12. Job Grant
Proposals for Job Grant
12.1 The Scottish Government set out its proposals for the job grant in Part 2 of the consultation document.
Question - What should the Scottish Government consider in developing the Job Grant?
12.2 There were 131 responses to this question (51 individuals and 80 organisations).
Support for the Job Grant
12.3 Although the question did not specifically ask about support for the proposals for the Job Grant, it was clear that almost all respondents supported the introduction of the Job Grant. Most made comments on the ways that the Job Grant might be developed or concerns about certain aspects of the proposal. A few respondents, who were all individual respondents, did not support the development of a Job Grant.
12.4 The main themes emerging from responses were:
- eligibility for the grant;
- delivery of the grant; and
- development of the grant.
Eligibility for the grant
12.5 Many respondents suggested extending the groups that were eligible for the grant. Most commonly, respondents suggested that the grant be available to all ages. A few respondents suggested particular additional groups that should be covered, including disabled people, carers, volunteers, refugees, care leavers up to the age of 26 and lone parents.
12.6 Some respondents suggested ensuring that all young people were eligible. A few suggested that the Scottish Government consider ensuring that eligibility was not restricted to those in receipt of benefits. Other suggestions were, clarifying whether short term or zero hours' contracts would be eligible and considering a three month period out of work for eligibility, particularly for school leavers.
12.7 A few respondents said that the grant should be an entitlement, not discretionary.
Delivery of the grant
12.8 Some respondents said that it was important to ensure that the scheme was simple - both for applicants and for administrators.
12.9 Some respondents highlighted the importance of ensuring that this approach was linked to existing employability support schemes from both local and central government. A few respondents recommended that the grant should be tax free and disregarded for means test purposes.
12.10 A few respondents recommended that the delivery of the scheme should be devolved to local authorities.
Development of the grant
12.11 Some respondents suggested increasing the amount of the grant or lengthening the period for the bus pass.
12.12 Some respondents suggested that there should be alternatives to a bus pass. This was raised particularly in relation to rural areas. Suggestions included assistance towards the cost of driving lessons and alternatives for young disabled people.
"There is one feature of the proposed new system which will be
of limited help in reducing inequalities in Orkney and might
require local variation. This is the proposed 3-month bus pass as
part of the job grant for young people starting work. This will be
of no use to people living in parts of Orkney which do not have a
regular bus service at the times they need. For example, on most
routes buses do not run in the evenings, which rules out most hotel
or catering work. Financial assistance towards the cost of driving
lessons, or running a car, would be more helpful to young people
Orkney Islands Council
Email: Trish Brady-Campbell