Layla Moran has urged the Government to gather and release data on the uptake of the Kickstart Scheme at a more local level, after concerns were raised at a business roundtable, with the Employment Minister revealing only 19% of available Kickstart places in the South East have been filled so far.
It comes as the Minister revealed, in response to a question by Layla, that approximately 12,300 Kickstart jobs had been made available in the South East so far, but only approximately 2,300 young people have started in a Kickstart role across the region, a take-up rate of 19%.
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding.
Taking part in Oral Questions to the Department for Work and Pensions in the Commons chamber this afternoon, Layla said “I agree that helping young people get into work through this crisis is of paramount importance, but I was deeply concerned to hear, in a business roundtable organised by our local enterprise partnership, that data on applications is gathered only at a regional level by the DWP.”
Layla urged the Minister to “look into” gathering and providing the data at least at the county council level, so that MPs, local authorities, and local enterprise partnerships could help encourage take-up of the scheme and assess its effectiveness in Oxfordshire.
Speaking after her question, Layla Moran said: “The Kickstart scheme is something I want to encourage employers in my constituency to take part in, working with our councils and OxLEP. But it’s much harder to know what we need to do if there’s no data on current application levels for Oxfordshire specifically.
“What was clear from the local business roundtable I attended was that having this data would make a real difference, and help us get more young people into new jobs. It’s also really disappointing to hear that young people have started roles in only 19% of the Kickstart places made available in the South East so far.
“I’m glad the Minister said she’d look into gathering and providing the data more locally, and I’ll continue to work with businesses and councils in my constituency, as well as the new Rose Hill Youth Hub, to create jobs and build back better from this pandemic.”