ERSA, the representative body for the employment support sector, has submitted evidence to the Smith Commission calling for all employment support services to be devolved to the Scottish Government.

The submission was developed following a consultation period with those ERSA members who are already working in Scotland, or may potentially be interested in delivering support in Scotland in the future.

Key points from the submission include:

  • All employment support should be devolved to the Scottish government. However, this should only be done if welfare services are also devolved to ensure that there is a financial incentive to support people into work.
  • Existing employment support contracts, including the Work Programme, should be honoured by the Scottish Government.
  • This should be seen as an opportunity by the Scottish Government to design a holistic service that includes health and skills support.
  • The design of employment support services should utilise the existing evidence based, much of which is held by employment providers.

Kirsty McHugh, ERSA Chief Executive said:

“ERSA members recommend that the entirety of employment support be devolved to the Scottish government. This is an exciting opportunity to use existing wisdom to design a new service that offers a holistic vision of employment support and could be a trailblazer around the world.”

See full submission here.