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Helping Young People into Work

Volume 693: debated on Tuesday 27 April 2021

Our plan for jobs will help young people find employment opportunities, including through our youth offer and the £2 billion kickstart scheme, where 180,000 kickstart vacancies have already been created.

I appreciate that the Government are helping to create those jobs, but it is important that young people have the confidence to learn and master a skill after leaving formal education, so how will my right hon. Friend ensure there are funds for people to do that in my constituency, including in Sittingbourne, which is the largest town in Kent that does not have its own further education facilities?

I agree with my hon. Friend that young people should have access to the skills and training opportunities they need to access great jobs. That is why my right hon. Friend the Chancellor has provided £126 million for traineeships in England to enable an additional 40,000 places over the next academic year, and why he has incentivised apprenticeships, with up to £3,000 for employers who hire new apprentices of any age.

Measures such as the kickstart scheme are a fantastic way to help young people into work and reduce the risk of long-term unemployment. Many young people will have taken part-time or casual work to support themselves through the pandemic, such as in Fylde’s hospitality and leisure sector, and may not be claiming universal credit. What steps will my right hon. Friend be taking to help young people get the skills and industry experience to help them move from casual employment and launch full-time careers?

My hon. Friend raises an important point, and that is why, as well as the fantastic kickstart scheme, which he points out, the plan for jobs also expands existing programmes with proven employment outcomes, including traineeships, sector-based work academies and incentivised apprenticeship hiring. At the spending review, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor announced £138 million for the lifetime skills guarantee to fund free advanced technical courses for adults without A-levels or equivalent and to expand employer-led skills bootcamps.