Multi-million pledge to help third sector transform lives

Multi-million pledge to help third sector transform lives
Third Force News, by Graham Martin 


The lives of hundreds of young people will be transformed after a pioneering third sector jobs programme secured a £6.1 million investment.


First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the funding from the Scottish Government as she opened the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations’ (SCVO) Gathering conference today (Wednesday).


SCVO’s Community Jobs Scotland programme will use the cash to support up to 700 new job opportunities for 16 – 29 year olds.


The money will help CJS continue its success in changing lives and bringing young people into the workforce.


It will be targeted at groups who face significant difficulties finding employment – including carers, young people with experience of care, those with disabilities, and young people with past criminal convictions.


Speaking at the Gathering, the biggest third sector event of the year, the First Minister said: “For the last six years, the voluntary and third sector, led by SCVO, has delivered our Community Jobs Scotland programme. It has created job opportunities for more than 7,500 people and since 2011 more than 3,000 young people have been helped into jobs.


“CJS get young people who are most in need of additional support into employment.


“Enabling them to make a contribution to our economy and our society is positive for them as individuals – and it’s also good for all of us. The more we encourage and enable people to fulfil their potential, the stronger and more prosperous we become as a country.”


Martin Sime, chief executive of SCVO said: “In January, we celebrated 7,500 young people finding work through Community Jobs Scotland, and now we’re celebrating again.


“This new funding from Scottish Government means 700 more young people will get the chance to make a valuable contribution to their community while earning a wage and developing new skills.


“This is life changing stuff for young unemployed people in Scotland, especially those who are furthest from the labour market and who are so often failed by other employment programmes.”


The first minister also spoke of how she wants Scotland’s third sector to remain a "critical friend" of the Scottish Government, and pledged to work together to promote a human rights approach to framing policy and in creating a new, more humane welfare system.


She said the third sector also has a crucial role to play in delivering successful health and social care integration.