Recruitment will get under way within days for more than 1,000 Social Security Scotland jobs in Dundee, the first minister has confirmed.
Nicola Sturgeon says a total of 2,000 positions are being created across sites in Dundee and Glasgow, with the “bulk” of those being in Tayside.
The SNP leader toured the new Social Security Scotland HQ at Dundee Waterfront on Wednesday.
The positions will be created over the course of the next year, with recruitment set to start in October for staff who will support the delivery of benefits due to come into force in 2022.
Agency expects to make payments to 1.8m people
These new benefits will include the Adult Disability Payment – the Scottish Government’s replacement for the Personal Independence Payment.
As well as the jobs in Dundee and Glasgow, others will be based across the country to provide face-to-face advice for people applying.
Ms Sturgeon says the new jobs come at a “critical time” in Scotland’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Jobs in Dundee come at a ‘critical time’
A total of 3,500 people are expected to be employed by Social Security Scotland in the longer term.
The first minister said: “Social security is a human right and a collective investment in the people of this country now and for future generations.
“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.”
She added: “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.”
Welcoming the jobs, Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said the jobs boost was “incredible news”.
He said the investment was “tangible evidence” that employers see the value of Dundee’s “dynamic and skilled workforce”.
Council leader welcomes jobs boost
“As we recover from the pandemic, it is clear that we are creating a brighter future for the city and its citizens.
“It is part of a growing momentum at the waterfront, and in the wider city, that matches our ambition and value with hundreds of new jobs.
“From the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc and the renewables potential of the Port of Dundee to BT’s multi million pound commitment to support 1000 jobs in the city, we have made some significant steps forward.
“Today’s announcement is a further demonstration of a closer and more mutually beneficially relationship between Social Security Scotland and the city.”
David Wallace, Social Security Scotland’s chief executive, said: “Social Security Scotland opened its doors in September 2018, and we are already delivering 11 benefits – seven of which are brand new.
“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.”
The benefits agency is based in the building formerly known as Site 6, across the road from the V&A, which was a controversial addition to the Waterfront.
It is the first office block to be occupied as part of the £1 billion redevelopment of the area.