A national employability programme which supports young jobseekers into employment in the voluntary sector is being recognised in Parliament this week after celebrating its 10,000th employee.
The Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) programme, funded by the Scottish Government and managed by SCVO, has operated for a decade and works with voluntary sector employers to create job opportunities for unemployed people aged 16 to 29.
Submitted by Miles Briggs MSP, the motion asks the Parliament to recognise and celebrate the continued success of CJS as it creates its 10,000th job and that its model and approach has been incredibly effective in ensuring that young people who face particular challenges are given the opportunity to take their first steps into employment.
CJS provides real jobs with contracts of employment and a fair rate of pay, giving young people job security together with meaningful and valuable paid experience adaptable to their needs. The programme has a focus on those most disadvantaged in the labour market – young people who are care experienced or are carers themselves, early Armed Forces service leavers, people with criminal convictions and people who have disabilities or health issues.
The current phase will support up to a further 560 opportunities for vulnerable young unemployed people through a range of voluntary sector organisations across all 32 local authority areas. Through CJS, SCVO is focused on addressing inequalities and finding jobs in charities, community organisations and social enterprises that are supportive employers for people who need additional support.
Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of SCVO, said “I’m delighted to be celebrating our 10,000th CJS employee and that the programme is receiving cross-party recognition in parliament. We’re very proud of the variety of opportunities offered across the voluntary sector, and of our track record. Over half of CJS employees are kept on by their employers after their initial job has ended, and the majority have positive outcomes in work, volunteering or further education. We believe it has the best outcomes of any employability programme of this kind in Scotland.”
Watch the debate on Scottish Parliament TV: