Labour Market: Devolved Matters

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 22nd June 2021.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent discussions she has had with political leaders in devolved administrations in regions across the UK on improving labour market outcomes in their areas.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Department is supporting people across Great Britain who are most in need wherever they live. The Secretary of State, Ministers and Officials meet regularly with stakeholders to discuss a range of policy issues.

The Department engages regularly with local leaders, including the Mayoral Combined Authorities established in England, centrally and through the Work and Health Service network which has a strong operational presence in all regions. Policy and operational teams in DWP value local leaders’ insight and knowledge of their local labour markets. Local engagement has played an important role in our collaborative response to the pandemic and to support our economic recovery.

Policy teams frequently engage on a range of labour market initiatives, for example, on the Plan for Jobs. We have actively promoted the Kickstart Scheme and my officials have worked with local leaders to ensure the scheme can help as many young people as possible. Engagement with local leaders has also played a key part in the appointment of providers for the Restart employment scheme, which will start receiving referrals from 12th July. The Government will continue to engage local leaders as we develop the UKSPF’s investment framework and in advance of its publication.

Officials continue to keep their Scottish and Welsh Government counterparts updated on key labour market developments. DWP does not operate in Northern Ireland, but my Department has regular and frequent discussions with the Department for Communities on both policy and operational matters.

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