Scottish Labour slams SNP's 'humiliating failure' on job creation

Scottish Labour has accused the SNP of putting Scotland’s economic recovery under threat, as new figures reveal its flagship employment scheme has failed to deliver jobs.

The analysis of figures found that Fair Start Scotland cost £51 million, but has helped less than nine per cent of service users get a lasting job.

The employment support scheme, which launched in April 2018, has helped 3,400 people get a job that lasted a year - less than 1 in 10 of those who used the programme.

Scottish Labour sad the figures demonstrated a “humiliating” failure.

The Scottish Government scheme aims to help people get back into work.

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The party’s finance and economy spokesperson, Daniel Johnson, said: “This humiliating failure is another sorry chapter in the SNP’s abysmal record on job creation. So far their only successful attempt at job creation was for Green Ministers and their SPAds – the rest of the country are being abandoned.

“This multi-million pound flagship scheme was launched to much fanfare, but once again Scots have been sold spin with no substance. Ministers are squandering the opportunity to transform employment services, instead trying to insist a scheme with a 90 per failure rate is working.”

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He added: “Our fragile economic recovery is under threat from an SNP government without a shred of ambition.

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“With thousands of livelihoods still on the line due to the pandemic, it is more urgent than ever that the SNP get a grip on employment services and deliver something that is truly fit for purpose.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Fair Start Scotland is a positive intervention providing support to people who are further from the labour market and with complex needs prepare for employment. It is having a positive effect on those who have joined the service.

“Many participants are still being helped towards employment, which can take up to 18 months depending on the needs of the individual, so not everyone has been on the service long enough to achieve a year of sustained employment."

She added: “Recent independent evaluation evidence shows that participation in FSS had a positive effect on motivation to find employment for 61 per cent of participants in the telephone survey, with 35 per cent reporting that their motivation to find work had 'increased a lot'.

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“The evaluation evidence also shows that FSS is providing a positive return on investment.”

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