Scotland’s new social security agency is to take on 100 additional staff by the end of this year to help provide face-to-face support to those claiming benefits.
With some powers over welfare having been transferred to Holyrood, ministers have set up Social Security Scotland.
The organisation already employs 323 staff, with Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville announcing 100 new recruits to be taken on this year, focused on providing support and advice in local communities.
A total of 32 team leaders – one for each local authority area in Scotland – will be recruited first, followed by 68 support workers.
Once the new agency is fully up and running, approximately 400 local staff will be in place across the country, with a further 1,500 people working from its bases in Glasgow and Dundee.
Ms Somerville said recruitment for the new posts, beginning from Monday February 18, marked “another major step in growing Scotland’s first social security agency”.
She stressed the “community approach we are taking which is based on our principles of dignity, fairness and respect”.
Ms Somerville, speaking during a visit to Stornoway, said: “We are looking for people who share our ambition to deliver a public service that people in Scotland can be proud of – one that is designed to support people when and where they need it.
“The Scottish Government is committed to family-friendly working and a healthy work-life balance and we’re determined to do all we can to bring in the many skills and experiences you get from a diverse workforce and across the country.
“We’ll be offering job opportunities with a wide variety of working patterns that will also suit people living in more rural and remote areas or with other responsibilities such as caring.”
Social Security Scotland chief executive David Wallace said: “This is an exciting time for us as we grow our team further across the country, including areas like the Highlands and Islands where communities will benefit from a flexible community team.
“The opportunities in these roles will include leading and developing a team of advisors, providing day-to-day operational support and delivering a positive client experience.
“These positions would be ideal for people who can work independently, have excellent inter-personal skills, who lead by example, are passionate about people and focused on providing an excellent social security service to Scotland’s citizens.”