The employment and skills systems need to work together to support individuals into employment with the skills to progress, and in turn, to provide the skills employers demand through responsive workforce development. The Skills for Scotland Strategy and its subsequent refresh in 2010 encourages the integration of employment and skills services to facilitate the journey individuals make from long term unemployment to sustained employment and in work progression. A pilot to match employment services with career guidance services was rolled out through all Skills Development Scotland and Jobcentre Plus public offices in Scotland and is now operational in all areas. However, integration of employment and skills services has not yet been achieved systemically in Scotland. What has occurred is joint working at a local level, driven by the ambition to deliver better outcomes for customers, which often takes place despite inflexibilities of the systems.
This report recommends 4 areas for action:
- coherent information: collection, sharing, understanding, and usage
- collaboration between partners: more inclusive partnership arrangements, identify and work towards common goals
- customer focus: involvement in design, delivery and evaluation of services
- progression: support sustainable employment and progression in work; explore a careers cluster approach to support individual progression at local level.