Young people starting work after a period of unemployment have been urged to apply for a one-off payment to help with the costs of a new job.
The Job Start Payment is available to people aged 16 to 24 if they are starting a new job after having been on benefits during a period of unemployment.
Grants are worth £252.50, or £404 if the applicant has children, and are aimed at helping cover costs such as new work clothes, childcare or travel.
Eligible applicants must have been out of work and receiving benefits including Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support and Universal Credit for six months or more at the time of their job offer.
Social justice secretary Shona Robison announced a social media campaign designed to encourage people to apply for the payment after a visit to employability agency Remploy.
Following the visit in Dundee, where Robison met trainee hairdresser Mystialeigh Smith who recently used the payment to buy work clothes and cover travel costs, the MSP said: “We want to give our young people all the support they need when they start work, including making sure the costs associated with taking up a job don’t get in the way.
“We know lockdown has impacted job opportunities for many young people and getting money to those who need it is our priority.
“Access to this support is a right, and we are ensuring people receive all the financial support that they are entitled to.
“It is great to see organisations across the private and public sector highlighting the availability of Job Start Payment to their new employees.
“I strongly encourage all eligible young people who have recently started a new job or are about to start a new job to apply now.”
Mystialeigh Smith, who is 17 and from Dundee, received the Job Start Payment after a job offer to work as an apprentice at Macintyres hairdressers.
She said: “Upon gaining employment, my keyworker advised me to apply for the Job Start Payment on the social security website.
“It took roughly two weeks to go into my bank and it helped me buy work clothes and travel until I received my first pay.”
People who are eligible for the payment can apply through mygov.scot or by calling 0800 182 2222.