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I am aware that fair start Scotland is the devolved employability service. It recently released some troubling statistics showing that only 276 people who had left the programme had secured a job for a year. Even more troubling is that in May 2019 the Scottish Government said that fair start Scotland will support 38,000 people over a three-month period, but a month later the Scottish Government published materials saying that the programme
“will reach a minimum of 38,000 people” by 2023. In the answer to a parliamentary question that I asked to follow up on the issue, it was confirmed that the date would be 2023.
In the current crisis, many people who are already struggling to get a job that meets their needs will now be even more worried about that. Can the minister clarify the numbers and explain why the targets in relation to that important service were moved?