#EmpDay22: Making sure no one is left behind

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

She said:

“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.”


Fairstart Scotland
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.

Richard Lochhead
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. 

#EmpDay22 | Nolan’s story: Working as a SEND Youth Voice Assistant at Trafford Council

Nolan was supported to find part-time work at Trafford Council in their SEND Local Offer department.

I am really enjoying my job as a part-time special educational needs and disabilities youth engagement assistant. My job is interesting because there is a range of tasks to do.

My tasks include admin such as working on spreadsheets of the views of the website, checking the social media and updating the calendar for other council departments to find out when we posted something, checking emails, checking when the directory pages were last updated, fixing broken links and correcting spelling errors.

These tasks are very important because residents need to find relevant and up to date information. It is against the law for a council not to provide this. If the information isn’t there, people with special educational needs and disability (SEND) can’t get the support they need. There is a lot of false or outdated information about SEND on the internet, so it is important to have reliable sources.

The team are great to work with. They are friendly colleagues and are committed to SEND. The office is a pleasant environment and the IT is reliable. I enjoy meeting people and helping out with the tasks.

I have various duties, so I’m going to give you some examples:

  • I visit sessions for people with special needs such as Carrington Riding Centre where people can go horse riding and I went to see the small animals such as cats, dogs, and rabbits. These centres offer alternative schools for children with SEND.
  • I went to a stay and play session at Delamere School where there were music sessions and a parachute game. I went to the The Play Factory and went down a big slide, took part in laser tag and went on a trampoline game. So basically, I get to play while doing my job!
  • I visited a Down syndrome session at a school, where they did singing and signing and art activities, They also did speech and language therapy. I really enjoyed these activities. The students were happy and enjoying themselves, which helps their personal development.
  • I have written about my experience and have some videos on the Trafford Directory Local Offer. I uploaded videos at the sessions to promote on social media so people can find out what the sessions are like before they go. This provides more information for residents of Trafford.

Trafford Council is a great place to work and I really enjoy it. The only problem is, it is a temporary contract – I wish it was permanent!

I would recommend this job to anybody. It would be a great job to apply for.

Nolan used our Trafford Supported Employment service.

Find out more about how United Response are supporting people with disabilities, autism and mental health needs into work and training here.

This post was originally published for Employability Day here.