I am delighted to be launching this consultation on the Job Grant which will provide support to young people with the costs of starting work.
I have heard how difficult some young people find it making the transition into employment and I recognise that experiencing sustained periods of unemployment at a young age can have a lasting negative impact on young people’s future earnings and employment potential. That is why we announced a new Job Grant to help support young people aged 16 - 24 who find work after a period of 6 months or more of no paid employment. Our Job Grant will consist of a one-off cash payment of either £250 or £400, the higher amount being payable for young people who have children.
Job Grant will smooth the transition into employment for young people on low incomes, and help to meet some of the costs associated with entering and remaining in employment, for example, clothing, lunches, and transport.
The Job Grant will complement existing support already available for young people entering the workplace.
The Scottish Government is committed to supporting young people leaving care as we know that the experience of being in care significantly impacts an individual’s well-being and life chances. I am pleased that this consultation proposes that care leavers will be eligible for Job Grant earlier, as soon as they are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, rather than having to have been out of paid work for 6 months before they receive an offer of employment. They will also be eligible for this support for longer, until they are 26 years old, in line with other provision for care leavers.
Working with individuals and organisations with experience of the benefits system is central to our approach to developing the Social Security system in Scotland. Consistent with this, we have undertaken initial work on our proposals with key stakeholders including Who Cares? Scotland, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Young Scot, Skills Development Scotland and young people. We want to continue this engagement as work to develop Job Grant progresses in 2019.
I would like to thank everyone who has worked with us so far to develop these proposals for the Job Grant. We are now looking for your views through this consultation to finalise our policy. I encourage you to respond to the consultation, and thank you in advance for taking the time to give us your views.
Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People
SSPD Job Grant Eligibility Consultation