Scottish companies can play an essential role in helping young people into the job market by signing up to the UK Government’s Youth Contract which comes into effect today (Monday 2 April).
Scottish Secretary Michael Moore called on more Scottish firms to sign up to the initiative as he began a series of visits across Scotland.
The Minister visited two companies in Caithness - Reids Bakery and Icetech Freezers Ltd - which both gave their backing to the Youth Contract today.
The UK Government’s £1 billion Youth Contract will provide nearly 500,000 new opportunities for 18-24 years olds across the UK, including apprenticeships and work experience placements.
It marks a substantial increase in the support and help available to young people through the Work Programme and Jobcentre Plus. Many businesses have already offered support by committing opportunities and vacancies for young people without jobs.
The UK Government is working with over 200 large national employers in the country and hundreds of thousands of small and medium sized employers to help give young people the opportunity to gain skills and experience and to find work.
- 160,000 wage incentives of up to £2,275 for employers to recruits 18-24 year olds from the Work Programme.
- 250,000 extra work experience placements over the next three years, providing at least 100,000 places per year.
The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said: “I was glad to see two more companies in Caithness sign up to the Youth Contract as it launches today and I would encourage companies across Scotland to do the same.
“The UK Government is committed to getting young people into work and we have been working hard in Scotland to tackle the issue. The Youth Contract will help young people in Scotland - it will provide support for them through Jobcentre Plus and through work experience and it will help employers looking to recruit 18-24 year olds with wage incentives.
“Today’s launch is a significant step towards creating more opportunities for young people. Earlier this month, I chaired Scotland’s first National Convention on Youth Employment which brought together the Scottish Government, employment and skills organisations and a wide range of other bodies to find ways to remove barriers facing young people looking for work. We will continue to build on that strong base and the Youth Contract will provide major support for those efforts.”