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Recruitment incentive reopens

Published: 7 Feb 2016 00:01

Scheme to support employment up and running for 2016.

Scotland's Employer Recruitment Incentive (SERI) will resume in April with a sharper focus on the job prospects of young people who face the biggest barriers to employment, including those with disabilities.

SERI was launched in June 2015 with a commitment to assist employers in supporting young people into jobs. The scheme was paused amid uncertainty following the Chancellor's spending review and how it would affect Scottish budget.

To date the scheme has supported over 1,100 young people into a sustainable job.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham said:

"I am very pleased to see the resumption of Scotland's Employer Recruitment Incentive (SERI) which, since its launch, has supported well over a thousand young people into jobs and become a valuable part of our efforts to boost youth employment.

"SERI is one of a wide range of measures that has contributed to reducing youth unemployment in Scotland. Figures released last month showed that the youth unemployment level and rate fell to their lowest level for that time of year 2006, so while we can never be complacent, it is clear that good progress is being made.

"Our first annual report on Developing the Young Workforce also showed positive signs around improved connections between business and education, and hundreds of new opportunities for school pupils to undertake work-based learning while still at school.

"We are committed to 25,500 new Modern Apprenticeships this year, rising to 30,000 by 2020, and since 2007 have funded over 180,000 posts as well as creating thousands of job training opportunities at third sector employers as part of Community Jobs Scotland. All this work is aimed at reducing youth unemployment in Scotland by 40 per cent by 2021 and through programmes like SERI we are determined to focus support on those young people who find it difficult to secure employment, even in an improving labour market.

"Westminster austerity has left the Scottish Government with tough decisions to be made in its own spending review. In such times we much ensure we squeeze all we can from every single penny, but I am very pleased that by sharpening our focus we can still support employers to create jobs for young people facing the biggest barriers to employment through this scheme."

Jamie Rutherford, Head of Employability, ENABLE Scotland added:

"ENABLE Scotland, as part of the Open Doors Scotland consortium, welcome the news that the Minister has decided to unpause SERI with a renewed focus on vulnerable young people.

"At a time of great importance for employability support in Scotland, it is reassuring to see that the Scottish Government remain committed to equal opportunities for our most vulnerable young people."