The Scout Association will use the government Kickstarter scheme to recruit more than 60 young people to work at the charity.
The new staff will be brought in to encourage more volunteers to join Scout groups, and will work predominantly in poorer, inner-city areas of the UK, the charity said.
The Kickstarter scheme was created by the government last year, and covers some of the costs for organisations employing young people who face increased risk of unemployment after the pandemic.
An uncertain future
The charity said in a statement: “The future of over 500 Scout Groups is uncertain and these work placements will focus on recruiting new volunteers for these groups.
“These six-month placements will be filled by young people (18-24 year-olds) who are not currently in jobs or education or training, and will be funded by the government’s Kickstarter scheme in England.”
It added: “Many of the Scout groups that will receive support are based in communities disproportionately affected by Covid-19. These groups often operate in inner-city areas, where young people need Scouting most.”
John McAtominey, who is leading the programme for the Scouts, said “We are really excited to have this opportunity not only to directly help our movement recover from the impact of Covid-19, but also to invest in young people, to help them gain the skills and experience they need to join the workforce.”
The Department for Work and Pensions launched the scheme in September last year. It covers the national minimum wage, and National Insurance and pension costs, for six-month placements.
The Scouts announced in November that, in response to financial pressures created by Covid-19, it was making 100 redundancies at the charity, a third of its workforce.
The charity is also planning to sell two properties, as it deals with a projected deficit of at least £3m.
This comes after its income rose sharply in the last two years, according to the latest data at the Charity Commission, from £37m in 2018-19 to £53m in 2019-20. This was driven by its participation in the World Scout Jamboree in 2019.