The first jobs at Dundee’s social security agency have been advertised amid claims the SNP is under-prepared for the welfare handover.
Eighty posts in Scotland’s benefits headquarters are now up for grabs out of a total of 750 welfare roles promised for the city by 2021.
Social security minister Jeane Freeman is to visit City Quay on Wednesday to launch the first recruitment campaign for the social security hub.
But a Scottish Conservative MP warned the SNP’s welfare regime will be too expensive and an unfair burden on the taxpayer.
Bill Grant, an Ayshire MP, also said the SNP administration “appears to be unprepared for the powers they have demanded”.
“The SNP has not explained who will be entitled to what under any of the devolved streams of social security assistance,” he added.
“Any system must be able to cope with the needs of those who depend on it, and do so adequately, but my concern is that they may devise a social security system that is so expensive that it will not provide fairness to taxpayers.”
Holyrood is taking control of 11 benefits with Dundee chosen in September as the agency’s headquarters.
The benefits being devolved include disability living allowance, personal independence payments, carer’s allowances and winter fuel payments.
MSPs will also be able to create new benefits. The agency is expected to be fully operational by 2021 with a workforce of at least 1,900 across the country.
Ms Freeman said she expects it be employing 250 staff by summer 2019.
The 80 new Dundee roles that have been advertised are for client advisors, whose duties include processing applications and responding to queries.
The starting salary is £17,641.
Ms Freeman said: “This is another important step towards creating Scotland’s first social security agency which will be based on our principles of dignity, fairness and respect.
“We are looking for people with positive attitudes who share our ambition to deliver a public service that people in Scotland can be proud of.
“Dignity and respect can’t be limited to the way we deliver our service. It has to be evident in how we treat our staff.
“So we’re starting recruitment now to make sure we have the time to offer all successful applicants the training and support they’ll need to do their best in their new roles.”
A spokesman for the minister hit back at Mr Grant, saying the Scottish Government is “on track” to deliver the devolved benefits by 2021.
“He should maybe listen to his Tory colleagues in Holyrood, who clearly know much more than he does about this process, and who have called it ‘landmark legislation’ which has ‘the potential to revolutionise social security in his country’,” the spokesman added.
You can find out more about the jobs on the Work for Scotland website as well as at roadshows at the following locations:
Overgate Centre, Dundee, DD1 1UQ on April 7, 2018.
Discover Opportunities Centre, Crichton Street, Dundee, DD1 3AN, on April 16 and 23, 2018