This statistical publication provides summary information on Scotland’s devolved employability services. This, the 18th edition, publishes statistics for the first three and three quarter years of Fair Start Scotland (FSS) from April 2018 to December 2021, and experimental statistics on employability support delivered under the No One Left Behind strategic approach, reporting on the first two and a half years from April 2019 to September 2021.
FSS is an employability support service, launched in April 2018, which aims to help unemployed people into sustainable employment. No One Left Behind is a new approach to employability delivery which moves away from funding and delivering a number of separate and distinct employability programmes to a more flexible approach.
For FSS, there were 62,821 referrals and 41,844 starts from its launch in April 2018 up to December 2021. The number of starts includes 1,863 people who have previously received support on FSS – re-joining FSS has been possible since April 2021.
In the three month period from October – December 2021, there were 4,010 referrals and 2,695 starts on FSS. Referrals were 17% lower than the previous quarter (July – September 2021), and 24% higher than the same quarter in 2020. Starts were 16% lower than the previous quarter (July – September 2021), and 13% higher than the same quarter in 2020. Whilst some or all of the decreases in referrals and starts in the October - December 2021 period are likely to be seasonal, the increases compared to the same period last year (October – December 2020) mainly reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during late 2020.
So far, 14,349 people have started a job since the launch of FSS, with 1,040 job starts during the October – December 2021 period. Job starts this quarter were 20% lower than the quarter before, and 8% lower than the same period in 2020. Similar to FSS referrals and starts, job starts are usually lower in the October - December period, echoing recent labour market statistics showing a decline this quarter, and seasonal variation may also explain the decrease seen here.
Job outcome rates can only be reported for start cohorts where enough time has passed in pre-employment support and for outcomes to be achieved. For participants where data is complete, 49% of people left FSS early without completing the programme of support offered or achieving a job outcome (53% from year 1, 46% from year 2 and 50% from the first three quarters of year 3), 37% started a job (32% from year 1, 34% from year 2 and 48% from the first three quarters of year 3), 26% sustained employment for 3 months, 20% for 6 months and 14% for at least 12 months.
People who started work had high rates of sustaining it: 71% of people starting work went on to sustain employment for 3 months, 79% of those who sustained employment for 3 months went on to reach at least 6 months and 77% of those who sustained employment for 6 months went on to reach at least 12 months.
Experimental statistics for No One Left Behind show that a total of 14,238 people started receiving support in the two and a half year period from April 2019 to September 2021. 3,824 people started in year 1 (April 2019 – March 2020), 4,627 in year 2 (April 2020 – March 2021) and 5,787 in the first half of year 3 (April 2021 – September 2021). The number of people starting to receive support has steadily increased over time; the numbers supported in year 3 so far were more than the total numbers supported in year 2 and also greater than the number of people supported in year 1. These statistics include those receiving employability support from a wider range of funding than reported on in previous publications.
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