Q. What is Fair Start Scotland?
A) Fair Start Scotland is Scotland's first
fully devolved employment support service. It aims to support a
minimum of 38,000 people, including those further removed from the
labour market who want help to find and stay in work.
Fair start Scotland delivers delivers one of
the first powers to be devolved under the 2016 Scotland Act,
providing flexible and tailored support that is responsive to the
needs of unemployed people and businesses across Scotland. It is an
opportunity to deliver a Scottish approach to employment support
that is more flexible, and responsive to a changing labour market,
tackling labour market inequalities and growing Scotland's economy
by helping more people into work.
Q. What makes Fair Start Scotland (FSS)
A) Fair Start Scotland (FSS) is entirely
voluntary for people to participate, which means that people can
choose to take part without fear of benefit sanctions if they are
not able to attend.
.. Fairness, dignity and respect between provider and
participant is at the heart of the service.
Fair Start Scotland:
- Has been developed by listening to the views of people who rely
on employment support.
- Is funded by the Scottish Government
- Is delivered in 9 areas across Scotland, reflecting the reality
of Scotland's geography, regional economies and population
- Encourages Service Providers to commit to the Fair Work,
Workforce and Community Benefits agendas (for example by promoting
living wage employment, no use of zero hours contracts or umbrella
companies and supporting the Scottish Business
- Includes an offer of supported employment - an internationally
recognised 'place and train' model enabling disabled people
to learn on the job with support from colleagues and a job
coach. Individual Placement and Support will be available for
those with severe and enduring mental health
- It creates opportunity for supported businesses. The 'West' Lot
was reserved exclusively for supported businesses - the highest
value supported business contract awarded so far by Scottish
Ministers (up to £8.8M over 2018 - 2021).
Q. Who is delivering Fair Start Scotland?
A) The Minister for Employability and
Training awarded contracts in October 2017 to providers and
delivery partners who will deliver Fair Start Scotland. This
recognised the strengths a mixed economy of third, private and
public sector partners to deliver better outcomes for unemployed
people in Scotland. There are nine Contract Areas and further
details of these can found
Q. What was the rationale for the 9 Contract
A) The nine Contract Areas reflect Scotland's
geography, labour market and local economy areas, and existing
delivery boundaries. It was determined following substantial
stakeholder engagement, both through the 2015' consultation
'Creating a Fairer Scotland: Employability Support' and a number of
supplier engagement events in late 2016. During this engagement we
presented and tested proposals and options on the local delivery of
devolved employment services.
We sought to:
- Build on feedback from the market testing events at the end of
2016 which helped to inform our preferred option;
- Ensure the Contract Areas were of sufficient scale that they
will be commercially attractive and support efficient and effective
delivery, while reflecting Scotland's geographical
We will of course monitor and review the
effectiveness of these structures in relation to both performance
within the devolved service and emerging issues, such as City Deals
in Scotland. We believe the nine Contract Areas based on LA
boundaries create a strong foundation for delivery from 2018 and
developing our approach in future.
Q. How will you attract people to a voluntary
A) The voluntary nature of our services
represents a distinctly Scottish approach to employability support,
and a departure from the largely mandatory approach which has been
a feature of previous UK programmes.
Given the participation levels in DWP's Work
Choice and the Work Programme, we know there are sufficient number
of people who would be eligible to participate in Fair Start
We have supported the development of
marketing materials for Jobcentre Plus work coaches in Scotland to
raise awareness and stimulate referrals. We are also working
closely with Providers to ensure that they are developing a range
of marketing materials and that these are adapted for different
audiences and are made available in locations across
communities. We are also encouraging them to use their
networks and media including social media to raise awareness of the
Q. What are you doing to integrate Fair Start Scotland
with other services and support?
A) Fair Start Scotland providers will build
and maintain working relationships with key stakeholder
organisations and groups to help provide effective and joined up
support for participants.
In addition, Fair Start Scotland will
integrate with some of the services and support referenced in the
actions in the Employability Integration and Alignment Plan
published on 27 March joining up employability provision with
health, justice, and housing. For example, the Single Health
and Work Gateway will link with Fair Start Scotland so disabled
people or people with health conditions who face barriers to work
and are eligible for Fair Start Scotland are referred to the right
place. And we will collaborate with the Scottish Prison
Service to develop new routes into employment services including
Fair Start Scotland that will help support more people with a
conviction to find and sustain work.
Q. Why have you published an Employability Integration
and Alignment Plan?
A) The Plan marks for the first time what our
approach is to deliver more effective and joined-up employability
support across Scotland. Fair Start Scotland is just one of a
number of levers that will provide more effective employment
support for people, and in turn, create a fairer labour market and
more inclusive growth. Better integration and alignment
of the various employability initiatives that are on offer by the
Scottish Government, its agencies and partners and others is a
vital part of our ambition to tackle labour market inequalities and
help more people into work.
Q. What other support does the Scottish Government have in
place to help those who cannot access devolved
A) Our transitional arrangements delivered
over 2017/18 and Fair Start Scotland which commences in April 2018
are only part of a number of Scottish Government employment support
offers which operate in Scotland. That is why the integration and
alignment agenda is so important. It's important we ensure services
are properly aligned to support as many people as possible and in
the best way possible to meet their needs.
Q. What are the 'other employment support offers' which
operate in Scotland?
A) Our employability support is wide ranging
- across ages, abilities and degree of job-readiness.
- For those who are job ready, Modern Apprenticeships offer the
opportunity to earn a wage while learning skills that will be used
throughout an individual's career;
- Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) is an employability programme
aimed at supporting disadvantaged young people aged 16-29 into
employment by providing paid job training opportunities in the
Third Sector with the option of additional training specifically
designed to enhance general employability skills.
- Opportunities for All is the Scottish Government's commitment
to an offer of an appropriate place in learning, training for 16-19
year olds not already engaged in education, training or
- Activity Agreements are for 16-19 year olds assessed as
requiring additional support in order to progress to further
learning, employability skills training, a Modern Apprenticeship
- We will continue to support employers to recruit young people
who face the biggest barriers to employment, through Scotland's
Employer Recruitment Incentive (SERI).
- We also support the Employability Fund which supports young
people towards employment through a number of local training