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Special Edition - Employability Innovation and Integration Fund

Welcome to this Special Edition of the Employability in Scotland e-bulletin

Better integration and alignment of employability with other services is a vital part of our ambition to tackle labour market inequalities and help more people into work.

'Creating a Fairer Scotland: A New Future for Employability Support in Scotland' (March 2016) emphasises the need for partnership working across government and sectors to increase efficiency and effectiveness, including better alignment of skills and employability investment.  This is in line with the Scottish Government's response to the Christie Commission report on improving the coherence and integration of public services in Scotland.

Research conducted for the Scottish Employability Forum in 2014 by Cambridge Policy Consultants titled  'Review of the Allocation of Employability Resources in Scotland' highlighted the complex delivery landscape and  fragmented nature of support with a need for greater alignment of services.

New devolved employment services have been designed to help tackle many of the labour market inequalities, but this is just one of a number of levers that could help create a fairer labour market.  It's important we look again at the wider employability system so that it more consistently tackles the challenges people face, and does so in a way that is easier for people to navigate and which  joins up other services more effectively.

With the support of a number of key stakeholders, the Scottish Government has been developing an integration and alignment agenda alongside work on delivering devolved services which includes, amongst other strands, the development of an Integration and Alignment Action Plan which includes a specific action to deliver an Employability Innovation and Integration Fund.

Minister launches Employability Innovation and Integration Fund

The Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn MSP, has announced details of the £2.5 million Employability Innovation and Integration Fund which will operate until March 2019.

The Fund is seeking proposals from bodies responsible for delivering community planning partnership priorities to develop and test collaborative innovative approaches that demonstrate how the integration and/or alignment of employability and skills training services with health and social care, justice and/or housing services would contribute to an area's regeneration or development and help more people into work.  We are keen that the Third sector, whose members make a significant contribution in this respect, are involved as partners in bids wherever possible.

If you would like more information on the Employability Innovation and Integration Fund including an application form, please send an email to

All bids to the Fund must be discussed with local authority Local Employability Leads to help avoid any duplication.

Mr Hepburn announced details on a visit to the new Edinburgh Wellbeing Works campus which is one of three to be rolled out by the Shaw Trust under the devolved employment programme Work First Scotland.  A copy of the press release can be found here.

Best wishes




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You can view all current consultations from the Scottish Government online.