Social Security

Young People Helped with Costs of New Job

695 helped in first four months of new scheme

The Scottish Government has paid out more than £190,000 to eligible young people to help with the costs of starting a new job.

A total of 695 successful applications were made for the new Job Start Payment from its launch on 17 August 2020 to 31 December 2020.

The one-off payment of £250, or the higher rate of £400 if the recipient is the main carer of any children, is available to 16 to 24-year-olds who have been offered a job after being out of work for at least six months and are in receipt of a qualifying benefit.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“From travel costs to buying new work clothes, or childcare, we know there can often be expenses involved with starting a job. Our new Job Start Payment is designed to support young people with those costs as they move into work.

“At a time when we know young people are disproportionately impacted by the economic impact of the pandemic, this support will be more important than ever for those who are starting a new job after a period of unemployment. I want to encourage anyone eligible to apply for this extra financial support.”


  • Job Start Payment is paid to 16 to 24-year-olds who have been on certain benefits for six months or more to help with the costs of starting a job
  • applicants need to have been out of paid work for at least six months running up to the day they were offered the job
  • to be eligible, people need to have been getting either Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) on the date of their job offer
  • young people who are care leavers will be eligible until their 26th birthday and do not have to meet the six months requirement for unemployment or receipt of a qualifying benefit
  • clients need to have been offered a job and expect to work at least 12 hours a week, averaged over a four-week period. They can apply for Job Start Payment up to three months after the date they were offered their job
  • clients can find pre-application advice which includes eligibility and award amounts, and apply at
  • clients can choose to apply online, via a paper application form or by requesting a call back from one a specially trained advisors working within the dedicated Job Start Payment support team by calling 0800 182 2222
Social Security

New benefit for young people starting work

Financial help with the cost of a new job

A new benefit to support 16 to 24 year old into work if they have been unemployed for six months is now open for applications.

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.”