Section 1: Introduction
1. The Scottish Government has committed to introducing a Job Grant for young people aged 16-24 years old (inclusive), who have been out of paid employment for six months or more. The Job Grant will provide additional support to care leavers, who will be eligible until their 26th birthday, a year longer than other young people, and will also be eligible as long as they are on a qualifying benefit, without having to meet the requirement to have been out of paid work for 6 months.
2. The Job Grant will comprise of a one-off cash payment of either £250 or £400, the higher amount being payable to young people who have children. It aims to help meet the initial costs of starting work, including help towards travel to work, supporting a smooth transition into employment for young people on low incomes.
3. We have previously asked questions about Job Grant policy through the Social Security in Scotland Consultation which ran from July to October 2016. The question on what the Scottish Government should consider in developing the Job Grant received 131 responses, 51 from individuals and 80 from organisations, with almost all supporting its introduction. A number of responses stressed that the scheme should be simple for both applicants and administrators, and that there should be alternatives to a bus pass (which the Scottish Government proposed was provided for 3 months along with a cash payment of £100 or £250 for people with children).
4. In line with Social Security Scotland’s principles of dignity, respect and fairness, and with involving people with lived experience in the development of benefits, the Scottish Government ran two workshops, held and facilitated by Young Scot and the Princes Trust, with young people, to hear from them directly about the issues that impact on them when moving into work.
5. We have also held meetings with young people’s representative groups including Who Cares? Scotland, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Young Scot, Skills Development Scotland, COSLA and others to provide informed perspectives, and provide insight and feedback on our initial proposals.
6. Unlike most payments that will be delivered by Social Security Scotland, the framework to deliver Job Grant will not be set out in regulations. Instead, an Order under section 63 of the Scotland Act 1998 will give the Scottish Government further powers to arrange assistance under section 2 of the Employment and Training Act 1973. This Order needs to be agreed with the UK Government and will set the limits within which Job Grant assistance can be provided. Work to agree its contents is underway. All the proposals in this consultation are, therefore, subject to agreement being secured with the UK Government on the parameters of Job Grant. Further details of the Job Grant scheme will be in operational guidance.
7. There will be no appeal rights for the Job Grant, for example to tribunal or the Sheriff Court, as Job Grant is being delivered as an administrative scheme. However, if an applicant is not satisfied with any aspect of the service they receive from Social Security Scotland a complaint process will be in place.
8. Delivery of Job Grant will be evaluated once it has been launched to ensure that it is reaching young people who may face barriers to gaining employment and need additional support when moving into work. We will review the format and eligibility of Job Grant based on evidence gathered to allow us to improve the policy.
SSPD Job Grant Eligibility Consultation