Only a fifth stay in job
Fair Start jobless scheme ‘failing miserably’ says Lockhart
Dean Lockhart: ‘thousands have been let down (pic: Terry Murden)
A flagship Scottish government scheme to get people into work is “failing miserably”, according to a senior Conservative MSP.
Ministers launched the Fair Start Scotland initiative in April 2018 with the aim of helping people find long-term, sustainable employment.
However, statistics have revealed that just 4.1% of those who entered the process were still in work 26 weeks after starting.
Only a fifth managed to stay in the job for 13 weeks, while 40% of those referred did not start on the programme.
Tory economy spokesmanDean Lockhart said it was another example of the SNP talking a good game when it comes to helping vulnerable people, but not delivering.
Around 18,000 people were referred to the scheme last year, 10,000 of whom started.
It means, of those 18,000, only 738 remained in the long-term employment they were assigned.
Mr Lockhart said: “This is classic behaviour from the SNP government; it launches a scheme amid warm words and fanfare but, in reality, it fails miserably.
“It proves that the SNP isn’t serious about actually helping people – it just wants to be seen to be trying to do something.
“If operated properly, this initiative could have helped thousands of people – including the most vulnerable in society – find work and get on the career path.
“Instead, thousands have been let down and allowed to slip through the net. It’s yet another domestic failing by a clapped-out SNP government running out of ideas.
“Latest figures show that economic inactivity in Scotland remains significantly higher than the rest of the UK.”