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Gloucestershire Business News

£1.9bn Kickstart scheme failed to deliver

A £1.9bn scheme to help young people into work has helped far fewer than hoped, according to a committee of MPs.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said it supported the intention of targeted help for young workers during the pandemic, but the "emergency intervention" Kickstart scheme supported far fewer young people than predicted, as reported by the BBC.

Gloucestershire College, Gloucestershire County Council and Stroud District Council were among the organisations in the county offering Kickstart placements to young people.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) forecasts that Kickstart will support 168,000 16 to 24-year-olds - far fewer than the original prediction of 250,000, the report said.

Kickstart launched in September 2020 and targets young people at risk of long-term unemployment.

The report said the DWP failed to put in place the basic management information which would be needed for such a programme.

It also found the DWP did not know why many young people who signed up for Universal Credit early in the pandemic have not come off the benefit and moved into Kickstart jobs.

The report recommended the Government try to get back the scheme's £1,500 employment support costs from employers who didn't use the money correctly.

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