Scotland's Devolved Employment Services: statistical summary May 2022

This publication presents statistics for Fair Start Scotland (FSS) from April 2018 to March 2022 and experimental statistics on the No One Left Behind strategic approach to employability delivery, reporting on those receiving support from April 2019 to December 2021.

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Summary findings

This statistical publication provides summary information on Scotland's devolved employability services. This, the 19th edition, publishes statistics for the first four years of Fair Start Scotland (FSS) from April 2018 to March 2022, and experimental statistics on employability support delivered under the No One Left Behind strategic approach, reporting on the first two and three quarter years from April 2019 to December 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.[1]

For FSS, there were 67,619 referrals and 45,030 starts from its launch in April 2018 up to March 2022. The number of starts includes 2,447 people who have previously received support on FSS – re-joining FSS has been possible since April 2021.[2] As this publication covers the first full year of people being able to re-join FSS (April 2021- March 2022), with participants able to enter and sustain employment or leave the service during both periods of support, this has been reflected in a change to the language adopted in the publication. The description of participants leaving the service early or starting and sustaining employment now focuses on FSS starts rather than people. This reflects the fact that from the start of year 4 and thus overall, the total number of FSS starts is not the same as the number of unique people who have received support.

In the three month period from January – March 2022, there were 4,798 referrals and 3,184 starts on FSS. Referrals were 20% higher than the previous quarter (October – December 2021), and 7% higher than the same quarter in 2021. Starts were 18% higher than the previous quarter (October – December 2021), and 5% higher than the same quarter in 2021. Whilst some of the increase in referrals and starts in January – March will be a result of the preceding period's (October – December) annual seasonal fall, the increases compared to the same period last year (January – March 2021) will likely reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during early 2021.

So far, there have been 15,355 job starts since the launch of FSS, with 945[3] job starts during the January – March 2022 period. Job starts this quarter were 14% lower than the quarter before, and 1% lower than the same period in 2021.

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, 50% of FSS starts left the service early without completing the programme of support offered or achieving a job outcome (53% from year 1, 46% from year 2 and 51% from year 3), 38% started a job (32% from year 1, 34% from year 2 and 47% from year 3), 27% sustained employment for 3 months, 21% for 6 months and 14% for at least 12 months.

People who started work had high rates of sustaining it: 72% of job starts went on to sustain employment for 3 months, 80% of those who sustained employment for 3 months went on to reach at least 6 months and 76% 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 16,859 people started receiving support in the two and three quarter year period from April 2019 to December 2021. The number of people starting to receive support has steadily increased over time; 2,739[4] people started in year 1 (April 2019 – March 2020), 4,891 in year 2 (April 2020 – March 2021) and 9,229 in the first three quarters of year 3 (April 2021 – December 2021) which was more than the overall total numbers supported in years 1 and 2.



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