Section 3: Objectives of the Job Grant
18. The policy objective of the Job Grant is to help smooth the transition into work for young people on low incomes aged 16 -24 (up to 26 for care leavers), reducing the risk of them being unemployed or economically inactive in later life. The unemployment rate for young people is higher than for those over 25. For example, from July-September 2018, the unemployment rate for the 16-24 age group was 10.0%, significantly higher than the rate of 3.8% for the total population aged over 16.
19. The years of young adulthood are a critical and formative phase in a person’s life. A sustained period of being young and not in employment, education, or training is known to have a long-term ‘scarring’ effect – leading to higher chances of unemployment and lower earnings when in work, as well as physical and mental health issues later in life.
20. Job Grant will help with the initial costs associated with entering and remaining in work. The grant could be used to pay for lunches, clothing, and help towards travel costs, removing some of the initial pressure of being able to afford these things. The intent of the Job Grant is not to replace an unemployment-related benefit and cover all household costs but rather support young people with additional costs associated with moving into employment.
21. Job Grant will be available sooner to young people aged 16 - 25 leaving care than for other young people, as we have removed the requirement to be out of paid work for 6 months for this particular group. This means that care leavers receiving a qualifying benefit will be eligible as soon as they receive a suitable job offer, regardless of how long they have been out of paid work.
22. We have made an exemption for this group as outcomes for young people leaving care are worse than outcomes for young people as a whole. Young people leaving the care system are twice as likely to not end up in education, training or employment by the age of 19. Care leavers face significant barriers to entering employment – Employability in Scotland reports the experience of being in care significantly impacts an individual’s well-being and life chances, making the transition from care difficult. Care Leavers are over-represented in statistics relating to the prison population, teenage pregnancy, mental health issues, depression, expulsion, drug misuse, homelessness and those leaving school with no qualification.
SSPD Job Grant Eligibility Consultation