Pilot scheme to help Scottish graduates find jobs
The Scottish government has launched a £505,000 pilot scheme in a bid to help graduates secure permanent jobs.
Firms in Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Dumfries and Galloway and Ayrshire with fewer than 50 staff are to receive up to £3,000 to take on a graduate in a permanent post.
Up to 100 graduates unable to find a job will be supported by the pilot in its first year.
The Scottish Chambers of Commerce will run the government-funded scheme.
It will put some of the money towards a number of careers fairs to highlight employment opportunities at small businesses.
Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance said the move would open up new opportunities for graduates, and enable many smaller firms to harness the potential of talented young people.
"We are committed to tackling youth unemployment across the board and have already put substantial funding into improving the prospects of our young people," she said.
"In times of economic difficulty, it is young people who can suffer the most. When job opportunities are scarce, employers tend to turn to people with more experience.
"While this week's figures on graduate destinations showed that 90.4% from Scottish institutions found work or furthered their study, we are aware that many have been unable to find a permanent post."
Scottish Chambers of Commerce chief executive Liz Cameron said graduates were key to developing Scotland's knowledge-based economy.
She added: "This new initiative is a great example of how genuine partnership between Scotland's public and private sectors can make a real difference to business and to the employment prospects of the highly skilled graduates that will be the driving force behind Scotland's economic recovery."