Youth Employment Scotland Fund (YESF): evaluation report

Evaluation report of the Youth Employment Scotland Fund (YESF) to assess its impact on young people and employers.

4 YESF outputs


4.1 This chapter reports the performance of the YESF over the period June 2013 to June 2015. It is based on monitoring returns from all 32 Local Authorities in Scotland, and informed by relevant quantitative data on sustained employment from employer surveys where appropriate and available. As noted in Chapter 3, there were variations in the data collected and reported by Local Authorities.

Young people

4.2 In all, 9,396 young people had participated in the YESF at the time of this evaluation. This varied widely by Local Authority, as shown at Table 4.1 below, from 17% of total starts in Ayrshire and 11% in both South Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire, to very small numbers in Shetland, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. In Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, this may reflect the fact that youth unemployment was lower than in other parts of the country. It should be noted that these starts are workplace-based, rather than residence-based.

Table 4.1: YESF Young People Starts by Local Authority

Local Authority YP starts % of all starts Local Authority YP starts % of all starts
Ayrshire 1,643 17% Midlothian 151 2%
South Lanarkshire 1,036 11% Dumfries and Galloway 137 1%
North Lanarkshire 994 11% Eilean Siar 136 1%
Falkirk 600 6% Clackmannanshire 136 1%
Renfrewshire 555 6% Moray 125 1%
Glasgow City 446 5% Highland 116 1%
Dundee City 423 5% East Dunbartonshire 109 1%
West Dunbartonshire 441 4% Argyll and Bute 105 1%
Fife 392 4% East Renfrewshire 79 1%
City of Edinburgh 344 4% Stirling 60 1%
Perth and Kinross 344 4% Orkney 54 1%
Inverclyde 276 3% Angus 52 1%
West Lothian 235 3% Aberdeenshire 39 Less than 1%
East Lothian 178 2% Aberdeen City 37 Less than 1%
Scottish Borders 153 2% Shetland 30 Less than 1%
Total 9,396 100%

Source: Monitoring data provided by Local Authorities for the programme period to October 2015. Recruitment was on-going

4.3 The vast majority of young people lived within the Local Authority area in which the job was provided. Less than 3% took up a YESF job outside the Local Authority area in which they lived (20 of 25 Local Authorities) where this data was available. Only Edinburgh (30%), East Renfrewshire (28%) and Stirling (27%) reported large proportions of young people taking part in YESF and living out-with the area. This data perhaps reflects commuting patterns more widely.

4.4 Despite YESF eligibility being for 16 to 29 year olds, the vast majority (98%) of participants were aged 24 and below. It is likely that this is in part explained by the fact that the original age range was 16-24, extended to 29 in July 2014. Where known, and as shown in Table 4.2, one third (33%) of young people were aged under 18 years, with similar proportions aged 18 to 20 years (35%) and 21 to 24 years (30%). This data was available from 31 of 32 Local Authorities.

Table 4.2: YESF Young People Starts by Age

Age Band No. of YP starts % of all starts
Under 18 2,699 33%
18-20 2,932 35%
21-24 2,473 30%
25+ 164 2%
Total 8,268 100%

Source: Monitoring data provided by Local Authorities


4.5 Local Authorities reported that a total of 1,286 young people who started their YESF job did not complete it to the end of the ERI, giving a non-completion rate of 14%. However, again, this varies widely by area, from one third (33%) of starts in Renfrewshire and Clackmannanshire to just 1% in Eilean Siar and 3% in North Lanarkshire.

4.6 There were a number of different reasons given for non-completion. Some did not complete because they moved into another positive destination, e.g. the young person took up other employment, further education, a Modern Apprenticeship or other training which can all be counted as a positive outcome. However, the most common reasons for non-completion were that the contract was terminated due to poor timekeeping/bad attendance or the employer closed/went into liquidation. There was a variety of other reasons for non-completion affecting a small number of beneficiaries, such as maternity, moving away from the area, personal reasons and poor attitude.


