A project led by Falkirk Council will receive a share of a £2.5million fund to help people access employment and training, the Scottish Government has announced.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson welcomed news that the Tackling Inequalities and Improving Outcomes Project is one of 13 ventures across Scotland that successfully applied for financial backing from the Employability Innovation and Integration Fund.

The fund links employment support with health and social care, housing and justice services to boost the prospects of people who would otherwise struggle to find jobs due to health or housing requirements or because they’ve had experience of the criminal justice system.

The Falkirk project will extend a programme already available to women to men. It will improve the health and well-being of people in the criminal justice system by identifying and addressing health-related issues and creating supported pathways to employment.

Mr Matheson said: “The Employability Innovation and Integration Fund is one of the many ways in which the Scottish Government is helping jobseekers and I’m delighted that people in Falkirk district will benefit from this tailored support.

“There’s clear evidence that getting into employment after being in the criminal justice system is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of reoffending, so this project will not only help individuals to get their lives back on track but will also benefit our community as a whole.”