Small businesses will have access to a multimillion-pound fund to employ young people from April, the Employment Minister has said.
Angela Constance made the announcement as she officially launched an employer recruitment initiative.
The Scottish Government will spend £15 million to support "up to 10,000 young people" into employment in small businesses, she said.
This will be supplemented with further funding, including from European Structural Funds, taking the total pot to between £40 and £50 million, according to figures released by Finance Secretary John Swinney. The Government will hold discussions with business representatives in the coming weeks about how the scheme will work.
Ms Constance said: "The budget for 2013-14 invests heavily in young people and creating job opportunities.
"We have protected college numbers, increased university and training places and made significant strides in opening up employment for young people by promising at least 25,000 modern apprenticeship starts in every year of this parliament and guaranteeing every 16 to 19-year-old an offer of a place in training or education through Opportunities for All.
"The other side of this support of course has to be providing as much support as possible to employers. During the last few months I've met many employers in the private sector who have told me that, with a bit of support, they'd be willing to open up a new job opportunity for a young person.
"Today's funding means that from April small and medium-sized companies in the private sector will have access to support to invest in growth through taking on talented and enthusiastic young Scots."
Ms Constance provided no further detail on what kind of jobs the scheme will provide.
Labour's Kezia Dugdale asked Mr Swinney during his budget speech whether the scheme would lead to full-time, permanent jobs. Mr Swinney responded: "This is about creating private sector employment in the country's SMEs (small and medium-sized companies), and we will work with the business community and other providers to ensure that we fulfil those commitments."