Community Jobs Scotland Background
1. Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) is a Scottish Government funded job creation programme that performs a dual function as:
• An employability programme providing young unemployed individuals with paid work and additional training to help them progress into sustainable employment.
• A programme to support the development of third sector organisations.
Community Jobs Scotland Delivery
2. The main features of the programme are:
• Jobs are created in third sector organisations.
• Jobs last for 6 months (9 months for 16-17 year olds).
• As a minimum, jobs consist of 25 hours per week and paid at national minimum wage.
• Training and employability support is provided to support the development and progression of CJS employees.
3. The programme is managed by a partnership of the Scottish Government, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and Social Enterprise Scotland. Working alongside the partnership are Jobcentre Plus and Skills Development Scotland who refer young people to the jobs created and the Wise Group who hold the Training and Employability Support contract for the programme.
Community Jobs Scotland Outcomes
4. Community Jobs Scotland created 1,861 job starts with 448 employers.
5. The distribution of CJS employees across Scotland closely mirrored the distribution of 16-24 JSA claimants. However, the proportion of 16-17 year olds on the programme (4%) did not meet the aspiration (10%).
6. Of the 845 CJS employees who have either completed their CJS contract or left early:
• 40% entered employment.
• 4% entered further education or training.
• 7% engaged in volunteering.
• 43% entered unemployment.
• The destinations of 6% were unknown.
Conclusions and Looking Forward
7. CJS is a valuable programme that has been well-received by employees and employers. Key strengths include:
• Meeting its twin aims of providing important employment opportunities while enabling third sector organisations to enhance their services.
• Giving young unemployed people across Scotland the opportunity of at least 6 months employment plus additional training.
• Creating diverse job opportunities in terms of occupations and skill levels.
• Increasing recognition of the third sector as a good, supportive employer with a number of long-term career opportunities available.
• The programme being well-delivered on a day-to-day basis with processes in place to fill vacancies promptly.
• The flexibility to provide for early entrants, employment terms above the minimum, and training provision to meet individual needs.
8. There have also however, been weaknesses::
• Up to 139 unemployed people were not able to access CJS jobs because of delays to the programme’s start.
• No clear responsibility for helping CJS employees into employment beyond the duration of their contract, and no specific job brokerage role.
• Delays to the start of the Training and Employability Support contract led to a number of CJS employees not receiving their full training entitlement.