Cash to help young people into work
Young unemployed people, from Monday 17th August, can apply to get £250 to help with the costs of starting a new job.
I’ve heard from young people about the challenges of finding work – a job offer is one of many hurdles but not the last. Some are then faced with preparation costs they simply can’t afford.
Our Job Start Payment is a new benefit to support them with those costs. It’s for 16 to 24 year olds living in Scotland who have been unemployed and in receipt of a qualifying benefit for at least 6 months. The payment is for anything that they need to get them into their new job – clothes, tools, travel or childcare costs. And people who have a child will get £400.
We listened to the additional barriers care leavers experience and we widened the eligibility for them – so they can access this support up to 25 years of age and don’t need to have been in receipt of a benefit for the full 6 months, only at the point they are offered the job.
With the economic impacts of Covid-19 causing high levels of unemployment and redundancies, searching for new employment has been made more challenging. And we know that young people have been hit particularly hard.
The consequences of a young person being out of work for lengthy periods can have long-lasting impacts with implications for economic, health and social outcomes.
Which is why we were preparing to introduce the Job Start Payment before the coronavirus pandemic. Now, we expect it to be an even more important source of financial support for young people.
Getting a job after a period of unemployment can represent a massive turning point for many young people and we don’t want the associated costs to be something that stops them from taking up an offer. We expect at least 5,000 young people to benefit from this new financial support in its first year.
We all acknowledge the scale of the challenge facing Scotland’s economy at this unprecedented time which is why the Scottish Government has a sharp focus on protecting jobs and creating employment.
No one should be left behind and our work to prioritise those hardest hit by this pandemic is clear through our commitment of at least £50 million for youth employment and Scotland’s Youth Guarantee, as well as our dedicated Transition Training Fund which will provide opportunities to upskill and transition into employment.
Last week, Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced £10 million for a range of measures to recruit and retain apprentices, including additional funding for the Scottish Government’s Adopt an Apprentice programme.
Building on this work to create opportunities for the workforce of our future, I am pleased that our Job Start Payment can support young people into work.
Young people can apply, from Monday 17th August, here or by calling Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222.