This Government are committed to providing support to help young people move into work and avoid the scarring effects of long-term unemployment as we recover from the pandemic. The £30 billion plan for jobs includes new youth hubs and specific interventions targeted at young people. Our DWP youth offer and the kickstart programme are designed to move young people towards meaningful and sustained employment opportunities.
Happy International Women’s Day, Mr Speaker.
Last year, youth unemployment went up by 420,000, reaching 600,000, and it is set to reach 1 million, yet the Government’s kickstart programme has got only 4,000 young people into work, despite employers providing placements. Will the Minister explain by what date her Department’s own target of 200,000 placements will be met?
The hon. Lady is absolutely correct: we are converting more than 140,000 job placements into starts and 30,000 jobs are currently being advertised. In her area, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets has approval for more than 500 kickstart opportunities in a variety of sectors across the borough. A virtual youth hub is also operating in Tower Hamlets to support people and we hope it will move to face-to-face contact shortly. There are 119 new work coaches in Hoxton and a new temporary Jobcentre Plus is opening in Leman Street in Tower Hamlets in April. We take youth unemployment incredibly seriously. As we move into recovery, we will make sure that young people take up roles and move into work safely, to get those kickstart opportunities going.