£2bn job scheme for young ‘is not being monitored properly’ and may not be having positive effect, officials say

  • Ministers accused in a light-touch approach to following up on the scheme for jobs
  • A report found that the Department for Work and Pensions has a ‘limited guarantee’ that it works
  • Project pays bosses £1,500 for each 16-24-year-old on Universal Credit taken on










Ministers have been accused of taking a ‘light-touch approach’ to tracking the performance of a £2billion scheme to create jobs for young adults.

A report from the watchdog public spending stated that there is ‘limited assurance’ the Kickstart program has a positive effect at the Department for Work and Pensions.

The scheme, launched last year, pays employers £1,500 for every 16-24-year-old on Universal Credit taken on. 

This is the highest-priced employment assistance offered by the department. 

However, the National Audit Office discovered that the DWP has’relatively limited monitoring’ to determine if the created jobs do not replace pre-existing ones or if they include the appropriate level of training.

Ministers have been accused of taking a ‘light-touch approach’ to tracking the performance of a £2billion scheme to create jobs for young adults (stock image)

Meg Hillier (Commons public accounts committee chair) stated that, given the funds available, DWP had taken a worryingly light-touch approach in setting goals and tracking performance.

Gareth Davies (head of the National Audit Office) said, “At the beginning of the pandemic DWP acted swiftly to create Kickstart to assist young people into employment when youth unemployment was expected to rise substantially.”

DWP is not certain that Kickstart will have the desired positive effect.

“It doesn’t know if the jobs that were created are high-quality or if they would have been possible without the scheme.

“It could do more to make sure the scheme targets those most in need.”

The scheme, launched last year, pays employers £1,500 for every 16-24-year-old on Universal Credit taken on and is delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions (pictured, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey)

The scheme, launched last year, pays employers £1,500 for every 16-24-year-old on Universal Credit taken on and is delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions (pictured, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey)

The NAO reported that after the lockdowns, the labor market had reopened in unexpected ways.

The scheme could have created jobs, but there were concerns.

The watchdog stated that as the program began to scale up the economy was opening, increasing the possibility of Government subsidies for jobs that could have been created.

Unofficial statement from the Government stated that Kickstart was created at the beginning of the pandemic, when unemployment could have more than doubled.

“The scheme is already delivering over 100,000 jobs that have a positive impact on the lives of young workers who receive Universal Credit. This will be continued.

A Government spokesman said: 'We acted quickly and decisively to establish Kickstart at the start of the pandemic when it was feared unemployment levels would more than double - as this report acknowledges'

According to a Government spokesperson, Kickstart was established at the outbreak of the pandemic. It was believed that unemployment would increase by more than twofold. This is what the report admits.

Advertisement