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Cross-boundary Working

Working for Growth: A Refresh of the Employability Framework for Scotland (September 2012) states:

'…it is important to consider how the horizons of those moving through the journey toward and into work broaden as they do so. For example young people furthest from the labour market often remain in very narrowly defined geographic areas where job opportunities are severely restricted. As they successfully engage in post-16 education and training they may begin to move beyond these areas and, by the time they move into employment, they may be working in a different local authority area altogether.

Just as those seeking work often widen their search beyond local authority boundaries, employers do not specifically think at local authority level when recruiting. Large organisations in particular will operate and recruit from across a sometimes sizeable travel to work area.

We have seen that, properly implemented, cross-boundary working can have a range of benefits for individuals, employers and partnerships.  These range from hard outcomes such as people into jobs or training to softer benefits such as the sharing of ideas and the increased personal resilience of those involved.  Depending on the exact goals of the participants, the practice can also take a wide variety of forms.

It is recognised that, through the National Delivery Group, Learning Network and other means, partnerships will already have experience of some degree of shared initiative and cross-fertilisation of ideas.  This may well be deemed sufficient by some.  However, where interest does exist in a more concerted approach to collaboration, the Scottish Government would be glad to hear about it and where appropriate help facilitate its implementation. 

A discussion paper on cross-boundary working was produced in January 2013 and can be found here.

We would also be glad to hear of any existing examples of  cross-boundary working and, through the Learning Network, share any experiences that may be helpful to other areas. Please use the 'contact us' section to get in touch.