by Rona Mackay
Scottish charities are set to receive a welcome boost after Finance Secretary John Swinney unveiled a £10million youth job fund.
The Community Jobs Fund will help up to 2000 16 to 24 year olds who have been unemployed for six months or more by giving them a guaranteed six-month contract with a charity of voluntary organisation in their community.
They will be paid at least the minimum wage for 25 hours or more per week.
Older people in unemployment blackspots could also benefit from the scheme. Charities have described the scheme as a “win/win proposition”.
The Fund is in addition to the plans set out in the SNP’s budget to guarantee 25,000 youth training places every year through modern apprenticeships for the next four years.
Mr Swinney said: “The third sector connects with some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people at a local level, so it is ideally placed to deliver the job opportunities that this funding will provide.”
Martin Sime, Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, said: “This is a welcome boost to charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. These people will get a chance to earn a wage but also make a difference to their communities, so it is a win/win proposition.”