Employability Fund will continue into 2016/17.
At least 11,650 training places will be supported by the Employability Fund in 2016/2017, the Scottish Government has confirmed today.
The Fund is targeted at unemployed young people and adults and has already helped thousands move closer to the jobs market since its launch and. It forms part of our efforts to boost Scotland's economic growth and provide people with training opportunities that lead to sustainable jobs.
The move follows confirmation that Scotland's Employer Recruitment Incentive (SERI) will reopen to new applicants in April, with a sharper focus on improving the jobs prospects of those young people with the biggest barriers to employment, including those with disabilities.
Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham said:
"The Employability Fund remains a key element of our efforts to boost employment levels in Scotland. As well as offering real training opportunities to people struggling to get a foot on the jobs ladder, improving skills and employability across Scotland will enhance our economic prospects.
"Following a period of uncertainty following the Chancellor's spending review, which has been hugely challenging for the devolved Scottish budget, I am very pleased to announce that the Employability Fund will continue into next year and support a further 11,650 training places. When budgets are so limited it's important that we do everything we can to squeeze the most benefit from every single penny that we spend.
"More than 2,500 of these places will be delivered through our colleges, who are fully focused on providing meaningful qualifications leading to real jobs. Figures released last month showed ongoing improvement in youth unemployment with the overall employment rate as high as it's been since records began in 1992 so, while we cannot be complacent, it is clear that progress is being made.
"Alongside the news yesterday that Scotland's Employer Recruitment Incentive (SERI) will continue into 2016/17, the work of the Employability Fund will complement key actions aimed at reducing youth unemployment in Scotland by 40 per cent by 2021.
"Since 2007 we have funded over 180,000 MAs, as well as provided over 6,000 unemployed 16 to 29 year olds with job training opportunities in the third sector through Community Jobs Scotland. We have also allocated 10,000 places across all of Scotland's local authorities through the Youth Employment Scotland Fund and provided Education Maintenance Allowances to around 35,000 young people each year.
"Last year we also consulted on how to deliver employability services fit for a fair and modern Scotland when these powers are devolved next year. We want to give the people of Scotland the best possible chance of finding sustainable jobs and maximising their potential."
The Scottish Government allocates funding to Skills Development Scotland (SDS) on an annual basis for delivery of training programmes and other activities, including the Employability Fund. In the draft budget, published on 16 December 2015, SDS was allocated Grant in Aid of £176.1 million which will be used to meet its commitments in 2016-17 including the delivery of 11,650 Employability Fund training places.