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Executive Summary

Community Jobs Scotland Background

1. Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) is a Scottish Government funded job creation programme that performs a dual function as:

  • An employability programme providing young unemployed individuals with paid work and additional training to help them progress into sustainable employment.
  • A programme to support the development of third sector organisations.

2. The evaluation looks at Phase 2 of the CJS programme which ran from August 2012 to March 2013 (when the last jobs started).

Community Jobs Scotland Delivery

3. The main features of the programme are:

  • Jobs are created in third sector organisations.
  • Jobs last for 6 months (9 months for 16-17 year olds).
  • Jobs consist of a minimum of 25 hours per week and paid at national minimum wage.
  • Training and employability support is provided to support the development and progression of CJS employees.

4. Phase 2 also sees the introduction of Wage Incentive jobs targeted at 16-24 year olds with a disability or long-term health condition. These jobs are part-time at least 16 hours per week lasting for 18 months.

5. The programme is managed by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and is overseen by an Advisory Group consisting of the Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group (SLAED) and SCVO.

6. The maximum funding available was £5,250 per CJS job (for the 18 month Wage Incentive jobs it is £7,800) excluding project management costs. This amount is to cover wages and employers’ National Insurance contributions; overheads; employer support and supervision costs; induction, on-the-job training and jobsearch support. Funding of £200 per employee was also available as a training fund.

Community Jobs Scotland Outcomes

7. The CJS Phase 2 programme created 1,420 jobs across 383 employers.

  • 290 were CJS jobs filled by 16-17 year olds.
  • 918 were CJS jobs filled by 18-19 year olds.
  • 137 were CJS jobs filled by 20-24 year olds.
  • 75 were Wage Incentive jobs.

8. Jobs were created across all 32 of Scotland’s local authorities with the distribution closely mirroring the distribution of the 16-19 More Choices, More Chances group across Scotland.

9. Of the 1,290 CJS employees who have either completed their CJS contract or left early:

  • 39% entered employment.
  • 9% entered further education or training.
  • 6% engaged in volunteering.
  • 27% returned to unemployment.
  • The destinations of 19% were unknown.

Community Jobs Scotland Employee Feedback

10. Feedback from the CJS employees is widely positive. They valued the CJS jobs themselves, the support from their line manager and colleagues, and the training they could access.

11. As a result of their CJS experience, they report that their chances of finding future employment (particularly with a reference from an employer), their skills and confidence have all been enhanced through their CJS experience.

12. The evaluation has also found that the CJS programme has helped to change their opinions of employment in the third sector and widen their employment horizons.

13. In terms of improvements to the CJS programme, their suggestions included better advertising and information about CJS jobs, greater clarity on the training offer, a CJS key point of contact for CJS employees, and more support with what happens after their CJS contracts.

Community Jobs Scotland Employer Feedback

14. 94% of supervisors/line managers thought CJS was a ‘very good’ or ‘good’ employability programme; and 93% thought CJS was a ‘very good’ or ‘good’ third sector organisation development programme.

15. CJS employers rated their CJS employees highly. They were most impressed by their ability to get on with other staff, their willingness to learn and the fact that they stayed in the job. Many CJS employers have or would have kept on some or all of their CJS employees – particularly if the CJS employee had become core/valued part of the organisation; was enthusiastic and willing to learn; and was hard working and demonstrated a good work ethic.

16. The CJS programme has often had a positive impact on their organisations. 50% said that CJS had enhanced the level of services that they deliver; had provided mentoring or supervisory experience for existing members of staff; and had widened the pool of people they would look to recruit from.

17. In terms of improvements to the CJS programme, their suggestions included improved recruitment processes; flexibilities around programme length and eligibility; better in-work support and progression opportunities for CJS employees.

18. Stakeholders feel that the CJS model is well-established and there has been a very good response to the introduction of the Wage Incentive jobs, the change in age focus to 16-19 year olds and the revised off-the-job training offer.

Community Jobs Scotland Stakeholder Feedback

19. In terms of improvements to the CJS programme, their suggestions included the need for an organisation to have primary responsibility for supporting the progression of CJS employees into positive destinations after their CJS contracts; to consider how to ensure high quality job search training is provided; and to better share information with Local Employability Partnerships (LEPs) so that they can contribute more to the programme.

20. CJS remains a valuable employability programme as it creates good quality and diverse job opportunities in supportive working environments for unemployed young people across all 32 of Scotland’s local authorities.

Conclusions and Recommendations

21. Feedback from CJS employees, employers and stakeholders has been positive with recognition that changes have been made from Phase 1 that have enhanced the programme. However, all also identified improvements that can be made to the programme – some of which could help increase the job entry rate further. The main issues identified are:

  • Some difficulties encountered by young people and CJS employers at the recruitment stage.
  • Lack of clarity around the off-the-job training offer.
  • No clear responsibility or process for supporting CJS employees into positive destinations after their CJS contracts.
  • Limited connections with LEPs across Scotland.

22. Based on the findings of the evaluation, the recommendations are to:

  • Engage more, smaller Third Sector organisations in CJS.
  • Enhance recruitment advertising to increase number of applications to CJS jobs.
  • Clarify off-the-job training offer.
  • Establish a programme point of contact for CJS employees.
  • Promote effective transitions to positive outcomes.
  • Better integrate CJS within LEP provision.