Support to help young people into jobs.
The Community Jobs Scotland scheme has received an additional £1.3 million from the Scottish Government to help more people with barriers to employment into jobs.
The funding will create 100 additional places that will support 50 early service leavers from the forces and 50 young people with convictions aged 25 to 29 to take up opportunities for up to 12 months.
The age range for vulnerable groups to access the programme will also be extended from 24 to 29.
Community Jobs Scotland is delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and has already received £6.1 million in 2015/16 to help young people into employment with voluntary sector organisations.
Fair Work Secretary Roseanna Cunningham made in the announcement while visiting Glenboig Neighbourhood House as part of Coatbridge cabinet activity. She said:
"Community Jobs Scotland has played a significant role in helping thousands of people with barriers to enhance their skills and to progress to education, training or work.
"I am very pleased that this additional funding will allow us to support even more young people, including those with convictions and that are leaving the services early, develop the skills that they need. With youth unemployment levels at the lowest level since 2008 we are already delivering positive results for young people.
"We want to build on that and to continue to focus on those young people who need extra support in finding a job. Likewise, extending the age range for vulnerable groups will ensure that more people are able to benefit from opportunities in the third sector.
"While there are 82,000 fewer Scots unemployed since the peak of the recession in 2010, we must remain focused on helping everyone fulfil their potential in order to drive forward Scotland's economic growth."
Martin Sime, Chief Executive, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, said:
"Today's announcement will give young unemployed people, who are furthest away from the labour market, the opportunity to experience paid work and make a real difference to other people's lives. We're excited about working with Poppy Scotland to help early service leavers find work and about young people aged 25-29 with convictions or disabilities, care leavers and carers, being eligible to apply for Community Jobs Scotland for the first time.
"Many of these people have already been failed by the Work Programme, so it's fantastic news that they will get the chance to do their bit in their community, earn a wage and develop new skills."
Gary Gray, Head of Welfare Services, Poppy Scotland said:
"Poppyscotland is delighted to be working in partnership with Community Jobs Scotland. Armed Forces veterans offer employers a unique and extremely valuable skill set, but the transition from the military to civilian workplace can be very challenging. Connecting those who are out of work with opportunities within the voluntary sector is a win-win.
"This Government funding will broaden the employment horizons for many veterans, offering them a much brighter future, and will also provide great value to organisations who play such a crucial role in supporting the disadvantaged and vulnerable in our society."
Teresa Aitken, Chief Executive of Glenboig Neighbourhood House also said:
"Community Jobs Scotland enables us to reach out to some of the more disengaged and vulnerable young people who are furthest away from training and the job market, and give them an opportunity that will set them on a career path for training or employment.
"We have 15 years' experience offering community based response to need in our community. Our aim with all young people is to offer employment in a vibrant community delivering services right at the heart of the community.
"We nurture and encourage young people to take part in training, whilst gaining vital knowledge and skills in the post undertaken. Building confidence and learning social skills is a vital component in our delivery and for every young person that goes through our hands there is an outcome that enhances their prospects for their future.
"We link our employees in to all aspects of our organisation and our community, and the work ethic of these young people, breaks down barriers at grass roots level and contributes significantly to the sustainability of our organisation."
Community Jobs Scotland will now deliver 1,100 job training opportunities for unemployed young people , including 400 extended opportunities up to age 29 for care leavers and other vulnerable groups. The extended age range will also be available for the 100 part time places for those with a disability or long term health condition.
This announcement responds to the recent recommendation from the Scottish Veterans' Commissioner, set out in his report Transition in Scotland, that the Scottish Government and Third Sector should consider piloting a Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) programme aimed at early Service Leavers. A copy of that report is available here.