4.7 Twenty two Local Authorities provided full monitoring data on the destination of young people after their YESF job. As shown in Table 4.3 below, of the YESF young people in these areas, 69% of all starts sustained their positive destination at the end of the ERI. Of this, the majority maintained employment with the same employer, while just over one in 10 (11%) entered permanent employment with a different employer. A smaller proportion (5%) moved into another positive destination - namely into further education or training.

Table 4.3: Destination of YESF Young People

Destination % of all starts
Positive destination 69%
Of which:
Sustained employment with the same employer 53%
Sustained employment with a different employer 11%
Another positive destination ( FE, training) 5%

Source: Monitoring data provided by Local Authorities.


4.8 Local Authorities reported that they engaged with a total of 4,631 employers. This equates to an average of just over two young people beneficiaries to every participating employer although some took many more than two and others provided just one YESF job. As we would expect, employer engagement was highest in those areas that had delivered the greatest number of young people starts - in South Lanarkshire, where nearly 800 different employers had participated, Ayrshire (three Local Authorities) with over 630 and North Lanarkshire, where around 500 had engaged.

4.9 Seven Local Authorities gave feedback on the profile of the employers that had engaged with the YESF. The vast majority of participating employers, where reported, were SMEs (over 90% of all employers). Hairdressing, engineering, construction, mechanics, leisure, window cleaning and administration where the sectors/roles most cited to have provided YESF jobs. The vast majority of employers were commercial enterprises in the private sector, with a small number of public sector/ social enterprise employers participating.

4.10 Local Authority contacts were asked the number of participating employers who were yet to claim funding at the time of reporting. Some 22 Local Authorities, representing 3,116 employers in total, provided data. In all, 444 of the 3,116 employers had not claimed, a non-claimant rate of 14%. However, some may still claim as some ERIs were on-going at the time of the research.

4.11 The proportions of non-claiming employers (in the 22 Local Authorities that provided data) ranged from zero in West Lothian, Midlothian, Orkney, Angus, Aberdeen City to West Dunbartonshire (25%, 31 employers), Dundee City (23%, 60 employers) and Renfrewshire (22%, 79 employers). In total, 542 young people were represented by these 444 non-claiming employers, a rate of 1.2 young people per employer.

4.12 At the time of reporting, the non-claiming employers had not yet claimed a total of £1,477,321 in ERI, in the 21 Local Authorities where this financial data was known. This was highest in South Lanarkshire, where almost £350,000 was yet to be claimed, Dundee City, where the figure was almost £325,000, and Renfrewshire where employers had not claimed £220,000.


4.13 In all, 9,396 young people had started on the YESF at the time of reporting (November 2015) which is almost 600 short of the original target although the number may raise as the final phase of the YESF closes and the up-to-date data becomes available. The highest number of starts was in Ayrshire [ 5] (1,643, 17%), South Lanarkshire (1,036, 11%) and North Lanarkshire (994, 11%). Eligibility for the YESF is for young people aged 16 to 29 years, although nearly all (98%) of young people starts were aged 16-24.

4.14 At the time of this evaluation, an estimated 14% of young people who started their YESF job did not remain in it until the end of the ERI, and this was particularly high in some areas including Renfrewshire and Clackmannanshire (both 33%). The most common reasons for non-completion were terminated contracts due to poor time-keeping/attendance, the closure of the business, or the young person moving into a positive destination before completion.

4.15 Over 4,600 employers have been engaged with for the YESF, around one employer for every two young people. These employers tend to be SMEs in the private sector, with hairdressing, engineering and construction being particularly popular sectors.

4.16 At the time of reporting, over 400 employers were yet to claim ERI, totalling almost £1.5m. Local Authorities experiencing a lower level of take-up by young people than expected, and employers not claiming the full amount of ERI were the main reasons for recorded.


Email: Sharon Hamilton,

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