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Background on Scotland's Devolved Employment Services

In one of the first exercises of devolved powers under the Scotland Act 2016, the Scottish Government will deliver new employment support services from April 2017.

Work First Scotland (WFS) and Work Able Scotland (WAS) will provide transitional arrangements from April 2017 by providing up to 12 months of support, helping up to 4,800 people with health conditions and disabilities into work. This is ahead of the full devolved service, Fair Start Scotland, being delivered in 2018. Fair Start Scotland will support a minimum of 38,000 referrals over three years. 

WFS will deliver employment support for up to 3,300 disabled people, including pre-work and in-work support.

WAS is procured and managed by Skills Development Scotland, and will support up to 1,500 people with health conditions into and sustain work.

Scotland's new devolved employment services are distinctive in that they are entirely voluntary, meaning that people may participate without the threat of sanctions.

Further information on the provision is noted in the table below: 

Contract Area

Name of Contract Area for 2017

Work First Scotland  

Work Able Scotland

Highlands, Islands, Clyde Coast and Grampian Momentum

Progress Scotland

(Consortium of The Lennox Partnership & Working Links)

Forth Valley, Fife and Tayside Remploy & Shaw Trust   The Wise Group
3 Glasgow, Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire    Remploy & Shaw Trust   The Wise Group


Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders, Ayrshire, Dumfries, Galloway and Inverclyde

Remploy & Shaw Trust


The Scottish Government's employment support services will be tailored to local needs and issues and fairer and simpler for people to access.

See this news release for further information.

Keep up to date with our progress by following @EmployinScot on Twitter, and get involved in the discussion using #employinscot

We know that building a more competitive economy and a fairer society go hand in hand. Employability services can make a significant contribution to this agenda so it is right that we now take a fresh look at employment services in Scotland. This is our chance to put the support in place for people the length and breadth of Scotland to help people make the most of their skills and potential.