SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT TO DELIVER FAIR START SCOTLAND FROM APRIL

Scotland’s first fully devolved employment service, Fair Start Scotland, will begin delivering flexible and tailored support from Tuesday 3 April.

Fair Start Scotland will offer personalised support for at least 38,000 people furthest removed from the labour market.

Ahead of the launch, on Tuesday 27th March, the Scottish Government set out a strategy containing the next steps towards delivering more effective and joined-up employability support across Scotland.

The strategy, ‘No One Left Behind – Next Steps for the Integration and Alignment of Employability Support in Scotland’ outlines measures to join up employability support across Scotland, including working with the Scottish Prison Service to develop new routes into employment, and piloting a Single Health and Work Gateway in Fife and Dundee.

Welcoming the news, SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, Ruth Maguire, said:

“A strong and fair labour market is vital if Scotland is to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth – and helping more people into work is a critical part of that.

“With the Scottish Parliament’s new powers over employment support services, the Fair Start Scotland scheme has been designed to help those furthest away from the labour market to find work.

“Treating people with fairness, dignity and respect at all times is at the core of this support scheme. For a start, the service is voluntary, meaning that people are not driven to take part through fear of sanctions.

“For the scheme to operate successfully, it is crucial that it joins up effectively with existing support and services. I was pleased to receive reassurances from the Minister that there is clear contractual expectation that those bodies awarded Fair Start Contracts will make a concerted effort to work hand in hand with pre-existing service providers such as local authorities, Jobcentre Plus, and the Scottish Prison Service.”

“The launch of Fair Start Scotland is a landmark moment in our journey to deliver a person-centred employment service and to support those who face significant barriers accessing work.

“I look forward to seeing it deliver for people in my Ayrshire constituency and across Scotland over the months and years ahead.”