More drop out of SNP's new employment scheme than find work

Only 11 percent of those eligible for the Scottish Government’s flagship employment programme Fair Start Scotland have actually got a job, according to the latest figures.

This is the first full operational year of Fair Start Scotland and the first time the scheme has published outcomes figures.

Over the last year, while 17,616 referrals to the scheme were made, only 10,063 people actually started the voluntary scheme. Of those who started, over a quarter, 2,838, dropped out early.

More worryingly, only 2,013 jobseekers or 11 percent actually went into employment.

In addition, out of the 2,013 who did get a job only 898 sustained employment for more than 13 weeks while 418 sustained employment for more than 26 weeks.

Lastly, the participation figures also fall far short of the SNP’s own pledge to involve a “minimum of 38,000 people over a 3 year referral period”.

At this rate the SNP will miss their own participation target by around 20 percent.

Jamie Halcro Johnston, Scottish Conservative spokesman for employability and skills said:

“Clearly, the SNP has a lot of work to do to make Fair Start Scotland work and get participants into employment.

“The SNP has made a lot of promises but, so far, these numbers are completely underwhelming.

“There is a real need to get people who have previously struggled to get employment back into the workforce.

“With more people dropping out of the scheme than finding work, it’s clear that real improvement will need to be seen.”