins FSS. Information is usually collected via a combination of face-to-face interviews, SG equalities monitoring forms, phone conversations and electronic questionniares (see section Impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on data quality); using SG recommended questions and published using related output classifications. The statistics in this release are based on returns for the period 13 March 2018 to 31 March 2021.
The referral numbers published in this release are net figures, which excludes 1,701 rejected referrals. The vast majority of these were duplicates.
The 'start rate' i.e. the percentage of people who joined FSS is calculated by dividing the number of starts by the number of referrals within a given period. People who were referred in the most recent quarter, particularly at the end, may not have had time to join the service by the end of the month. Because of this, the start rate for the most recent quarter should not be used for considering the overall performance of the service.
An early leaver is someone who exits the service before the end of the pre-employment support period without achieving an employment outcome.
When an individual progresses into work, service providers record a 'job start' for the individual on SETS. An individual can enter employment more than once; however the figures in this publication are for the individual's first recorded job only. The number of job starts is therefore equal to the number of people who had entered employment. All figures are up to 31 March 2021.
A 3 month (13 week) job outcome is achieved when a participant stays in a job, or is self-employed, working 16 hours per week or more, for at least 13 weeks out of 16; that is, continuous employment, but not necessarily in the same job, lasting 13 out of 16 weeks.
A 6 month (26 week) job outcome is achieved when a participant stays in a job, or is self-employed, working 16 hours per week or more, for at least 26 weeks out of 30; that is, continuous employment, but not necessarily in the same job, lasting 26 out of 30 weeks (breaks in employment must total no more than 4 weeks).
A 1 year (12 month, 52 week) job outcome is achieved when a participant stays in a job, or is self-employed, working 16 hours per week or more, for at least 52 weeks out of 60; that is, continuous employment, but not necessarily in the same job, lasting 52 out of 60 weeks (breaks in employment must total no more than 8 weeks).
Some inconsistencies in responses to the questions on long-term health conditions and disability, as reported by service providers, were identified and amended as follows:
Of those people who responded 'No' to the question asking whether respondents had a physical or mental health condition lasting, or expected to last 12 months or more:
- 3,784 participants answered the second question on extent of limitation (70 yes, a lot; 384 yes, a little; 3,330 not at all). These responses were excluded from the totals.
- 1,124 people reported one or more long-term health condition (1,263 conditions in total were recorded). These conditions have been excluded from the count of long-term health conditions.
Impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on data quality
Due to COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines, FSS providers have had to adapt their methods of supporting people, moving from contact in person to telephone and online contact. This initially led to lower rates of data completion of equalities information, whilst data collection methods were adapted to the new circumstances in consideration of data protection guidance. It also caused disruption to some providers where data was held in the workplace and was not available to staff working from home.
There were particularly high levels of missing data for ethnicity in July to September 2020. Data collection has since improved.
Comparisons with other employment services' data
Please use caution when comparing FSS data with data from other employment services across the UK, as features of service design (e.g. whether voluntary or mandatory, eligibility criteria) and definitions (e.g. how job outcomes are measured) may differ.
Local authority data
Please use caution in interpreting data at lower levels of geography, as numbers are small in some instances and there are many factors contributing to variations in totals across LAs. The Scottish Government's evaluation of year 1 of FSS suggests factors include the local reputation of FSS staff, the prior roles of staff and the reputation of previous services, the range of other existing services available in the area, the relationship between FSS provider staff and JCP work coaches, and the range and scale of local job opportunities.
4. No One Left Behind Background Information
All participant data is collected and recorded on management information systems by Scottish local authorities. Data returns are submitted to the Scottish Government on a quarterly basis. No centralised recording system is in place.
Self-assessed disability is reported only if and when it is perceived by the participant as being a barrier for them to finding employment. This means that recording and reporting of disability is not comprehensive and is not currently collected using the SG recommended questions.
During the first transitional year of delivery, data was submitted to the Scottish Government by local authorities as aggregate totals rather than individual level data. This means that further breakdowns or cross-tabulations of data are not possible. Individual level data reporting for No One Left Behind was put in place from April 2020; the start of year 2 delivery.
People are registered to start receiving support by a Local Authority Key Worker
Employment outcomes are defined as follows:
Where the participant has sustained employment (employment, self-employment, Modern Apprenticeship) for 13 weeks a self-declaration signed by the participant and countersigned by the Employability Key Worker will confirm the 13 week milestone has been achieved.
Where the participant has sustained employment (employment, self-employment, Modern Apprenticeship) for 26 weeks a self-declaration signed by the participant and countersigned by the Employability Key Worker will confirm the 26 week milestone has been achieved.
Comparisons with other employment services' data
When comparing with Fair Start Scotland:
Starts and employment outcomes are measured in a similar way and are therefore comparable. However, both the support offered and the groups targeted by these services are different, which may affect both the demographics and outcomes of participants.
For other services across the UK, features of service design (e.g. whether voluntary or mandatory, eligibility criteria) and definitions (e.g. how job outcomes are measured) may differ to a greater extent.
5. Previous editions of this publications
This publication has previously reported on Work First Scotland (WFS), Work Able Scotland (WAS), and the Health & Work Support pilot in Dundee and Fife. These services have now closed. The final statistics for WFS and WAS were published 26 February 2020 (https://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781839605901), and the final statistics for the Health & Work Support pilot were published 27 May 2020 (https://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781839607677). Other services operate within Scotland, including those run by local authorities and third sector providers, and these are not included in this publication.
6. Correspondence and enquiries
For enquiries about this publication, please contact:
For general enquiries about Scottish Government statistics, please contact:
Office of the Chief Statistician
Telephone: 0131 244 0442
7. Complaints and suggestions
If you are not satisfied with our service, or have any comments or suggestions, please write to the Chief Statistician, GR, St. Andrews House, EH1 3DG; telephone 0131 244 0302; e-mail email@example.com
If you would like to be consulted about statistical collections or receive notification of publications, please register your interest at www.gov.scot/statistics
You may use or re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. See: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/
Produced for The Scottish Government by APS Group Scotland, 21 Tennant Street, Edinburgh EH6 5NA PPDAS880946 (05/21)