Helping people back into employment

In order to help people prepare to get back into the labour market as the economy starts to recover, it is essential that those affected know where they can turn to receive professional support and guidance.  The Wise Group can offer exactly that.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released the UK’s unemployment figures up to the end of March 2020.  Not surprisingly, the figures show an increase in the unemployment rate across Scotland and the North East of England towards the end of March, however as yet we still do not have a firm grasp on the true impact of the lockdown in relation to employment.

It is thought that some 750,000 of Scotland’s workforce will be enrolled onto the Government’s Job Retention Scheme, with a further 150,000 jobs being lost as a direct result of Covid-19 (according to the Institute for Public Policy Research).  In the North East of England, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit increased by 35% between 12 March and 9 April.

The Learning and Work Institute have also released a report outlining their expert opinion on what the UK government needs to do to “tackle the fastest spike in unemployment on record”, within which they talk about the need for promoting the Employment Support sector, and as part of that sector, we couldn’t agree more.

In order to help people prepare to get back into the labour market and aide the economic recovery, it is essential that those affected know where they can turn to receive professional targeted support and guidance. Furthermore, it is imperative that people who we already support and who experience marginalisation when job searching are not forgotten and offered further support, as they will no doubt face increased competition for vacancies.

Our Fair Start Scotland and Wise Steps programmes are clearly key to this support provision and in light of these new figures we must place increased focus on activity and collaboration.

Sean Duffy, CEO of the Wise Group said –

“The aim must be to urgently create evidence led, needs based, compassionate employability support that directly contributes to fuelling a renewed economy and opportunity within societies in Scotland and the North East of England.  We welcome collaborations and discussions to explore this with sector colleagues and funding partners.”

Fair Start Scotland is the Scottish Government’s flagship employment support programme, and is open to anyone in Scotland looking for work, whether they are recently unemployed because of coronavirus, or whether they have been looking for work for a while.  Fair Start Scotland is here to help.

Fair Start Scotland is delivered by different organisations across Scotland, and the Wise Group – whose work in employment support spans more than 35 years – are the lead delivery organisation in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire. 

Working in partnership with Enable Scotland, The Lennox Partnership and Enterprise Mentoring, the Wise Group are supporting people to explore a range of pre-employment development through regular contact with a dedicated coach. 

Wise Steps, delivered by the Wise Group and funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund, delivers support for people in Tyne and Wear that want to transform their lives through work.  

Delivered in partnership with local organisations, Wise Steps provides one to one support to people facing barriers assisting them to access employment and work experience opportunities, supporting them to achieve qualifications and improving their wellbeing and life chances.

The Wise Group, and their partner organisations, remain open for business, open for referrals onto their Fair Start Scotland and Wise Steps service, and want to hear from anyone interested in the employment support available.

Use the contact details below to reach out to the Fair Start Scotland and Wise Steps teams.

Fair Start Scotland


T. 0300 303 3381

Wise Steps


T. 0191 242 4898