1 Lord Harries of Pentregarth debates involving the Department for Work and Pensions

Kickstart Scheme

Lord Harries of Pentregarth Excerpts
Monday 7th September 2020

(3 years, 9 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Stedman-Scott Portrait Baroness Stedman-Scott (Con)
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The Kickstart Scheme really is very exciting for young people. First, they will have a work coach who will be with them throughout their journey. They will have full support from Jobcentre Plus and employer support; the HR teams will hopefully work with them. They will be able to put together a CV, understand the world of work and undertake training opportunities that enhance their employment prospects. The flexible support fund of £150 million will be deployed and, most importantly, when somebody is in a Kickstart placement, there will be regular reviews of their progress to ensure that we do not miss any opportunity to keep them in that placement, rather than them falling out. Without blowing my own trumpet, there are all the key components we deployed at Tomorrow’s People that made the outcomes so successful.

Lord Harries of Pentregarth Portrait Lord Harries of Pentregarth (CB) [V]
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My Lords, I congratulate the Government on this initiative, but I would like to ask the Minister what plans they have for when it ends. The danger, of course, is that too many people will simply drop back into unemployment, as happens too often in France. I wonder whether it is possible to have continuing support at a lower level, so that there is a tapering off, as with the present furlough system? Would the Government give further thought to this?

Baroness Stedman-Scott Portrait Baroness Stedman-Scott (Con)
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My Lords, I am pleased to say—and I reiterate the points I made before—that all through the Kickstart Scheme journey, young people will have the support services of their work coach and the full support of the Jobcentre Plus system, along with their intermediaries and employers. Work coaches will continue to support claimants into work after their placements have been completed. They will not be left to drift. We want as many young people as possible to gain support from this service. On the noble Lord’s point about changing the mechanism of the programme, I am not aware of any plans to do that at present.