Young people can now apply for a new benefit to help with the cost of starting a new job.
The Job Start Payment, a one-off sum of £250, is open to 16 to 24 year-olds if they have been unemployed for at least six months.
The upper age limit rises to 25 for care leavers and the payment increases to £400 if the person has a child.
It is estimated around 5000 young people will benefit from the new financial support in its first year.
Social security secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Young people are among those whose job prospects have been hardest hit by this pandemic.
“As such, it is crucial that we support them and ensure they are at the heart of our economic recovery from Covid-19.”
In order to qualify for the payment from Social Security Scotland, the person applying must have received a job offer for paid employment.
They must be out of paid work and must have been receiving one of the qualifying benefits – Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or Universal Credit – for six months or more at the time of the job offer.
The benefit opened for applications on Monday.
Skills Development Scotland’s director of career information advice guidance operations James Russell said: “This new payment will offer welcomed practical help to many young people who our advisers are supporting at this time.
“It will be especially important to those taking their next steps into employment and who may need some additional support to start the right career opportunity for them.”
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