Fair Start Scotland contractors announced

While we're waiting for DWP to announce the preferred bidders for the Work and Health Programme, which does not apply in Scotland, the Scottish Government has announced the results of its' tender exercise for employment support.

From April 2018 the new Fair Start Scotland service will aim to help at least 38,000 people to find employment, including those facing barriers to entering the labour market.

The key focus for the service will be tailored and personalised support for all those who participate. Key elements of the service are:

  • Participation will be entirely voluntary;
  • All participants can expect to receive in-depth action planning to ensure the support they receive is tailored for them and suits their individual needs and circumstances;
  • The service will offer pre-work support of 12-18 months;
  • The service will offer high quality in-work support for 12 months;
    Those who require specialist support to help them find work can expect to receive it;
  • There will be national standards to ensure everyone is supported
    consistently across the 9 geographic contract areas across Scotland;
  • For disabled customers who require intensive support, Supported
    Employment and Individual Placement and Support will be available.

PeoplePlus are to lead two out of the nine contract areas, as are Remploy and Start Scotland. The remaining three areas will be led by Wise Group, Momentum Scotland and Falkirk Council. 

Third sector organisations have accused the Scottish Government of breaking promises, as only two out of the nine areas will be led by voluntary sector groups. Start Scotland is a private and third sector partnership, so if they were counted as third sector, that would total four out of the nine areas.