Ensuring that as many people as possible benefit from work

A photograph of 4 people in lab coats and protective glasses

Key points:

  • Through No One Left Behind we are implementing a wide-ranging reform of employability support across Scotland.
  • Providing £16.1 million to deliver intensive employability support for low income parents to access and progress in employment, supporting them to address barriers and upskill.
  • Our employment support service – Fair Start Scotland – is designed to give individualised support to 38,000 individuals furthest removed from the labour market.
  • Supporting those affected by redundancy through the Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE).

Backed by up to £96 million over the period of its delivery, our devolved employment support service – Fair Start Scotland – puts people at the centre of its approach. It treats people with dignity and respect to help those facing the greatest barriers to find and stay in jobs.

Building on the early success of Fair Start Scotland, we are implementing a wide-ranging reform of employability support across Scotland. Through No One Left Behind, we are establishing a more collaborative approach with local government and the Department of Work and Pensions, as well as engaging delivery partners across the third, public and private sectors. Because delivering on our ambitions will require collective leadership across all our partners and a culture of change in how we design, deliver and fund services. This reform of the employability support system will allow us to be more adaptable and responsive to the needs of people and the rapidly changing labour markets. It will also be more aligned with other services including justice, housing and health.


16,130 people have taken the oppertunity of help to find work with Fair Start Scotland since April 2018

We recognise and value the significant contribution local authorities make to the employability landscape across Scotland. In collaboration with local authority partners we developed a Partnership Working Agreement and have worked closely to implement phase 1 of No One Left Behind which provided specific resources for local Councils to tackle long term unemployment.

We will be seeking proposals from all 32 local authorities who are working with us to implement and deliver the new Parental Employability Support Fund (PESF) over the period from 2019 to 2022. Through the PESF we will invest £12 million from the Tackling Child Poverty Fund to provide intensive support to help low income parents get into work and to progress careers for those already working. We are also providing an additional funding boost to improve local connections between employability services and the expansion of funded early learning and childcare, helping to reduce childcare as a barrier to training and employment.

We are taking action to at least halve the disability employment gap by 2038. Our A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People: Employment Action Plan focuses on working with employers and helping disabled people into sustained work. This will include investing up to £1 million in a new Public Social Partnership to address the barriers that employers face in recruiting and retaining disabled people.

Through Inspiring Scotland’s new Our Future Now fund we are continuing to support those young people who are struggling to engage in education or find work. At the same time Discovering Your Potential provides flexible and intensive support for young care leavers.

We have launched Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) by focusing funds on those actively seeking employment and those who are currently in low paid work and looking to progress. We are currently working with stakeholders to review the programme in line with the recommendation from the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board.

Good careers advice is essential to helping people of all ages. We will shortly be publishing our new Careers, Information, Advice and Guidance Strategy.

We will continue to support those affected by redundancy through the Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE).

Key resources:

Scottish Government: Employment support policy

Skills Development Scotland

Scottish Funding Council: Skills and employability

Employability in Scotland

No One Left Behind: review of employability services

No One Left Behind: next steps for employability support

Living Wage Scotland

My World of Work

Redundancy support for people and businesses in Scotland