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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-09700: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 15 June 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to address economic inactivity.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 29 June 2017

The Scottish Government recognises the importance of supporting those who are economically inactive and who want to work, into sustained employment. Aligned to Scotland’s Labour Market Strategy, a number of actions have been taken or are underway to address levels of economic inactivity. These include:-

Plans to prevent youth unemployment and inactivity. Our annual participation measure allows us to identify which 16-19 year olds are not participating n learning, training and work, and to help them to engage with help to enter training or work

Through Skills Development Scotland we are delivering a career information, advice and guidance service to people of all ages in Scotland, ensuring those most in need of in-depth help can access it easily. By introducing career information, advice and guidance earlier in school, young people have support at key stages of their education, helping them best understand how the choices they make today can open career pathways in the future.

New devolved powers on employment support have been exercised since 1 April 2017 through transitional arrangements. Work First Scotland and Work Able Scotland, will provide employability support for up to 4,800 people with a disability, health condition or at risk of long term unemployment.

We have designed and will deliver Fair Start Scotland (FSS) from April 2018. FSS will be a high quality service that maximises delivery of real and sustained job outcomes to targeted individuals, treating them with fairness, dignity and respect. Economically inactive people will be a priority group for this service and transitional arrangements.

Our new disability delivery plan – A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People (published 2 December 2016) includes actions to reduce the employment gap between disabled people and the rest of the working age population;

We are delivering on our commitment for a Returner’s programme to assist women who struggle to re-enter the workforce following a career break. Building on our initial funding to Equate Scotland of up to £50,000 to deliver the initiative in the STEM sector, the Minister for Employability and Training confirmed on 26 April 2017 additional funding of up to £200,000 and a call for proposals to widen the initiative across a variety of industrial sectors.