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Scotland’s Devolved Employment Services Advisory Group


The Scottish Government is working to take forward the Smith Commission agreement that employment support programmes currently contracted by DWP be devolved on expiry of their current commercial arrangements. This includes the contracts to deliver the Work Programme (the UK Government's main employment programme for long term unemployed people) and Work Choice (the disability employment service) and we are working to deliver these in Scotland from 1 April 2017.

A partnership Advisory Group has been formed to help Government take this work forward. The Group will play a critical role in shaping future employment support services in Scotland. Members bring with them a wealth of experience and will use this to provide advice, challenge and new ideas to promote the development of more effective employment services in Scotland.

The Group will champion a partnership approach to future developments, supporting the Scottish Governments public consultation by promoting dialogue between users of employment services, service providers, employers, local partnerships, national agencies, the third sector and the Scottish Government.

The Advisory Group will also oversee a short term contracted research project looking to capture what we know from existing evidence about what works best for whom, with a view to drawing out the key lessons for redesigning Scotland's  approach to employment support. The Advisory Group will also advise on any further research or consultation that might be deemed as necessary or advisable in the course of this work.

Terms of Reference for the Advisory Group were initially agreed on 28th July 2015 and then subsequently reviewed and updated in June 2016 to ensure they remained reflective of the dynamic environment.


Chair - Professor Alan McGregor, Director of the University of Glasgow's Training and Employment Research Unit (TERU)
Skills Development Scotland: Neville Prentice, Senior Director of Service Development & Delivery and David Coyne, Senior Policy Advisor
Scottish Funding Council: Michael Cross, Interim Access Skills & Outcome Agreement Director 
The Scottish Trades Union Congress: Dave Moxham, Deputy General Secretary
The Scottish Council for Development and Industry: Ross Martin, Chief Executive
The Scottish Chambers of Commerce: Liz Cameron, Chief Executive
Scottish Local Government: Pamela Smith, Chair of Scottish Local Authority Economic Development (People) Group
Inclusion Scotland: Sally Witcher, Chief Executive
Scottish Third Sector: Alastair Cameron, Chair of Third Sector Employability Forum
Service Providers: Kirsty McHugh, Chief Executive, Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), Laurie Russell/Kate Still, Co-Chairs for ESS Scotland 
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP): Deborah Nuttall, Labour Market Interventions Strategy
Jobcentre Plus (Scotland): Stephen McConnachie, Group Partnership Manager
Scottish Training Federation, Lorna Trainer, Vice Chair, Employability
Scottish Government: Directorate for Fair Work

Additional members may be approached if deemed necessary by the Advisory Group.

Meeting Papers


Meeting of the Advisory Group - 25th January 2017

Meeting of the Advisory Group - 16th November 2016

Meeting of the Advisory Group - 21st September 2016

Meeting of the Advisory Group - 17th August 2016

Meeting of the Advisory Group - 1st June 2016

Meeting of the Advisory Group - 20th April 2016

Meeting of the Advisory Group - 24th February 2016

Meeting of the Advisory Group - 13th January 2016

Meeting of the Advisory Group - 4th November 2015

Meeting of the Advisory Group - 22nd September 2015
First Meeting of the Advisory Group - 28th July 2015