HOPES ARE BEING RAISED that new funding being made available through Scotland’s 2017 draft budget announced last week will help develop newly devolved employment services for disabled people and those at risk of long term unemployment.
Approximately £1million is to be used to develop innovative approaches to ‘join up’ employability services with other key areas such as health services, as well as seeking to improve the support made to individuals who are out of work.
From April 1 the Scottish Government will deliver devolved employment support to up to 3300 disabled people through Work First Scotland, and help up to 1500 people with a disability or health condition and who are at risk of long term unemployment through Work Able Scotland.
A 12-month transitional arrangement will come ahead of a full Scottish programme of support from April 2018 which they say will be flexible, tailored and responsive to the needs of disabled people and those at risk of long term unemployment.
Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn announced details of the funding this week, saying: “This £1 million funding will help develop our approach to join up support for disabled people and those at risk of long-term unemployment and allow us to better integrate and align our new devolved employment services.
“With our new powers, we have an opportunity to do things differently and create new services that generate greater opportunities for the people of Scotland.
“We are currently exploring ways of joining up devolved employment services with other key areas like health and justice. Making these important links across Government is vital and will help us to enhance employment opportunities for people.
“This funding forms part of the £20million we are investing in the first year of devolved services which will help us provide continuity in support for those who are unemployed with significant barriers to work, while building towards a Scottish programme of support from April 2018.”