Scottish recruitment scheme extended to help young people find work
The Scottish Government has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting young people into employment after pledging £6.3 million into the Community Jobs Scotland scheme.
The cash will be used to fund the Opportunities for All project, which provides training or education places for people under the age of 24.
The voluntary sector programme was previously aimed at those aged between 16 and 19 following an initial £8.5 million Government investment last year.
But the additional funding has allowed the Community Jobs Scotland scheme to be extended, with thousands of young people expected to be supported into work during the next 12 months.
Some £5.75 million will support 1,000 Scottish youngsters into work in 2013/14, while £550,000 has been "ring-fenced" to create 100 vacancies for people with disabilities or long-term illnesses.
Speaking at the Gathering of Youth Employment in Glasgow, Minister for Youth Employment, Angela Constance, said: "Community Jobs Scotland has played a pivotal role in delivering Opportunities for All - our unique guarantee of an offer of a place in training or education for 16 to 19 year-olds.
"Extending the programme for another year will help hundreds more improve their life chances through finding jobs.
"The time is also right for those involved with Community Jobs Scotland to ensure our most vulnerable young people aged up to 24 can benefit from their expertise."
Ms Constance also said that small and medium-sized businesses in Scotland could be rewarded for taking on more young people this year, as the Scottish Government aims to create thousands of apprenticeships every year.
She added: "As well as Opportunities for All, we are already committed to at least 25,000 modern apprenticeships in every year of this Parliament and we will shortly launch a new Employer Recruitment Initiative to aid small and medium businesses that want to take on more young people.
"I would urge employers in Scotland, big or small, to make young people their business in 2013."
Copyright Press Association 2013