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Kickstart Scheme: Harlow

Volume 680: debated on Monday 14 September 2020

Applications only started on 2 September, and already thousands of employers have expressed interest in providing kickstart opportunities for young people. We are working hard to deliver the scheme. We have not yet developed data on the local level, but I am confident that the management information will start to become available so that we can identify right across the country exactly how we are providing support.

I strongly welcome the kickstart scheme and the incentives it gives businesses to employ young people in my constituency of Harlow and across the country. Will my right hon. Friend set out what further action the Department is taking to support skills and apprenticeships so that our town can be part of the apprenticeships and skills nation that we so want to be?

It is important that a wide range of choice is available to young people, in particular, as they set out in their career, so we will be having kickstart but we will also be having aspects of apprenticeships. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education announced an additional £2,000 of support for each new apprentice hired from the age of 25. In Harlow specifically, our jobcentre has been running virtual academies and designing SWAP—sector-based work academy programme—schemes to support claimants, working with local employers, including the civil service. Additional funding for the National Careers Service will also mean that over a quarter of a million more people will receive individualised advice on training and careers through their local jobcentre.