MSP criticises SNP failure to deliver on work referral scheme in Midlothian
Lothian List MSP Sue Webber (Con) has criticised the Scottish Government for failing to secure long-term employment opportunities for people in Midlothian.
Ms Webber says the SNP Government has failed to fully resource its flagship Fair Start Scotland scheme, although some of her figures have been disputed by the Scottish Government.
In Midlothian 775 people were referred to the scheme by the end of March 2021, but only 90 stayed in employment for over six months.
Ms Webber believes that with a looming economic crisis, SNP Ministers need to ensure that those seeking work are guaranteed long-term opportunities to help accelerate the economic recovery in Midlothian.
She said: “It is hugely concerning that such a small number of people referred by this flagship SNP employment scheme are remaining in work for a sustainable period. This is typical of the SNP. They announce a flagship scheme to much fanfare but they have failed to fully resource this to ensure long-term employment for individuals in Midlothian.
“As we hopefully continue to ease restrictions, we are facing a looming economic crisis. This scheme must start delivering for people seeking vital employment opportunities in Midlothian.
“We must see SNP Ministers be more ambitious on achieving full employment over the course of this Parliament and be 100 per cent focused on our economic recovery. They must they deliver our economic recovery in Midlothian to deliver sustainable jobs going forward for local people.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The percentages quoted are not accurate as they include participants who are still receiving employment support and due to the barriers that many participants face, it will take time for them to move towards employment.
“We continue to invest in our employability services including more than £27 million this financial year for FSS, ensuring it provides support to those in our communities who need it most.
"The delivery period of the service has been extended for a further two years providing stability and continuity for FSS participants and to respond to anticipated Covid-19 related increase in demand for support from those who need it most.”