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Employment: Ashfield

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 61218, tabled on 22 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress her Department has made on supporting young people into high-skilled jobs in Ashfield.

Answered on

1 November 2021

DWP has a variety of provision to support people of all ages into job opportunities in a range of roles and sectors, including into high-skilled roles. Individual Work Coaches will work with claimants to understand their skills, experience and interests as they support them to find work.

For young people specifically, the DWP Youth Offer provides wrap-around support to those aged 18-24 who are in the intensive work search regime of Universal Credit. It was introduced as part of the wider UK Government Plan for Jobs package.

Throughout the programme, every young person is encouraged to take part in a wide range of work-based opportunities. Work coaches will identify and promote the most appropriate provision for the young person, including Kickstart, Sector-based Work Academy Programmes, traineeships, work experience, Mentoring Circles, or apprenticeships. Young people can be referred to a Youth Hub to address skills gaps, or a Youth Employability Coach if there are key barriers or complex needs preventing them from finding or keeping employment.

The Ashfield area feeds into the wider travel to work areas of Mansfield and Nottingham, with numerous opportunities for young people to access high level construction jobs, for example with green energy employer Cobalt Energy Free. There is access to highly paid and skilled careers within the rail industry through Trackworks, and there are local opportunities for funding through DWP’s Flexible Support Fund, for example LVG/HGV licences into the logistics sector.

The D2N2 (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire) Local Enterprise Partnership has supported the local skills offer through Local Growth Fund investments in skills facilities, including a £0.67m contribution to the establishment of an Automation and Robotics Training Centre at the West Nottinghamshire College Sutton-in-Ashfield campus. They also offer digital boot camps, providing support in Coding & Software development, Cyber & System Security, Digital Marketing and IT, Networking and Infrastructure.

The D2N2 Skills Access Hub aims to be a ‘one stop shop’ for local businesses wishing to close skills gaps through training, recruitment, apprenticeships and placements, activities that can all help support young people into higher skill jobs. West Nottinghamshire College (whose campus extends across the Ashfield and Mansfield area) is a partner in the Access Hub.

In addition to this, the DWP Youth Hub in Nottingham is delivered in partnership with DBC Training and local employers who regularly visit the hub. The Youth Hub is accessible to all surrounding jobcentres to give young people access to skills, training and employment support, and connects them with the D2N2 Skills Access Hub to deliver opportunities to develop their careers.