A pilot scheme to support graduate recruitment and business growth was launched by Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance.
Up to 100 graduates unable to find a job will be supported by the 505,000 pilot in its first year.
Scottish Chambers of Commerce, which is running the scheme with Scottish Government funding, will also put the investment towards a number of careers fairs to highlight employment opportunities at small businesses to undergraduates.
Constance also published a final version of the Scottish Government’s Youth Employment Strategy today. “We are committed to tackling youth unemployment across the board and have already put substantial funding into improving the prospects of our young people.
“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 figures on graduate destinations showed that 90.4 per cent from Scottish institutions found work or furthered their study, we are aware that many have been unable to find a permanent post.
“[This] announcement will open up new opportunities for graduates, and will also enable many of our smaller firms to harness the potential of our talented young people and build up their businesses using their skills and ability.
“The publication of a final Youth Employment Strategy formalises the all-Scotland, all-Government approach that we have been progressing since the Strategy’s publication in draft form earlier this year.
“Within it are a range of actions aimed at ensuring we can improve the employability and life changes of our young people. I will continue to take a leading role in this work in the coming months.” Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Scottish businesses to play a key role in getting graduates into the workplace and reaping the benefits of the significant investment we have already made in their education and skills development.
“Graduates are key to developing Scotland’s knowledge-based economy and can play a vital role in businesses of all shapes and sizes, particularly in our small and micro businesses where their talents can make a huge difference to competitiveness and growth potential.
“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.
“The Scottish Chambers of Commerce and our network of local Chambers are fully committed and well placed to work with local businesses to ensure that both they and the graduate are well matched and get the very best out of this new initiative. Chambers of Commerce work with businesses on the ground day in, day out and this bond of connectivity and trust will help ensure the success of the programme.”