EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

PACE - Partnership Action for Continuing Employment

United Kingdom
Phase: Anticipation
  • Advice
  • Territorial coordination
  • Training
Last modified: 03 August, 2021
Име (на собств. език):

PACE - Partnership Action for Continuing Employment

Име на английски:

PACE - Partnership Action for Continuing Employment


The Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) provides tailored support to individuals facing redundancy and their employers to minimise the time people affected by redundancy are out of work. The main forms of support are providing skills development and employability support. PACE operates in Scotland only.

Main characteristics

PACE is the Scottish government's initiative dedicated to helping individuals and employers with advice and support when faced with redundancy. It aims to minimise the time people affected by redundancy are out of work by providing skills development and employability support, such as training and counselling. The initiative ensures that local and national public sector agencies respond to potential and proposed redundancies quickly, effectively and consistently.  It originally targeted only large-scale redundancies but was refocused in 2009 to apply to all redundancy situations. This change in the focus was prompted by the then global recession.

PACE is coordinated by Skills Development Scotland (SDS). The initiative is delivered via a partnership which includes the Scottish government, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish trade unions, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Business Gateway,  Jobcentre Plus, local authorities and other agencies and organisations including colleges, universities and the Scottish Citizens' Advice Bureau.

There are 18 local PACE Teams across Scotland offering support through:

  • providing information about the redundancy process, rights and entitlements guidance on options and opportunities;
  • advising on entitlement to benefits, taxation, pensions and financial management;
  • careers information, advice and guidance;
  • assisting with job searches and providing help with preparation of CVs and job applications and interview preparation;
  • employability and vocational training support;
  • support to manage stress.

PACE teams have produced 23 local redundancy guides, which list information about local services and their contact details. These guides can be downloaded from the PACE website.

In terms of support for employers, PACE advisers may suggest alternatives to redundancies, providing options to retrain and retain staff, and/or provide impartial advice on approaches to making redundancies.


  • Regional funds
  • National funds

Involved actors

National government
Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
Regional/local government
The Scottish government is the initiator and funds the PACE programme. Skills Development Scotland (SDS).
Public employment services
JobCentre Plus.
Employer or employee organisations
Scottish trade unions.
Scottish higher education institutions, Scottish universities, Citizen's Advice Scotland, and Business Gateway.


PACE has conducted a biannual client experience survey since 2010. According to the 2018 survey, 9,500 people received services from PACE between 2016 and 2018. Focusing on people benefitting from the service, survey respondents who had accessed PACE services between 2016 and 2018 in the majority were male (72%), identified themselves as White British (89%) and almost half (47%) were aged 50 years or older.  Four fifths (80%) of the clients who participated in the survey found new work, including self-employment following their redundancy and the majority found work within six months of their redundancy. The most commonly accessed services were: information about training and funding sources, help with CVs and job applications, benefits information, and career guidance interviews.

While most clients found work roles which were comparable to the roles they were made redundant from in terms of required skills and the level of responsibility, in terms of pay the new roles often compared less favourably: half of clients in new work were at a lower pay level compared to the job they were made redundant from.

Looking at PACE's effectivenes from the perspective of workers who have been made redundant, the 2018 PACE Client Experience Survey found that  41% of those who had found work felt that PACE had helped them at least a little in securing a new job. An average of 85% of the clients who participated in the survey said they were satisfied with the service they had received, with two thirds of clients reporting that PACE had either met or exceeded their expectations.Most survey respondents felt that the most useful and relevant support services were help with CVs and job applications.

Qualitative research into the PACE customer journey (2018) found that where PACE Partnerships were aware of redundancies taking place, they had effective approaches for engaging with employers and working with them to deliver effective support. However, there were many instances where PACE Partnerships were not aware of redundancies taking place. These were smaller scale redundancies with fewer than 20 employees affected. In other instances, employers were aware of PACE but choose not to engage with the services.


PACE provides a specific, dedicated and publicly funded support service for redundant workers. The PACE partnership model is viewed as one of the key strengths of the initiative.


According to the 2018 PACE Client Experience Survey, 25% of clients felt that the services they accessed were delivered too late for their needs, including 18% who felt they had received the introductory PACE presentation and information guide too late.

The longitudinal data points to a trend for clients having deteriorating perceptions of PACE in terms of its helpfulness in the broader sense of helping clients in their lives and careers. The report argues that more follow up support would be necessary to improve longer-term perceptions of PACE among service users.

The 2016 PACE Client Experience Survey found that workers aged 50 years old and older had poorer work outcomes than younger cohorts. In response to this finding, the Scottish Government and SDS then commissioned qualitative research with PACE clients of this age group to explore their experiences in more detail. This research identified the importance of helping older individuals broaden their networks when searching for new work, a need for tailored advice over a longer period of time, including assistance on how to make the most of their skills and experience on CVs and applications in order to build client confidence and to help tackle negative employer perceptions or unconscious bias.


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