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Kickstart: Thames Valley

Volume 695: debated on Monday 17 May 2021

What recent estimate she has made of the number of (a) successful and (b) total applications to the kickstart scheme in the Thames Valley region. (900008)

I can confirm that, as of 6 May, around 12,300 kickstart jobs had been made available for young people to apply for in the south-east of England region, and around 2,300 young people had already started in their new kickstart roles. Delivering the kickstart scheme at pace means that the DWP deal is still developing the tools to further break down the data on a more local level.

I thank the Minister for her answer. I agree that helping young people to get into work through this crisis is of paramount importance, but I was deeply concerned to hear, in a business roundtable organised by our local enterprise partnership, that that data is being gathered only at a regional level by the DWP. This means that the LEP and the councils cannot assess how well Oxfordshire is doing or measure the efficiency of any interventions that we might put in place to do even better. I thank her for her explanation, but can she give us any timeline on when we can have this data broken down to at least upper-tier council level? And can she meet me and officials so that we can understand how to ensure that young people make the most of this scheme?

I thank the hon. Lady for raising the issue of getting young people into work. As we heard from the Secretary of State, approximately 400 young people, on average, have been going into work per day for the past four weeks. I urge her to meet the Rose Hill youth hub, the newly launched DWP youth hub that covers her constituency and has been working with Oxford Jobcentre Plus from April, as well as Aspire, Activate and Oxford City Council. That will give her the insight that she needs about what is happening on the ground. She can also meet the local youth employability work coaches. We are breaking down the data as far as we can, but our priority right now is to get young people into those new roles.