Young people in Scotland will be given additional support to start their working lives by an SNP Government – as Nicola Sturgeon sets out ambitious plans to use the new powers coming to the Scottish Parliament to keep Scotland moving forward.
The SNP will today announce plans to use the power to create new benefits to introduce a Jobs Grant for young people aged 16-24 who have been out of work for six months and are starting a job for more than 16 hours a week.
The grant of £100, or £250 for those with children, will support the costs of re-entering the workplace. Those eligible for the grant will also receive support with the costs of public transport for up to three months.
The Jobs Grant which could support around 6,000 young people each year to get into work and stay in work forms part of SNP plans to reduce youth unemployment by 40% by 2021.
The announcement comes the day after the First Minister confirmed 5000 additional apprenticeships will be targeted on high level science, engineering and technology skills and that new qualifications will encourage young people to develop broader vocational skills to prepare them for the economy of the future.
Making the announcement Nicola Sturgeon will say:
“I want to see all our young people start their working lives with the best possible opportunities and an equal chance of success.
“Under the SNP government youth employment has risen to its highest level since 2009 and is now the highest of any country in the UK.
“Over the next parliament we want to go further and reduce youth unemployment by 40%. The new SNP Jobs Grant will help those who have been out of work to start a new job and prevent young people slipping into long term unemployment.
“Starting work comes with additional costs such as work clothes and travel expenses and for young people who may have no savings it can be difficult to get started.
“I want to see all our young people in work, training or employment. Over the next Parliament we will increase the number of apprenticeships, bring employers, colleges and schools closer together to help young people into work, continue to support free education and support young people as they find employment.
“It is only with a re-elected SNP government that we can ensure a brighter future for our young people and stronger growth in Scotland’s economy.”