Community Jobs Scotland goes from strength to strength.
Young people are set to benefit from an additional £6.1 million to help them get into work through a third sector programme.
The money will boost the job prospects of those aged between 16 – 29 years old who face the biggest barriers to employment, including people with disabilities and those who have left the military early.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined the new funding during her keynote speech at the annual Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) Gathering event to celebrate the huge impact the voluntary sector has on Scotland’s communities.
The multi-million pound investment will support up to a further 700 job opportunities as part of the next phase of the Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) programme, which is delivered in partnership with SCVO.
This is fantastic news for the young unemployed people who’ll get the chance of a job making a difference in their community
It offers unemployed vulnerable people 12-18 month jobs and has helped the third sector by providing financial support to host employers to deliver vital local services.
Employers will also be supported by the Scottish Government to pay CJS employees the living wage.
This most recent funding brings the total Scottish Government investment into CJS to more than £45 million since it launched in 2011. To date, more than 6,500 job opportunities have been created for young people across all 32 local authorities.
The First Minister said: “Our voluntary workers play a crucial role in making Scotland a prosperous and equal society. They are essential to our efforts to build a fairer and wealthier country and are vital in encouraging participation – ensuring people have a real say in the issues which directly affect them.
“Today’s funding of £6.1 million will provide 700 training opportunities for young people. It is so important that most of the places will be filled by people who currently find it harder to get jobs – carers, people leaving care, people with disabilities, and people leaving military service – and is a further example of the role the third sector can play in promoting opportunities and tackling inequality.
“Community Jobs Scotland has been an overwhelming success, with almost 70% of young people involved in the programme going onto a job or further education. That is especially impressive when you consider that many of the places are reserved for groups who sometimes face particular difficulty in entering the workplace.
“We want to respect people’s dignity, value their potential and encourage their ambitions because doing that, and providing the practical support which helps people to fulfil their potential, is the best way of achieving a fairer and more prosperous Scotland.”
Martin Sime, chief executive of SCVO, said: “This is fantastic news for the young unemployed people who’ll get the chance of a job with a voluntary organisation making a difference in their community.
“Community Jobs Scotland really has the edge on other employment programmes because it’s giving a leg up to young unemployed people who are furthest from the labour market to grow their confidence and skills in a real workplace. That is why most graduates from the programme get a permanent job.”