The Scottish government has unveiled a new £10 million funding package designed to help people acquire skills and training and find employment.
Finance secretary John Swinney announced that the money will be used to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises to take on new staff and to provide financial assistance with hiring employees.
The fund incorporates three elements, which are £5 million for the Employer Recruitment Incentive run by Skills Development Scotland, £2.5 million for Small Business Employment Support and £2.5 million for a new Export Support initiative.
Speaking at a Business Gateway event in Edinburgh, Mr Swinney said the move will help maintain falling unemployment in the country.
"The £10 million fund will help provide an incentive for companies to take staff on, it will provide crucial cash to help meet the cost of hiring more employees and it will also be targeted at our ex-porting companies," he told attendees.
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