Fair Start Scotland Service participants will receive a range of specialised support to address the employability issues and issues related to their health condition through up to 12 months pre-work support and up to 12 months in-work support.
The service has been built on the principles of the Scottish Government Supported Employment Framework, and although not all Customers will follow the Framework, they can all expect a service including key elements of supported employment.
Service offers have been designed which focus on the relevant barriers an individual may face in entering employment. This recognises that the benefit the individual receives is not necessarily a good indicator of the level of support required to attain employment, and reinforces the focus on a personalised approach.
Analysis has been performed to understand the likely composition of the 38,000 participants on FSS. Whilst evidence has been drawn from employment programmes and tested to develop assumptions on participation these should be considered within the context that few directly comparable fully voluntary programmes exist in the UK.
Recommendations and Conclusion
The EQIA process has not altered the policy intention but it has identified evidence gaps and likely data that will be required going forward to allow for policy implementation to be monitored. The evidence suggests that this policy will have potential positive effects on particular protected characteristics, specifically: age, disability, sex and black and minority ethnic employment.
During the process of policy implementation, the EQIA will be used to inform decisions on implementation and on the interaction with other employment support policies. A clear ambition of the Service is to add to existing evidence and data on successful interventions for these protected groups.
The Scottish Government is asking Service Providers to collect the following data in relation to protected characteristics:
Disability / long term health condition;
And Sexual orientation.
The equality impact analysis has shaped and informed the Scottish Government’s policy development by:
Driving changes to the Policy Statement and Operational Guidance. It has assisted in focussing the development of Fair Start Scotland policy on protected groups and has shaped the approach being taken to monitor success in this regard, building on the information being offered to providers giving breakdowns of the demography within their contract areas.
Committing to continuous improvement and using evaluation and management information collected throughout to improve and help shape future delivery of employability services.
Using the devolution of employment services as a significant opportunity to design and deliver effective and more targeted employment support services in Scotland that better meet the needs of the unemployed , particularly those in protected groups, through services that reflect national and local labour markets, and which build on, and integrate with, existing service delivery in Scotland.
Setting employment support services within a wider, coherent and forward looking Scottish labour market strategy based on core Scottish Government principles of sustainable economic growth, equality, fair work, and social justice.
Framing an approach to monitoring the effectiveness of the service in supporting protected groups. This EQIA will be referred to during the evaluation processes for Fair Start Scotland. We have disseminated analysis of the demographics within each contract package area to the lead service providers. This analysis contains detailed breakdowns of age, sex, gender, race and religion, of the cohorts within their area. We will monitor provider’s performance on a monthly basis and this will include progress on provision to those with protected characteristics in their areas.