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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-11660

  • Asked by: Annie Wells, MSP for Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 21 October 2022
  • Current status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 15 November 2022


To ask the Scottish Government what funding streams have been affected by the £53 million reduction in Employability spending announced by the Deputy First Minister in September 2022, and how many jobs would have been supported by this spending had it not been reduced.


The £53 million announced as a saving was intended to support additional employability activity around child poverty in 2022-23. At a time of acute labour shortages, historically low unemployment and soaring inflation, we have taken the view that we must prioritise money in people’s pockets now over spending on employability which is unlikely to result in immediate benefits for individuals, but this is not a decision we have taken lightly. However, this decision will not result in services people are already accessing being reduced. We have maintained our core investment in employability this year, with over £82 million available to ensure those who require support will continue to receive it.

Our commitments in Best Start Bright Futures were made over the lifetime of the plan. Whilst this decision will have an impact on the numbers we aimed to support this year, our commitment to ensuring employability plays its part in tackling child poverty remains. Employment outcomes are subject to a time lag depending on the length of time an individual requires support. In addition, our services are voluntary, demand led, and based on the principle of supporting people into the right job at the right time – low quality jobs that are quickly gained will not necessarily lead to an increase in household income and a reduction in poverty.