For 1 April 2017 (transitional arrangements)
Scottish Government will contract with the current Work Choice providers for a one year transitional period from April 2017, with Scotland's new employment services starting from April 2018. This decision has been taken to allow the transfer of these devolved powers to be effectively and seamlessly implemented ensuring that service continuity is delivered.
At the same time, we will ask Skills Development Scotland to use the mechanisms currently in place for the Employability Fund to deliver a new employability service for vulnerable clients with a health condition and at risk of long-term unemployment who want to enter work.
For 1 April 2018
We will develop new Scottish employment services to commence from April 2018. As we move towards procurement of these services by the Scottish Government's Procurement and Commercial Directorate in the coming months, we will continue to engage with stakeholders and partners across Scotland to ensure that we hold true to the principles and values set out in this document.
We are keen to work with partners to support the development of partnership and consortia approaches to service delivery in line with the stated ambitions of Scottish Government Ministers to enable more third sector and SME businesses to bid successfully to deliver public services in Scotland.
We will work to align and redesign employability support in collaboration with our stakeholders, taking forward a wider programme of alignment and integration. It is right that we take the time to do this properly, when we are confident that we have all the correct systems and processes in place and when a transition plan is agreed with the UK Government.
The aim is future employability services that meet the needs of unemployed Scots and employers. Employability services that are inclusive, effective and responsive. Employability support that involves communities, reflects economies in all parts of Scotland and is built on partnership. Employability services that treat people with empathy and respect. These are the employability services unemployed Scots want. And they are the services they are entitled to expect.