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Community Jobs Scotland

Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) is an employability programme aimed at supporting unemployed and vulnerable young people aged 16-24 into employment.  CJS creates paid job training opportunities through the Third Sector and is delivered by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) in partnership with the Scottish Government. 

The main features of CJS are:

  • Full and part time job training opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including care leavers and those with a disability or long term health condition, aged 16-24.
  • Eligibility from day 1 of unemployment with opportunities lasting between 6 and 18 months for a minimum of 16 or 25 hours per week.
  • Availability of opportunities across all 32 local authority areas.
  • Participants are paid at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW) with the possibility of earning the higher Living Wage depending on the third sector organisations circumstances.
  • Extended employability support and job experience with the option of additional training to enhancing longer term job prospects and overall employability skills.
  • Increases the capacity of the Third Sector by providing financial support to host employers who deliver services to communities across Scotland;
  • Gives young people the opportunity to contribute to their local communities.

Commencing in 2011 CJS has developed through each phase to ensure that it provides the right level of support to young people who face the most significant barriers to employment.  Since 2011 the Scottish Government has invested over £35 million to help CJS deliver more than 5,500 job training opportunities.

Published independent evaluations of CJS Phase 1 and CJS Phase 2 are available through this webpage. The next evaluation will capture a wider range of outcomes and learning outcomes as part of Phase 3 and the pilot programmes for care leavers and young offenders as part of Phase 4.  This work is ongoing and is due for completion by July 2015.

On 25 February 2015 the First Minister announced further investment of £6.1 million for Phase 5 of CJS in 2015/16.  This will support up to 1,000 job training opportunities and, as part of the Scottish Government's commitment to implement the Developing Scotland's Young Workforce recommendations, will include extended opportunities lasting up to 12 month for young people from the most vulnerable groups, including care leavers.  Phase 5 also includes support for third sector employers to pay CJS participants the Living Wage where they already pay this to existing employees for similar work and, where it is affordable, for those employers who want to introduce that wage.

A helpful Q&A guidance document is available for employers/employees or anyone else requiring advice or background information on the programme.  Further help and guidance on applying to become a CJS employer or how to apply for a CJS opportunity can be found at SCVO's website.