More than 30,000 people in Scotland will benefit from work or training opportunities after the Scottish Government
secured more than £30 million in European social funding.
The funding support is for 73 projects in Scotland including Edinburgh, Dundee, Inverclyde, West Lothian and West Dunbartonshire. The projects are aimed at helping people to train and develop their skills either to find, maintain or progress in employment.
The funding will help both young people and adults with a number of projects targeted at individuals who may face additional barriers to the job market such as people with learning difficulties or physical disabilities and young people leaving care.
Education Secretary Michael Russell said:
"Scotland has now emerged from the recession and while our position in terms of employment rates and economic inactivity remains better than the UK average the challenges clearly remain. The Scottish Government, through our economic recovery plan, is doing all we can to stimulate the economy, create and safeguard jobs and support business.
"In addition, we are supporting our workforce by providing work and training opportunities so our best asset, our people, are equipped with the necessary skills to access the job market and build a competitive career for themselves.
"It is particularly encouraging to see so many projects targeting young people who may be trying to enter the job market for the first time. We have already taken swift action to support our young people by guaranteeing an offer of post-16 learning or training to every young person in Scotland, delivering more than 20,000 Modern Apprenticeships; supporting 7,500 additional university places and more than 4,000 additional college places. But more can and will be done, starting with these projects.
"This £30 million cash boost is being driven to the heart of the solution to a strong and sustainable economic future for Scotland."
Around 300 projects have received ESF funding under the 2007-2013 Programme with a total value of almost £160 million.
Source: ©Scottish Government