The Scottish Government has been criticised for awarding most of the £96m contracts to run Scotland’s new devolved employability programme to the private sector.
From April 2018 the new service will aim to help at least 38,000 people.

The new organisation, Fair Start Scotland, will partner with different organisations at a local level to provide opportunities for people far away from the job market into work.

This includes people with a disability or mental health issues.

Yesterday the Scottish Government announced which organisations had been successful in the tender process, including a mix of public, private and charity providers.

“We are taking a different approach to the UK Government and listening to the views of unemployed people,” said employability minister Jamie Hepburn.

“By delivering Fair Start Scotland in nine contract areas we are reflecting Scotland’s different geographies, economies and population spread – as opposed to the UK Government’s approach which simply considered Scotland as one area.”

But of the nine geographic areas, only Forth Valley will be led by the public sector, while two – the North East and West Scotland – will be lead by the third sector.

Disabled people’s organisation Inclusion Scotland said it was “dismayed” at the awards.

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