Employment Schemes: Young People

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 13th June 2019.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to sections five and six of the evaluation of the Young and Successful programme, published by Groundwork Greater Nottingham in 2018, if she will take steps to ensure that young people furthest from the labour market are not adversely affected by payment by results requirements of employability programmes.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The department offers a whole range of support of employment provision, of which contracted provision is one element. There is insufficient evidence from previous programmes, to show young people furthest from the labour market are adversely affected by payment by results requirements of employment programmes. For example, the extensive independently run Work Programme evaluation (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/425081/rr892.pdf) suggested that there was not a significant amount of variation in the level of support received and in general most participants were happy with the support they received. Published statistics suggest that job outcome rates were similar by age, indicating diverse groups of people can benefit from this provision.

Helping young people who are furthest from the labour market is a priority and the department has a variety of support to which we refer young people. 18 to 21 year olds who are in the all work requirements group take part in the Youth Obligation Support Programme which is now in every Jobcentre in Great Britain. Working with young people the Jobcentre can assess the particular need of the young person and then refer them to the most appropriate place. For example, sector-based work academies last for up to 6 weeks and have elements of work experience, short training and a guaranteed interview for a real apprenticeship or other job. Those further from the labour market may benefit from a traineeship which can last for up to 6 months and includes a focus on helping the young person reach level 2 in English and Maths.

The department continues to gain learning from previous programmes and evaluations to ensure it designs tailored provision, such as the new Work and Health Programme, that has minimum support levels for all customers and deliver improved outcomes to the customer and the department.

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