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A Fairer Scotland for disabled people: working for change

Published: 30 Apr 2018
Part of:
Economy, Equality and rights

This pamphlet sets out some of the actions Scottish Government is taking to reduce the Disability Employment Gap.

14 page PDF


14 page PDF


A Fairer Scotland for disabled people: working for change

14 page PDF



Disabled people should enjoy full participation with an adequate income to participate in learning, in education, voluntary work or paid employment and retirement.

As a government, our role is to use whatever levers we can to support this.

Since the publication of the Disability Action Plan in late 2016 we have delivered:

  • Fair Start Scotland, Scotland’s voluntary devolved employment support service, which went live on 3 April this year. We aim to support at least 38,000 people to find and retain employment, and like all of Scotland’s devolved social security programme, is based on the principles of dignity, fairness and respect.
  • Work First Scotland and Work Able Scotland, are helping at least 4,800 disabled people and those with long-term health conditions referred to those programmes over 2017-18
  • A disability and employment marketing campaign, during the summer of 2017 which highlighted the benefits of employing disabled staff to Scotland’s small and medium sized businesses.

Vehicle maintenance apprentice Shane, who has been diagnosed with dyslexia, works with Lerwick-based DFDS Shetland Transport and says that his Modern Apprenticeship has been a great opportunity for him.

Shane said: “I get a lot of satisfaction through my apprenticeship; seeing an engine that I’ve diagnosed then repaired and that it’s doing what it’s meant to be doing… I find it really satisfying.”

Shane Johnson
Modern Apprentice

Using our powers to ensure disabled people are treated with dignity, fairness and respect.

Using our powers to ensure disabled people are treated with dignity, fairness and respect.

  • Increased Modern Apprenticeship Funding for young disabled people, doubling the percentage of new modern apprentices reporting an impairment, health condition or learning difficulty.
  • Progress towards a Single Health and Work Gateway in Dundee and Fife, which from Summer 2018 will pilot new solutions to improve employment outcomes for disabled people and people with health conditions.
  • Increased funding for the Workplace Equality Fund which will deliver employer led solutions to overcoming workforce and workplace inequality.

Alistair has autism and was referred through his workcoach at his local job centre. Alistair had been applying for many jobs in admin/ data input roles but was not hearing back from employers. This was starting to get him stressed and feeling down. He signed up to Work First Scotland ( WFS) to get some support with filling out application forms and looking in to different vacancies.

Alistair is very well educated with a BA degree in social science (history and sociology) and a post graduate diploma in information management. He was meeting all of the criteria for vacancies but feels his application forms or interview skills were letting him down.

Over a few weeks, Alistair practiced interview skills with his WFS advisor and was given tips on how to interact with employers. His advisor made contact with a company that she had previously engaged with. The company had a vacancy for a Data Input Administrator. Alistair was offered a 4 day work trial. This put him at ease and let him try out the job before he committed to anything. It also let the employer see what he was capable of, instead of putting him under the pressure of a formal interview.

Alistair has now been working with the company for 6 weeks and is really enjoying it. His employer is pleased with the accuracy of his work.

Enable have organised to deliver Autism Awareness training in the workplace to help Alistair’s colleagues understand his difficulties and how to support him. Alistair has agreed to speak at the training about how he feels his autism affects him in the workplace.

Alistair Beck
Transitional Employment Services