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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-08746: Richard Leonard (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 7 April 2017

To ask the Scottish Government how it is working with the third sector to improve the employment rate for people with mental health problems.

Answered by: Maureen Watt 27 April 2017

We recognise the very specific challenges that some people with barriers to employment, including mental health conditions, can face in obtaining and securing sustained employment.

That is why we worked with the Open Doors Consortium, a partnership of Scotland’s leading Third Sector specialist employment providers, to develop a tailored in-work work support package to support the employment outcomes of those with the greatest barriers.

This support has been delivered nationally by the Open Doors Consortium since July 2015, and can include mentoring, job coaching, training, orientation visits and providing training to the employers' staff. Help towards essential equipment or work clothes can also be provided. The support package can be accessed at any point within the first 52 weeks of employment.

In recognition of the barriers to employment some young people face, including those with mental health conditions, we are also working in partnership with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) to provide up to 12 or 18 months of supported job training through a range of third sector employers across Scotland as part of the Community Jobs Scotland programme.

Since 2011 we have invested more than £50 million in Community Jobs Scotland, which has now helped more than 7,500 young people aged 16 to 29 access paid job training and the chance to enhance their longer term job prospects through additional training specifically designed to increase employability skills.