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MPs to consider impact of the Kickstart programme in Wales

8 December 2020

MPs on the Welsh Affairs Committee will examine measures to tackle youth unemployment in Wales, in particular the effectiveness of the Kickstart scheme to tackle it in a one-off evidence session on Thursday.

Purpose of the session

The Committee will consider the views of businesses and young people by speaking to representatives from the Federation of Small Businesses Wales and the Prince’s Trust, before questioning the Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP.

The panels are expected to be asked about:

  • whether the Kickstart programme is being targeted appropriately;
  • the risks of the scheme and how these are being addressed;
  • how quality places for young people will be ensured; and
  • how Kickstart will lead to sustained employment for participants.

Background

The £2bn Kickstart programme, launched in September, helps fund 6-month placements for young people on Universal Credit. However, concerns have been raised over whether it is targeting young people who are most in need, whether it will provide quality placements leading to better employment outcomes and difficulties for small firms accessing the fund.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment has risen with the young among the worst hit. 9.5% of 16-24 year-olds in Wales were on Universal Credit in September, double the figure before the crisis.

Witnesses

Thursday 10 December - remote participation by witnesses and Committee members

At 9.30am

  • Ben Cottam, Head of External Affairs, Federation of Small Businesses Wales;
  • Phil Jones, Director, Prince’s Trust Cymru;
  • Richard Rigby, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Prince’s Trust.

From 10.30am (approx.)

  • Mims Davies MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister for Employment), Department for Work and Pensions
  • Katie Farrington, Director, Universal Credit and Employment Policy, Department for Work and Pensions
  • John-Paul Marks, DWP Director General for Work and Health Services, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Sarah Pearson, Universal Credit Area Director, Work & Health Services Wales and National Employer and Partnership Team, Department for Work and Pensions

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright