Employability Day blog by Richard Lochhead, Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work, Scottish Government.
This week I was fortunate to visit a No One Left Behind information event, for people seeking employment and training opportunities, held by Working 4U in West Dunbartonshire. I spoke to staff and those who use this valuable service about their employability journeys.
On Employability Day there is no better time to raise awareness of the issues confronting jobseekers and help them to break down barriers that can lead to meaningful employment.
As we continue to face economic challenges and a cost of living crisis, the Scottish Government remains committed to investing in employability services to improve lives and help the economy recover.
Up to £113 million will support delivery of the No One Left Behind approach in 2022-23, which includes the Young Person’s Guarantee and the Parental Employability Support Fund.
In addition, over £24 million is being invested in Fair Start Scotland this financial year to support unemployed disabled people, and those with health conditions or other barriers to progressing into work.
Through our Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan – Best Start, Bright Futures – we committed to deliver an enhanced Offer to Parents, which recognises the need to bring together a range of services as well employability, including childcare, health and transport. This will be delivered through the No One Left Behind approach, building on existing provision in local areas. As part of this enhanced package, we will also deliver a new Parental Transition Fund to tackle the financial barriers parents face in entering the labour market.
This delivers on ambitions set out in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation to build a fairer and more equal society by transforming the economy to tackle inequality, drive up working standards and improve pay.
A total of 45,030 starts have been helped by Fair Start Scotland from April 2018 to March 2022 and for participants where data is complete more than a third have been supported into work.
And I’m proud to say that No One Left Behind has supported almost 17,000 people up to December 2021. People like mum Megan of Renfrewshire, who has 20-month-old son Myles with her partner Charlie.
Megan received help into work from No One Left Behind
“Moving into work full-time now has improved our finances massively. We’re now in the position to be able to put away money each month for next year’s summer holiday while also putting away a wee bit to save for a house deposit.
“Being out at work makes me feel so proud that I am providing for my son. He is too young to understand right now but as he grows he will see the example myself and his Dad are setting that if you want something you need to put in the hard work.”
Scotland’s devolved employment support service Fair Start Scotland provides 12-18 months of tailored, flexible, and person-centred pre-employment support to people who want help to find and stay in fair and sustainable work. The service also works with employers to help with recruitment and support for the employer and their new employee by offering up to 12 months in-work support.
Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work (Previously: Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science; Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment)
More on Employability Day here.