Scotland's Devolved Employment Services: statistical summary August 2020

This publication presents statistics on the number of referrals, starts and job outcomes for Fair Start Scotland, an employability support service aiming to help unemployed people into sustainable employment, up to the end of June 2020.

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Summary findings

This publication contains statistics on Fair Start Scotland (FSS), an employability support service that aims to help unemployed people into sustainable employment:

  • 37,378 referrals were received and 24,380 people started receiving employability support in the first 9 quarters of FSS from April 2018 to June 2020. Compared to April - June 2019, the number of FSS referrals in April - June 2020 were 39% lower, and the number of FSS starts are 25% lower. This decrease is associated with the Department for Work and Pensions (the main referring organisation) pausing referrals into FSS at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown period to respond to the increase in demand for benefit claims. FSS set out to support 38,000 people in the first three years. FSS has achieved 64% of this figure, with 9 months left of year 3 to report on.
  • 58% of referrals to FSS in the first year went on to start on the service, rising to 70% in the second year. In the latest quarter (April to June 2020) the start rate has increased to at least 82%,[1] which may be linked to the changing referral sources during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
  • People receiving FSS support experience different and often multiple barriers to finding work. Health conditions and/or disabilities are the most commonly reported.[2] 65% of people in FSS reported a long-term health condition and 47% were disabled.
  • So far, 7,050 people started a job after joining FSS. Rates of job starts and outcomes for each start group are reported when the full time available to reach them has passed. Where we can report complete data:
    • most people who started FSS did not enter work or go on to sustain employment: 33% started a job, 23% sustained employment for 3 months, 17% sustained employment for 6 months, and 14% sustained employment for at least 12 months.
    • but people who started work had high rates of sustaining it: 72% of people starting work went on to sustain employment for 3 months, 77% 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.
    • job starts and sustained outcomes are lower for older age groups compared with younger age groups, and also lower for those reporting that their long-term health conditions limited daily activities 'a lot' compared with those who have long-term health conditions that do not limit daily activities.
  • Where we can report complete data,[3] 51% of people left FSS early without completing the programme of support or achieving a job outcome. The percentage was highest (57%) for those reporting a long-term health condition limiting daily activities 'a lot'.



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