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Employment: Young People

Volume 685: debated on Monday 30 November 2020

The new enhanced DWP youth offer commenced in September. That is in addition to kickstart. We are increasing the support offered via a 13-week youth employment programme to help young people gain the skills and experience that employers are looking for. We are also working with our network of external partners to deliver 100 new youth hubs, co-located and co-delivered locally, alongside expanding the number of our youth employability work coaches.

I am encouraged to hear about the progress being made on the kickstart scheme. Does my hon. Friend agree that schemes that provide young people with not only a job placement and coaching but wider personal skills training and even opportunities for social action are more likely to be successful in equipping young people for their careers and incentivising employers to keep them on?

I absolutely agree, and I thank my hon. Friend for his work and interest in supporting young people and focusing on their progression. I remind all Members that, outside the 25 hours that a kickstart work placement provides, jobseekers are encouraged by their work coaches to undertake other activities to help them progress towards long-term employment.

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer and appreciate the work that the Department is doing in this important area. Youth unemployment remains a challenge in Workington. Can she outline the steps that her Department is taking to assist my young constituents at a local level?

My hon. Friend will be pleased to hear that his excellent Workington jobcentre has developed five mentoring circles for young people, covering topics such as first impressions, transferable skills, interview skills and CVs. There has been much interest by local employers in Workington to become part of kickstart, with new job opportunities available across many sectors, including roles in adult social care and additional placements working with businesses such as Tesco.