People looking for work or those at risk of redundancy will benefit from additional assistance to move into work or retrain.
The package of support, outlined by Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop, is backed by £100 million for 2020/21, with at least £50 million of that funding set aside to help young people get into work.
This £100 million is in addition to the £33 million already committed for employability support for 2020/21.
The measures include a job guarantee for young people, a new national retraining scheme, and more funding to provide immediate assistance and advice if people are made redundant.
In addition, Fair Start Scotland, the Scottish Government’s employment support service, has been extended by a further two years to March 2023.
Ms Hyslop said:
“This crisis is having a significant impact on our young people and we need to act quickly to protect their future.
“I have asked Sandy Begbie, who led the Developing the Young Workforce Group that played a pivotal role in the delivery of the Edinburgh Guarantee to young people, to develop an implementation plan for a job guarantee for young people, as recommended by the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery, and we will set out more detail on that plan in early August.
“The extension to Fair Start Scotland will also provide stability and continuity to the most vulnerable and those furthest from the labour market, including people with disabilities, health conditions and those who are long-term unemployed, to help them progress into work.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP welcomed the news, saying:
“I am pleased that employability support funding for 2020/21 has been quadrupled to £133 million and that Fair Start Scotland is being extended to March 2023.
“The SNP Government’s decision to take these measures shows some much- needed foresight, because we know the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis on the employment market is likely to last for the next few years.
“Since being established in April 2018, Fair Start Scotland has already led to 1,080 referrals for people of all ages in North Ayrshire by the end of last year.
“Every helping hand will be welcome and I am pleased that Fair Start Scotland is a certainty for the next few years, after which restructuring will undoubtedly take place.”
Fair Start Scotland participants are entitled to up to 18 months pre-employment support and a further 12 months in-work support.
The 2020/21 budget for Fair Start Scotland delivery is £20.5 million, including monthly COVID-related financial support payments for providers who deliver the Fair Start Scotland support.