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Employment Support 2018

 Fair Start Scotland 

Newly devolved powers on employment support will be exercised from April 2017. Following the 12 month transitional services Work First Scotland and Work Able Scotland, the Scottish Government  will introduce a new Scottish employability service - Fair Start Scotland - from April 2018.

The key focus for the service will be tailored and personalised support for all those who participate. Key elements of the service are:

  • It will be entirely voluntary;
  • All participants can expect to receive in-depth action planning to ensure the support they receive is tailored for them and suits their individual needs and circumstances;
  • The service will offer pre-work support of 12-18 months;
  • The service will offer high quality in-work support for 12 months;
    Those who require specialist support to help them find work can expect to receive it;
  • There will be national standards to ensure everyone is supported
    consistently across the 9 geographic contract areas across Scotland;
  • For disabled customers who require intensive support, Supported
    Employment and Individual Placement and Support will be available.

The Invitation to Tender for Fair Start Scotland was issued on 8th March 2017. Contracts are due to be awarded later in 2017.

2018 Contract Areas

During his appearance at the Social Security Committee on 2 February 2017, the Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn MSP announced that contracts worth up to £96 million will be put out to tender to deliver Fair Start Scotland, Scotland's full programme of employment services from 2018.

Mr Hepburn also confirmed that nine contract areas will deliver employment support across Scotland in 2018, with one of the contracts set to be reserved for a supported business. The contracting process commenced in March 2017.

These contract package areas have been developed on the basis of substantial stakeholder engagement, both through the 2015 consultation 'Creating a Fairer Scotland:Employability Support' and a number of supplier engagement events in late 2016. The areas are based on local authority boundaries, reflecting both local authorities current contribution to employment support, and the opportunities this presents for integration and alignment with related services. We believe this approach creates a strong foundation for delivery from 2018 and developing our approach in future. We will of course monitor and review the effectiveness of these structures in relation to both performance within the devolved programme and emerging issues, such as City Deals in Scotland.

For more information please see the related news release or you may wish to refer to further information below which you may find useful:

Contract Area Local Authority Area 
1. Glasgow Glasgow 
2. Lanarkshire North and South Lanarkshire
3. Tayside Angus, Dundee City and Perth and Kinross
4. Forth Valley Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire
5. East City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, West Lothian, Fife
6. Southwest
North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway

7. Northeast

Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire
8. Highlands and Islands Argyll and Bute, Eilean Siar, Highland, Moray, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands
9. West East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde

Please see our 2018 Contract Area FAQ for further information.

2018 Reserved Contract Area

In February 2017, Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn MSP, announced that in procuring for Fair Start Scotland, one service delivery area would be reserved for supported businesses. This decision is in line with Regulation 21 of the Public Contracts Scotland Regulations (2015).

The Minister also announced that the area to be reserved will be the West delivery area which encompasses East and West Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde, East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire.

In determining the most suitable area, Scottish Ministers have taken account of the current geographical footprint of supported businesses, and the views of stakeholders and supported businesses themselves. It was important to select an area large enough to test this model of delivery while supporting procurement of the 2018 service more broadly.

The Scottish Government held  a Tenderers Briefing event with supported businesses in the reserved area in March 2017 following the publication of the Invitation To Tender for Fair Start Scotland also in March 2017.

Please see our 2018 Reserved Contract Area FAQ for further information.

Supplier Engagements

The Scottish Government is committed to keeping consultation, engagement and partnership working at the forefront of our approach to developing devolved employment support services.

Involving those who use and those who deliver employment support has been a constant driver as we work to reshape employment support services in Scotland.

Supplier Engagement events for Fair Start Scotland started with an event in Glasgow on Monday 28 November 2016. This was the first of 4 - with the other three taking place in Inverness on 29 November, Edinburgh on 1 December and a supplementary event in Glasgow on 9 December 2016.

These events enabled feedback from organisations on additional support or information that would assist potential suppliers wishing to be involved in the 2018 employment programme. They also provided the opportunity for attendees to network with potential delivery partners and offered scope for learning to potentially help shape requirements prior to the start of the formal advertising and competitive tendering process for Fair Start Scotland. A range of information on the events is available below:

Following on from the Supplier Engagement events and the issue of the Invitation to Tender, briefing events were hosted which provided an opportunity for potential tenderers to further understand the requirements of Fair Start Scotland. The events were held approximately 2 weeks after the ITT was published,  29th March in Perth and  30th March in the West Contract Area. The timescale gave potential bidders time to digest the documentation and it further allowed  an opportunity for attendees to network with potential delivery partners. Further information can be found below: