A scheme to help people find work following redundancy is helping more people into jobs, according to new research.

Almost three quarters (74%) of people helped by the Scottish Government's Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) initiative in 2012 secured jobs after being made redundant.

This compared to 51% of people surveyed in 2010, the Scottish Government said.

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Between April 2013 and December 2013 PACE supported 7,609 individuals and 222 employers.

The initiative is delivered by Skills Development Scotland in conjunction with other partners and provides guidance and support to help reduce the time people are out of work.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "We are still operating in a very difficult economic climate and we are concerned at the impact redundancy has on individuals and their families.

"That's why the work of our PACE teams is so important in minimising the time people who have been made redundant are out of work and helping them into further employment.

"Over the past year employment in Scotland has increased by 90,000 so it is clear that the relentless focus of the Scottish Government on boosting employment and the economy is delivering progress.

"However, with the full fiscal and economic powers of independence the Scottish Government could do much more to strengthen our economy and create more jobs."

Among those helped was former machine operator Maciej Gliszcysnski, who was among the 1700 workers who were told in 2012 that they would be made redundant from Hall's of Broxburn.

He said: "I worked at the factory for over seven years and really enjoyed my job, so it was a sad day when I heard I was being made redundant.

"I didn't know what my next step would be so I spoke with the PACE team and thanks to their help, my dream of starting my own joinery business became a reality within a couple of months.

"I still can't believe how things have turned around and I'm enjoying the new challenge of running my business."