The Employment and Training Unit (ETU) is one of four delivery Units within the Economic
Development and Environmental Services Division of Development Services. The purpose
of the ETU is to contribute to increasing jobs, income and enterprise for all our
citizens through promoting economic prosperity and reducing poverty. This is achieved
by developing the skills and employability of young people disadvantaged in the
National Policy Context
It is recognised nationally that a robust, thriving and diverse economy is of vital
importance for all of Scotland's communities. The collective strength and wellbeing
of any community will be heavily influenced by the level of employment, confidence
and prosperity enjoyed by its citizens. A strong local economy is central to our
ability to achieve positive social and environmental outcomes.
The national employability policy established within the refresh of Scotland's Employability
Framework Working for Growth has influenced local policies and priorities such as
better linking economic development and employability and assessing impact of welfare
Brief local profile
Falkirk has an estimated population of over 157,600. The unemployment figures (Job
Seekers Allowance claimants) for October 2015 show 1,714 people were unemployed,
accounting for 1.7% of Falkirk’s working-age population. The October 2015 figure
shows a decrease of 384 in unemployment from the previous quarter. Falkirk has a
higher rate of unemployment at 1.7% compared the UK (1.6%) but lower than Scotland
(1.8%). The number of people aged 18-24 claiming unemployment is 16.3% of the Falkirk
count with 280 young people claiming.
What we know affects performance
There is a considerable range of performance across councils with a tendency for
higher rates being achieved in areas with higher levels of deprivation. Some of
the variation is likely to be due to differing priorities and approaches to employability
across councils. There is also a variation on the additional resources which Local
Authorities can access.
The priorities of our ETU are based on the goals, values and related key policy objectives
of our Corporate Plan. Unemployment and economic exclusion is of growing concern
across the whole of the Falkirk area but is a significant issue amongst particular
groups and communities. "Towards a Fairer Falkirk", our strategy for tackling poverty
and inequalities, outlines skills and unemployment as a key contributory factor
and often at the root cause of poverty and disadvantage.
% Unemployed people accessing jobs via Council funded / operated employability programmes
This indicator is a measure of the total number of registered unemployed people in
a year having received support from a Council funded / operated employability programme
and who go on to access employment. This indicator expresses those accessing employment
as a percentage of total unemployed in the Council area (using Unemployment count:
Our performance for the period 2014/15 rose again to 13.04% which now places us 12th
in Scotland. The Scottish average for this same period has continued to rise and
is currently at 14.2%.
Explanation for variation in performance
We have improved due to increased investment from the Council through supporting
additional pre Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship opportunities matched to the Youth
Employment Scotland Fund provided by Scottish Government enabling a co-investment
approach creating additional resources.
What the Council is doing to improve services
We are looking to improve performance through achieving improved alignment and increased
national and local collaboration to avoid duplication of effort and streamline approaches
to delivering a seamless customer journey. As the economy improves there will be
an increased focused on the hardest to help and those furthest from the labour market
therefore the quality and intensity of support will also be a factor.
In a challenging environment of public sector cuts and reducing budgets we will seek
to continue to maximise resources through the new ESF programme which we plan to
focus on the most disadvantaged such as care leavers, ex-offenders and those with
disabilities thus improving outcomes for specific groups.
The recommendations from the Smith Commission and the Implementation of the Recommendations
from the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce alongside the roll
out of the Universal credit will continue to present challenges and it is essential
that the public sector have a more integrated, co-ordinated and aligned employability
offer to ensure we can continue to offer an effective services, especially to those
with multiple barriers.