Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin

Job Start Payments to help young people start work

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Financial help with the cost of a new job

A new benefit to support 16 to 24 year olds into work if they have been unemployed for six months will open for applications on Monday 17 August.

Job Start Payment is a one off £250 payment to help with the costs of starting a new job. The upper age limit rises to 25 for care leavers and the payment rises to £400 if the person has a child.

In its first year, it is estimated around 5,000 young people will benefit from this new financial support.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“I am delighted that our Job Start Payment is today now open for applications; it really couldn’t come at a better time to support our young people to take up job offers.

“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.

“Last week, we announced an additional £10 million for a range of measures to recruit and retain apprentices. Combined with our commitment of at least £50 million for youth employment and the Scotland’s Youth Guarantee, we will ensure no one is left behind.

“Building on this work to create opportunities, this new benefit will also help young people after a period of unemployment. Getting a job can represent a massive turning point for many young people, but it can also bring financial pressures.

“Costs like travel, new work clothes, or childcare often have to be met before people get their first pay.

“The brand new Job Start Payment will help young people with these costs, which can sometimes be a barrier to them taking up an offer and we will be encouraging anyone eligible to apply. ”

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.”

Glasgow Kelvin MSP, Sandra White said:

“This new provision from the Scottish Government supporting young people with the costs of taking up a job is a welcome initiative to remove barriers to work.”

“Aimed at those who will have been out of work for some time, this funding will enable young workers to prepare to start a job; the costs of which can be a challenging barrier to overcome.”

“Policies such as this which take a supportive rather than punitive approach to social security are representative of this SNP Scottish Government delivering progress where it has power, and demonstrating potential on those powers which remain under Westminster control.”

Further information:

People can find out more and apply through or by calling 0800 182 2222.

The payment will be delivered by Social Security Scotland.

To qualify for the payment, a person must be 16-24 years old and have received a job offer for paid employment.

The person must be out of paid work and in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits: Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit for six months or more at the time of the job offer.

If they are a care leaver, they can access this support up to 25 years of age. They also just need to be on a qualifying benefit when they get the job offer, they don’t need to have been in receipt of this benefit for a set time period.

The job must average 12 hours per week, over a 4-week period and it does not need to be permanent.

Social Security Scotland are promoting this benefit working with the DWP, SDS and Local Authorities to make sure young people get the money they are entitled to.