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Employment Support for Young People: Covid-19

Volume 680: debated on Monday 14 September 2020

What steps her Department is taking to support young people into employment as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased. (905904)

What steps her Department is taking to support young people into employment as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased. (905919)

As well as the kickstart scheme, I am delighted to be the Minister bringing forward our new youth offer. Focused on those under 25, we are supporting our young people via a structured 13-week programme, rolling out new youth hubs across local communities, and boosting support for young people with our new DWP youth employability work coaches. This offer includes support to get into apprenticeships, traineeships and sector-based work academy programmes.

I thank the Minister for her answer and the whole DWP team for the support they have given my constituents during this exceptional time. In my constituency of Ynys Môn, I am working with M-SParc, Coleg Menai and the Bangor University team to put together an innovative jobs fair. Along with Alison Cork and Lynn McCann, I am putting together a Make It Your Business event to support women entrepreneurs. How is the Minister supporting innovation and entrepreneurs?

Supporting the self-employed and inspiring entrepreneurship is a real focus for me as the Employment Minister. I had the pleasure of visiting north Wales not that long ago, back in January, and not too far from my hon. Friend’s beautiful constituency of Ynys Môn, where I met a lady who had started her own innovative charity supporting other young women to succeed and thrive in the way that my hon. Friend has described. I want everyone to have the same opportunities to build their own business. The DWP’s new enterprise allowance scheme is open to claimants to support new and existing businesses to grow and thrive.

The local DWP team in my Workington constituency, who I met on Friday, have worked incredibly hard throughout this pandemic to ensure that claims are being managed in a timely and efficient manner despite the huge increase in their workload. Will my hon. Friend join me in paying tribute to them as they enter the next phase of their plans to tackle youth unemployment and under-employment?

I join my hon. Friend in his thanks to all our DWP staff who have worked so extremely hard during the pandemic. The DWP is supporting all claimants in focusing on getting back into work. The jobcentre in his constituency is playing a vital role in his community through key outreach, including the Maryport GP surgery. Our work coaches are based in that surgery every Tuesday, taking referrals to deliver work advice to patients and ensuring that everyone gets tailored support.