The Scottish Government is seeking views on key eligibility criteria and format of the Job Grant, a new benefit which will be delivered by Social Security Scotland to support young people moving back into employment.
The grant will be paid to 16-24 year olds (up to 26 years old for care leavers) who have been in receipt of a qualifying benefit specified by the Scottish Government. Job Grant will consist of a one-off cash payment of either £250 or £400, the higher amount being payable to young people who have children. The Job Grant aims to help meet the initial costs of starting work and support a smooth transition into employment for young people on low incomes. To be eligible, most young people will have to have been out of paid work for 6 months before they receive an offer of employment. On an annual basis this is could help around 4,000 young people.
Young people aged 16- 24 who are claiming ESA, Income Support, and UC (non-work related activity) are not required by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to look for work. However, they may be successful in finding employment and, consequently, we would not want them to be excluded from applying for the Job Grant. We have therefore included these benefits in the list of qualifying benefits for Job Grant. This will help to extend the reach of the Job Grant to an additional 20% of young people, many of whom will be lone parents, young carers or young people with disabilities.
The Job Grant has been amended following initial feedback that providing a bus pass, as the SNP manifesto originally indicated, would limit travel options and not necessarily be appropriate for all Job Grant clients. This was raised particularly in relation to rural areas where bus services may be less accessible. Suggested improvements to the policy included providing assistance towards the cost of driving lessons or alternative modes of transport such as train services. Following this analysis the Job Grant consists of a higher payment total (£250 rather than £100) and does not include a bus pass.
Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government’s consultation hub, Citizen Space (http://consult.gov.scot). All responses should be submitted to by 9 April 2019.