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Employment: Young People

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL9327, tabled on 19 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to remove barriers to employment for 16 to 24-year-olds.

Answered on

2 November 2020

The Government continues to work to raise the bar in the opportunities available to the next generation and to help improve their outcomes by removing barriers to work.

From September 2020 we started the implementation of the new DWP Youth Offer for all 18 to 24 year olds. This includes the introduction of our Youth Employment Programme, during which young people will be referred to the most appropriate support. We have also implemented DWP Youth Hubs and DWP Youth Employability Coaches.

Youth Hubs are co-located and co-delivered with our network of external partners. Young people can access further tailored support to meet any skills gaps and requirements to bring them closer to labour market opportunities. 16 and 17 year-olds will be able to access Youth Hub support via a drop-in service where they will be signposted to the most appropriate support. DWP is also engaging directly with the National Employers Partnership Team to support 16 and 17 year-olds (as well as the wider youth customer group), working with partners such as Movement to Work, the Prince’s Trust, Accenture and Youth Employment UK.

Youth Employability Coaches will provide flexible support for young people with significant complex needs and barriers to help them move into employment.

We have also launched the Kickstart Scheme, dedicated to helping those young people at risk of long term unemployment develop their skills and experience through thousands of 6-month job placements. Funding for each job placement covers 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. We are encouraging organisations that support disadvantaged young people to work with us and employers as gateway organisiations, helping smaller employers through the application process and helping to deliver tailored employability support for the young people they help on the scheme.

In addition, we continue to deliver our Mentoring Circles programme for 16-24 year olds giving young people an opportunity to build on their employability skills by facilitating interaction with employers.