Local authorities and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) will receive the funding to support existing services, including those delivered by the third sector.
It is the first stream of funding released under the Employability Strategic Interventions (SIs) as part of the European Social Fund (ESF) programme for 2014 – 2020.
The funding aims to help those who have had difficulty getting into work to increase their skills and find employment.
Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure Keith Brown said:
We are committed to supporting people in their efforts to find viable, quality employment, and in order to do this we need to remove any barriers that people may face in trying to enter the labour market.
The funding will be available to a broad range of organisations and projects, and will help to widen access to employment, particularly for the long-term unemployed and for people facing multiple employment barriers.
As the economy grows, we must ensure that everyone is able to benefit from our success. We will continue to use all of the powers we have at our disposal to grow the economy, increase employment, lower unemployment and remove barriers to the labour market.
Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham said:
The latest labour market statistics showed a further decrease in unemployment levels, but we have been clear that we need to do more for those with barriers to finding a job.
A key part of our youth employment strategy is to break down those barriers and earlier this year we announced £10 million to fund Scotland Employer Recruitment Incentive that will encourage employers to recruit some of Scotland’s most vulnerable young people and £302,500 to fund in work support that will help sustain individuals in those jobs. Today’s announcement is another welcome step to helping people find – and stay in – work.
In less than two years, new powers to provide employment support for the disabled and those at risk of long term unemployment, including the current Work Programme and Work Choice services, will be devolved to Scotland. The Scottish Government is actively seeking views on how these services could work in 2017. We need to know what works and what doesn’t from the people who use these services and those who support them, and we would encourage all those who have experienced them to contribute. Services for those long-term unemployed and facing barriers to work will continue to play a vital role.
Among the organisations which could benefit from the funding is IntoWork in Edinburgh, which provides support for disabled people seeking employment.
Into Work received £250,000 under the 2007 – 13 European Social Fund programme.
David Bain, Into Work Client Services Manager, said:
IntoWork has been fortunate to have received significant support from the European Social Fund over many years enabling us to support hundreds of disabled jobseekers into work. As part of Edinburgh Council’s new “All in Edinburgh” supported employment consortium, we will help many more people into jobs often denied them in the past because of multiple barriers outwith their control. We look forward to working with our partners and funders to help deliver real change to those whose goal is simply to be active in the employment landscape like anyone else.