It would appear that the Auditor for Scotland has some reservations, and some gold stars for the new Social Security Scotland.
As reported on our Facebook Page and at the BBC it would appear that the new Agency has some shortfall in employing suitable staff in Glasgow and Dundee at its HQ. This has resulted in employing agency staff on higher wages for shorter periods, which like all the NHS which employs medical staff nurses etc. “from the Bank” means higher costs until at some point they can employ their own staff on permanent contracts.
I am sure that in Scotland we have a wealth of disabled people who can apply in Dundee or Glasgow and who have the experience, or indeed the various Information technology talents that Social Security Scotland is looking for.
The Scottish Government has in fact, as part of its employment policy, been actively engaged in trying to recruit disabled people.
“Case Study: Social Security Scotland – Client Advisor Recruitment
Social Security Scotland – the new executive agency responsible for managing devolved benefits – aims to be a progressive and responsible organisation reflecting Scottish society. Currently many Scottish public sector bodies have low numbers of staff who identify as disabled people. When recruiting client advisors, the agency therefore made a concerted effort to ensure its workforce is diverse. It set up an assurance group and invited organisations representing disabled people to input in relation to the recruitment process (e.g. making recommendations around accessibility, formats for applications, etc.). The resourcing team carried out large scale engagement to widely promote their jobs, and to ensure candidates knew they would be supported and treated with dignity and respect throughout their recruitment journey.
Each candidate identifying that they considered themselves to be disabled, and subsequently invited to interview, was contacted to ascertain any additional support needs or if reasonable adjustments were required to be put in place (e.g. additional time for the assessment). Social Security Scotland also removed qualifications as an entry requirement to apply for the Client Advisor roles, and replaced it with a bespoke skills quiz, testing candidate’s literacy and numeracy. The agency received nearly 600 applications, 43 (7.4%) of whom answered ‘yes’ to the question ‘Do you have a health condition or disability?’ within the Diversity Monitoring form, while 61 (11.17%) candidates applied under the Guaranteed Interview Scheme. Of those invited to interview, 9.8% identified as disabled people. Nearly all of the disabled candidates who attended an interview were offered a post – 16 of the 90 posts offered (i.e. 17.8%)
Currently, Social Security Scotland are looking for 68 client advisors, across the 32 local authorities of Scotland.
They also pledge equal opportunities by stating:
“We want our workforce to be properly representative of the communities we serve. Like Scottish society, we want Social Security Scotland to be a workplace where people are welcomed and valued for the contribution they can make. We are committed to supporting flexible working and encouraging a diverse workforce across our headquarters in Dundee, our second base in Glasgow and – in time to come – our local services across the country.
We are committed to removing any barriers that there may be to people applying for our posts.