Nick Ferrari challenges Therese Coffey over take-up of Kickstart jobs scheme

25 January 2021, 10:15 | Updated: 25 January 2021, 10:30

By Patrick Grafton-Green

The Government’s £2bn Kickstart jobs scheme has been hailed a “huge success” by minister Therese Coffey despite so far helping fewer than 2,000 young people find work.

The Work and Pensions Secretary was challenged by LBC’s Nick Ferrari about the scheme for 16 to 24 year olds, which was launched in September.

Despite creating 120,000 job roles, Nick pointed out to Ms Coffey that just 1,868 placements have actually been started.

READ MORE: Pressure grows on PM over plans to reopen England's schools

READ MORE: £23 million funding given to councils to combat Covid misinformation

He asked whether Ms Coffey thought the scheme could really be described as a success.

She said: “Yes I do actually Nick."

She insisted the need for Covid-secure environments and training meant "employers may not be ready yet to get the young people on that journey”.

"We’ve actually created with employers, more jobs than was ever created under the Future Jobs Fund and those jobs are there ready and waiting to be filled over the next year," she added.

“That’s why we’re actually making it even simpler for more employers to come and get involved, because we need a pipeline of roles for young people to get started on."

The Department for Work and Pensions creates Kickstart places with businesses, covering 25 hours per week of wages and making £1,500 available to help cover costs.

Ms Coffey said the scheme recognised that young people “have been hardest hit” by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

But she added “some of the impacts of Covid have certainly stopped some of the job starts”.

She said: “We have ambition that by the end of this year a quarter of a million young people will have become Kickstarters and started those roles.

“We have about 10,000 in the system at the moment waiting to be filled, which I expect within the next few weeks. About another 30,000 where I expect them to come on stream in the next four to six weeks as well.

“So while we haven’t had many people starting in the run up to Christmas, that is understandable recognising the preparations and also the wrap around support which needs to be delivered.”

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Exclusive
Boris Johnson said if people visit Rwanda they would see it is "going places"

'You'd change your mind about Rwanda if you visited': Boris defends controversial plan

The Prime Minister was grilled by Nick Ferrari on the last day of the Nato summit

Watch in Full: Nick Ferrari grills Boris Johnson

Exclusive
The PM defended sending billions in support to Ukraine during the cost-of-living crisis

PM defends Ukraine aid in cost of living crisis as he's grilled over '£150k treehouse'

'I won't be shopping in Sainsbury's again but I went back for my apology'

Mum slams supermarket after being told off by worker for breastfeeding in car park

'It's not govt policy to arm Taiwan': Foreign Affairs Committee Chair on Liz Truss' gaffe

'It's not govt policy to arm Taiwan': Foreign Affairs Committee Chair on Liz Truss' gaffe

Ben Wallace said Putin was a 'lunatic'

Putin a 'lunatic with small man syndrome' says minister as PM blasts 'toxic masculinity'

Russian invasion of Ukraine made Nato 'look again' at military capability, says defence chief

Russian invasion of Ukraine made Nato 'look again' at military capability, says defence chief

There's an 'ethical and political vacuum in No10', says former chief of staff

There's an 'ethical and political vacuum in No10', says former chief of staff

Nick Ferrari grilled Priti Patel on her Rwanda migrant plan.

Rwanda migrant plan is not 'appalling' but 'should be a deterrent', Priti Patel tells LBC

Exclusive
Lord Bilimoria, outgoing president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) speaks to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast.

'Reduce taxes now': Outgoing CBI chief calls on Rishi to slash 'highest taxes in 70 years'

Grant Shapps has criticised the RMT leader Mick Lynch.

Rail strike called under 'false pretences' by RMT's '1970s union baron' boss, says Shapps

Ofgem chief warns price cap hike 'could be more' than predicted £800

Ofgem chief warns price cap hike 'could be more' than predicted £800

Exclusive
The chairman of Network Rail Sir Peter Hendy has told LBC the industry can be run more effectively with fewer staff.

'Steam age' railway can be run more effectively with fewer staff, rail boss says

Rail strikes will cause "misery for millions"

'Driving unrest and stoking unrealistic expectations': Minister slams RMT ahead of strikes

'What's the point of advisors?!': Nick Ferrari baffled by resignation of Lord Geidt

'What's the point of advisors?!': Nick Ferrari baffled by resignation of Lord Geidt

The minister was speaking to LBC 's Nick Ferrari

Minister calls on Mayor of London to drop congestion charge on rail strike days