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Kickstart Scheme: Young People

Volume 680: debated on Monday 14 September 2020

What steps her Department is taking with employers to help ensure as many young people as possible benefit from the Kickstart scheme. (905909)

What steps her Department is taking with employers to help ensure as many young people as possible benefit from the Kickstart scheme. (905921)

What steps her Department is taking with employers to help ensure as many young people as possible benefit from the Kickstart scheme. (905922)

My Department is working closely across Government to encourage all employers, big and small, to apply for the kickstart scheme. I urge all colleagues to work with their local jobcentre networks to help us to deliver this.

The six-month job placement created by the kickstart scheme will be a vital way in which we can help young people in Ipswich to get on the careers ladder during the current challenges. Will the Minister also place a high priority on the excellent wellbeing and skills programmes run by charities such as Inspire Suffolk in my constituency, which are setting young people up with exactly the kind of support network and knowledge that they need at a vital time in their lives?

I thank my hon. Friend for raising the scheme, which is really positive news for his constituency, adding to much similar work across his constituency. Our work coach recruitment is now open in Ipswich and we are looking at a potential youth hub locally, so there is good news in Ipswich. Locally, we are also working with the employers Seven and Service Central, which are working together, hopefully to find some key roles for their young customers in kickstart. We are also working with the East Anglian gymnastics team on a potential new apprenticeship position, so there is plenty of good news in Ipswich.

I warmly welcome the kickstart scheme, which is a vital step to ensuring the future prosperity of so many young people across our country. In Buckinghamshire, organisations such as Buckinghamshire Business First are helping to co-ordinate firms that cannot offer as many as 30 places. What steps is my hon. Friend taking at national level to ensure that small rural businesses are able fully to participate?

I am delighted with the interest in the kickstart scheme across the country, including in rural areas, and including smaller companies in that is key. We want applicants from across the country to benefit by bidding for those placements , perhaps via an intermediary or gateway organisation. Small employers, whether rural or not, will have the key support they need from that intermediary, and that will help to create high-quality roles and provide additional support, so that all our young people get the most out of this placement.

From the jobs plan I know that my hon. Friend is determined to do what it takes to help young people find access to the work that is so vital to their futures. What other support is available, in addition to the kickstart scheme, that will help young people in Basildon and Thurrock to recover from the effects of the pandemic and secure future opportunities?

My hon. Friend is exactly right, and we are rolling out youth hubs across the country so that our young people can access that important wider support. Those hubs will be co-located and co-delivered with our network of external partners, including members of the youth employment group. Our jobcentres are already delivering activities at local level to support our young people, including mentoring circles, virtual job fairs and sector-based work academy programmes.