Scotland's Devolved Employment Services: statistical summary November 2020

This publication presents statistics up to the end of September 2020 covering the first two and a half years of Fair Start Scotland (FSS)

Summary findings

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

41,007 referrals were received and 27,076 people started receiving employability support in the first 2 and a half years of FSS from April 2018 to September 2020. Referrals and starts between July and September 2020 were higher than the quarter before, with a 38% increase in referrals and a 20% increase in starts. However, they are still lower than levels seen before the period of COVID-19 disruption, with referrals 17% lower than July – September 2019 and starts 12% lower.

People receiving FSS support experience varying and often multiple barriers to finding work. Health conditions and/or disabilities are the most commonly reported [1]. 65% of FSS participants reported a long-term health condition and 44% were disabled. 

So far, 8,329 people started a job after joining FSS. There were 848 job starts in April – June 2020, 20% lower than the same period in 2019, but they increased to 1,252 in July – September 2020, 10% higher than the same period in 2019. 

Rates of job starts and outcomes for each start group are reported when the full time available to reach them has passed. For participants where data is complete, 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, 18% sustained employment for 6 months, and 13% sustained employment for at least 12 months.

However, people who started work had high rates of sustaining it: 71% of people starting work went on to sustain employment for 3 months, 78% 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.

Job starts and sustained outcomes were 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[2], 50% of people left FSS early without completing the programme of support offered and without having sustained employment for at least 3 months. The percentage was highest (56%) for those reporting a long-term health condition that limited daily activities 'a lot'. 



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