MORE than 2,000 new jobs will be created at Scotland’s devolved benefits agency over the next 12 months, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
The First Minister said recruitment at Social Security Scotland will start in October for staff to support the delivery of benefits set to be introduced next year.
These include the Adult Disability Payment – the Scottish Government’s replacement for the Personal Independence Payment.
The majority of the new roles will be based in Social Security Scotland’s Dundee head office and Glasgow.
The remainder will be based across the country, where staff will provide advice online, by phone, by post or in person.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Social security is a human right and a collective investment in the people of this country now and for future generations.
“These roles come at a critical time in Scotland’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and our investment will go beyond the money that we will pay in benefits.
“When we have introduced all our new benefits and moved clients from the DWP to Social Security Scotland, our new social security service will employ more than 3,500 people.
“This will provide secure, long-term employment in Dundee, Glasgow and across the country and deliver a positive economic impact of £280 million for our economy.
“We are committed to creating a diverse workforce to provide this public service.
“Having people from a wide range of backgrounds will help deliver the best service and ensure that we do things differently and treat people with dignity, fairness and respect.”
When planned benefits are fully rolled out, Social Security Scotland is expected to make payments to 1.8 million children and adults – around one in three people in Scotland.
This will include benefits for families on low incomes, people who need help paying for a funeral, disabled people, carers, young people entering the workplace and those who need help heating their homes.
David Wallace, chief executive of Social Security Scotland, said: “Social Security Scotland opened its doors in September 2018, and we are already delivering 11 benefits – seven of which are brand new.
“We know that our clients value our service as we have a 90 per cent satisfaction rating.
“As we welcome more than 2,000 additional staff to deliver new benefits and a high-quality service, we are committed to increasing diversity in the organisation so we reflect the clients we are here to serve and their lived experience.
“We are delighted to be able to create more jobs in Glasgow and to our head office in Dundee and I look forward to welcoming colleagues into Agnes Husband House in 2022.
“We are a Living Wage, Disability Confident and Carer Positive employer. We proudly support the Fair Start Scotland programme and have committed to offering 100 roles as part of Young Persons Guarantee in 2021/22.”