New benefit to help young people into work

A new benefit to support 16 to 24-year-olds into work if they have been unemployed for six months will open for applications today.

New benefit to help young people into work

Shirley-Anne Somerville

Job Start Payment is a one-off £250 payment to help with the costs of starting a new job. The upper age limit rises to 25 for care leavers and the payment rises to £400 if the person has a child.

In its first year, it is estimated around 5,000 young people will benefit from this new financial support.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, social security secretary, said: “I am delighted that our Job Start Payment is today now open for applications; it really couldn’t come at a better time to support our young people to take up job offers.

“Young people are among those whose job prospects have been hardest hit by this pandemic. As such, it is crucial that we support them and ensure they are at the heart of our economic recovery from COVID-19.

“Last week, we announced an additional £10 million for a range of measures to recruit and retain apprentices. Combined with our commitment of at least £50m for youth employment and the Scotland’s Youth Guarantee, we will ensure no one is left behind.”

She added: “Building on this work to create opportunities, this new benefit will also help young people after a period of unemployment. Getting a job can represent a massive turning point for many young people, but it can also bring financial pressures.

“Costs like travel, new work clothes, or childcare often have to be met before people get their first pay. The brand new Job Start Payment will help young people with these costs, which can sometimes be a barrier to them taking up an offer and we will be encouraging anyone eligible to apply.”

James Russell, Skills Development Scotland’s director of career information advice guidance operations, said: “This new payment will offer welcomed practical help to many young people who our advisers are supporting at this time. It will be especially important to those taking their next steps into employment and who may need some additional support to start the right career opportunity for them.”

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