Job Grant is a new payment to help young people with the costs associated with the transition into the workplace, after a period of time out of paid work.
It will be delivered by the Social Security Scotland agency.
A consultation on our proposals for the Job Grant is open until 9 April 2019.
Job Grant is expected to consist of a one-off cash payment of £250, or £400 for a young person with children. This will be available to those between the age of 16 to 24 who have been out of paid work for six months prior to finding employment.
The grant could help with travel costs or could be used for clothing, lunches and other expenses that need to be met by someone entering work after a lengthy period of unemployment and ahead of their first salary. It will complement our wider initiatives that support people into employment, such as Fair Start Scotland.
We are also proposing that Job Grant extends to care leavers on a qualifying benefit, in recognition of the additional challenges they face moving into employment. Care leavers will not be required to have been out of paid work for six months, and will be eligible for a year longer – until their 26th birthday.
Why we are introducing Job Grant
Evidence shows that unemployment rates for young people in Scotland are consistently higher than those for other age groups.
Young people who are not in education, training or employment are at higher risk of poorer physical and mental health outcomes (e.g. anxiety, depression) than other young people who are consistently in education or employment.
Who can claim Job Grant
We are currently consulting on key eligibility criteria for Job Grant. The criteria has been developed following discussion with young people and their representative organisations. We expect that eligibility will be determined through tests carried out by Social Security Scotland on the date of application.
The consultation also proposes support is extended for care leavers, recognising that they may face particular challenges moving into employment.
The proposed main eligibility conditions are:
- aged 16 to 24 years inclusive (apart from care leavers who will be eligible for a year longer) and who have not previously received a Job Grant
- out of paid work and in receipt of a qualifying benefit for six months or more (except for care leavers who only need to be on a qualifying benefit at the time of the job offer and do not need to meet the time requirement)
- ordinarily resident in Scotland
- in receipt of a job offer for paid employment in the UK, which averages 16 hours per week or more over a four-week period, and is expected to last at least three months or more
- applications to be made 14 days in advance of employment start date and up to 14 days after employment has commenced
Policy position papers
We have published a series of social security policy papers setting out our position on the development of the devolved benefits in Scotland.