FAQ - Background to Developing Scottish Employment Services
Q) When will Employment Support be devolved to
A) From 1 April 2017 Scotland will exercise newly
devolved powers on employment support through 12 month transitional
arrangements, in preparation for a Scottish programme of support
from 1 April 2018.
Q) What are the 2017 transitional
A) A two part approach will form our transitional
services in 2017.
Work First Scotland (WFS), is a 12 month contract with the
current providers of Work Choice in Scotland to deliver employment
support for up to 3,300 disabled people. Please see the Employment
Support 2017 page for further details.
Work Able Scotland (WAS), where Skills Development Scotland will
deliver a 12 month employment support service for up to 1500
people with a disability or health condition and at risk of
long term unemployment, and who want to enter work. Please see the
Employment Support 2017 page
for further details.
Q) Why have transitional services from
A) Work First Scotland and Work Able Scotland
will provide continuity of support for those who are unemployed
with significant barriers to work, while building towards a
Scottish programme of support from April 2018.
Q) What will the 2018 services look like?
A) Our aim remains to create a future programme
that is flexible, tailored and responsive to the needs of
unemployed people in Scotland through a combination of payment by
service fee and when users move into a sustained job outcome.
We will deliver a service, known as Fair Start Scotland, which
identifies the strengths and skills customers share alongside the
levels of support they need. Our support will focus on those with
high needs who may have been neglected by the current DWP approach,
while supporting our ambitions for sustainable economic growth,
social justice, inclusion and fair work. Please see the Employment
Support 2018 page for further details.
Q) How will you achieve this?
A) We will work in partnership to deliver
services that stay focused on those who need them the most.
Furthermore we will also work on a long term programme of
integration and alignment to join up services across Scottish
Government policies and programmes - and across local authority and
third sector provision. Please look to The Ministerial
Summit on Employability page as an example of our
Q) How will this be funded?
A) In December 2015, The Department for Work and
Pensions indicated a budget for delivery of new devolved programmes
in 2017-18 of £7m, This represents a budget cut of almost 90%.
Scottish Ministers have stepped in to provide up to £20 million in
additional funding, this more than triples the funding being made
available, and have made a further commitment to invest £20m a year
until 2021 - to ensure those who most need support get it.
Q) Can individuals be made to join the Programme and
will their benefit be affected if they don't?
A) No. Research shows that sanctions often affect
the most vulnerable in society, including lone parents, young
people and those with a disability.
The Scottish Government believe that Scotland's devolved
employment services should operate on a voluntary basis, where the
DWP's benefit conditionality, and therefore, their sanctions, will
not apply. DWP have confirmed that no-one will be sanctioned
for failing to attend, engage with or complete devolved employment
services. Participants may however still be subject to some
conditionality - including job search requirements - over and above
their attendance and this will be set out by DWP.