Innovation Exchange

Employability Hubs


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


Employability services across Scotland are delivered and funded through a variety of agencies – Scottish Government, Local Government, Department for Work and Pensions, Skill Development Scotland, Work Programme contractors, Employability Fund contractors, Lottery funded provision, 3rd sector.  There is an inherent danger in this range of provision – that services on the ground are fragmented and confusing for the end user and agencies can work in silos.  The end result can be poorer outcomes for unemployed residents.  It can also be difficult particularly for national agencies to truly respond to local needs, without operating at the heart of communities.


Employability Hubs in North Ayrshire are a partnership approach to addressing the above dangers.  Hubs create a physical focus for partnership action in deprived communities, making sure that agencies work together to deliver a better service for unemployed residents.

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Theme: Partnership and Collaboration

  • A gateway to the employability pipeline that is easily accessed in a venue that people feel comfortable
  • A range of services which provide a holistic approach to addressing barriers to work
  • Joined up provision that means people can get “warm handovers” to other agencies that can help them in their journey to work
  • Top quality facilities that aid their job search and/or upskilling, making them feel valued and that we are prepare to invest in them
  • One-one support, where advisors have the time to build a relationship and address their barriers over a period of time
  • A vehicle for national agencies to operate locally in the heart of communities
  • Core provision such as drop in advice and guidance, access to internet and PCs etc supplemented by other services as demanded by that particular community.  All hubs will have a core offering and common standards but the service offer will respond to local needs

Better engagement – not everyone feels comfortable accessing mainstream services often located in the major town centres.  By locating in local facilities that people know and feel comfortable with, we will engage those who would perhaps not have engaged with our services.


Efficiency – by sharing a facility, partners reduce costs in delivering separately.  Service duplication is more easily identified and addressed.


Increased partnership working – by delivering services from the same locations, the employability pipeline becomes more “real” for frontline workers and they can start to see how they can jointly work with residents to provide an enhanced service.


And ultimately this is all about better outcomes – giving people the best service possible by working together.

Different models for different areas – while the council led the development and management of the first hub at Stevenston, other models are now emerging.  Ayrshire Community Trust will manage the second hub in Ardrossan and Fullarton Community Association will manage a hub from their new community facility from 2017.


Services need to be flexible – opening hours for instance have changed since inception, with a more mixed range of opening hours now on offer to suit the needs of parents.


Important to demonstrate impact – in order to achieve buy in, case studies have been developed of people who have passed through the hubs on their journey to work.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Greig Robson

Senior Manager, Employment and Skills

North Ayrshire Council

01294 324951

Case study added to site: June 2016

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