Comment on Fair Start Scotland Employment Contracts

Posted: 04 October 2017, in Press Release

Comment on Fair Start Scotland employment contracts

Contracts worth up to £96 million have been awarded by The Scottish Government to organisations across Scotland to help people find and stay in work. From April 2018 the new Fair Start Scotland service will aim to help at least 38,000 people, to find employment, including those facing barriers to entering the labour market.
Fraser Kelly, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise Scotland said:
“Social Enterprise Scotland is pleased that The Wise Group has been appointed as a preferred bidder in the Fair Start Scotland employability programme. However, we find it hard to understand how, after such a thorough consultation process, the vast majority of contracts have been awarded to big private sector corporations instead of social enterprises and charities.
“We believe that this was a unique opportunity to reshape the employability landscape in Scotland and to tailor services to the real needs of individuals to get them back to work. It was also an opportunity to grow the capacity of locally owned and controlled social enterprises and, ultimately, to bin the old-fashioned approach of prioritising bargain basement provision.
“Many social enterprises specialise in helping people get back to work, often assisting some of the most excluded in society. Based locally in neighbourhoods across Scotland and driven by values as well as profit, they understand the genuine long-term solutions to unemployment.”
1 For official information on Fair Start Scotland see:   and

2 What is a social enterprise? Social enterprises are independent businesses that exist to deliver a specific social and/or environmental mission. This could be employing homeless people, recycling waste or something similar. They aim to make profit like any other business, but invest 100% of it in their social purpose. Social enterprises in Scotland are “asset locked” (all property, money etc. can only be used for a social mission). They’re a more ethical and sustainable way of doing business. Social enterprises are not charities that get most income from grants/donations and they’re not a business simply behaving ethically or an arms-length company of a public body. Read more here.
3 What examples are there? Diverse examples include: The Big Issue, The Wise Group, Social Bite, Divine Chocolate, Cornerstone, Kibble Education and Care, media co-op, Glasgow Housing Association, Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, Link Group Ltd, the Eden Project, Capital Credit Union, The Grameen Foundation, Mondragon Corporation in the Basque Country and the Homeless World Cup.