Engaging with charities and training providers is central to our support for young people. This collaborative working includes the co-delivery of our national network of more than 130 new DWP youth hubs, helping us to assist young people to be ready to take up opportunities in growing sectors and move into new kickstart roles.
I am one of those people who do not think it is a good idea for everybody to work from home, because it means that young people do not have older workers that they can observe and chat to, to learn the ropes. However, while a lot of office space sits empty or underoccupied, would my hon. Friend consider encouraging employers to make that space available to charities and training providers in order to train young people in the skills they need?
I very much understand my colleague’s comments. Supporting young people to thrive and find new opportunities is an important priority for me, and I take his comments on board. This is exactly what we are doing with our new DWP youth hubs. Jobcentre Plus works with employers, training providers and charities to identify local training needs and to ensure that opportunities and suitable outreach are available for all claimants, including young people.
Careers fairs can be a fantastic way of promoting opportunity in the local area, which is why I plan to host one in my constituency of Meriden in the coming months. Given the strengths of jobcentres and their local relationships, what support can they provide to help make careers fairs such as mine a success?
Jobcentre staff have a wealth of knowledge of the local labour market, cultivated by working closely with MPs, partners and businesses in their local community. My hon. Friend’s careers fair will be a very welcome addition to the ongoing work of Jobcentre Plus branches in the area, which are inviting employers on a one-to-one basis for kickstart interviews daily. They have virtual group information sessions as well to get young people into work.
The Lakota Training Group, set up by Joanne and Paul in Stockton, does incredible work, helping the long-term unemployed to develop the skills and confidence they need to get great jobs—they go above and beyond to change the lives of so many people. What steps is my hon. Friend taking to help training providers such as Lakota continue to help people find work and unleash their full potential?
I know that my hon. Friend’s local Jobcentre Plus in Stockton has a very important relationship with Lakota and they have been working closely together for a number of years. They are currently offering motivational and employability courses, including “All about you”, which builds on the customer’s skills, confidence and job search techniques and will help us, crucially, to deliver good job outcomes for local people in Stockton.