ERSA welcomes The Smith Commission’s recommendation to devolve responsibility for employment support programmes to Scotland. However, we await to see measures put in place to incentivise a continued drive in performance. ERSA recommended devolving the employment related benefits budget as well, to allow the new commissioner to reap the rewards of increased employment and the resulting reduced benefits spend. We also believe that control of Jobcentre Plus should be devolved to Scotland as it is such a significant part of the employment support landscape.

ERSA is pleased to see the Commission recommend introducing a mechanism for improved inter-governmental working. We believe this is necessary if Scotland is to develop a more integrated and holistic employment support model that we know so many jobseekers require, and yet continually proves so difficult to achieve at a central government level.

ERSA will continue to work with the Scottish Government and our members to ensure this transition to devolution proves most beneficial, especially for the jobseeker.

ERSA Chief Executive Kirsty McHugh commented:

“ERSA welcomes the report recommendations, particularly the decision to devolve responsibility for employment support programmes, but continues to believe that, in line with our submission to the Smith Commission, powers should also be devolved in relation to in and out of work benefits and JCP. 

“We will continue to work with our members to support the delivery of employment related services to jobseekers in Scotland and believe that this is a valuable opportunity to further join up employment support with skills and health provision to better meet the needs of jobseekers in Scotland.”