Lord Bates debates involving the Department for Work and Pensions during the 2019-2024 Parliament

Tue 30th Jun 2020
Pension Schemes Bill [HL]
Lords Chamber

Report stage (Hansard) & Report stage (Hansard) & Report stage (Hansard): House of Lords & Report stage

Covid-19: Universal Credit

Lord Bates Excerpts
Tuesday 2nd March 2021

(3 years, 4 months ago)

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Baroness Stedman-Scott Portrait Baroness Stedman-Scott (Con)
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I not sure where the noble Lord gets his figures from; I do not dispute them, but I will have to go back and have a good look. The universal credit business case was agreed in 2018 and demonstrated that it remains deliverable and affordable, and provides value for money. In a steady state, universal credit will generate economic value of £8 billion per year, and it is doing a great job.

Lord Bates Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Bates) (Con)
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My Lords, I am afraid that the time allowed for this Question has now elapsed.

Covid-19: Youth Unemployment

Lord Bates Excerpts
Tuesday 2nd February 2021

(3 years, 5 months ago)

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Lord Baker of Dorking Portrait Lord Baker of Dorking (Con) [V]
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Is the Minister aware—[Inaudible.]

Lord Bates Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Bates) (Con)
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My Lords, we are having some difficulties connecting to the noble Lord, Lord Baker, we will move to the next—

Lord Baker of Dorking Portrait Lord Baker of Dorking (Con) [V]
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[Inaudible]—apprenticeships concerned, 70% were postponed or cancelled. Can I be heard or not? It says: “Your internet connection is unstable”. Shall I continue?

Lord Bates Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Bates) (Con)
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I am afraid there is a problem with the connection, so we will move to the next speaker. I call the noble Baroness, Lady Janke.

Baroness Janke Portrait Baroness Janke (LD) [V]
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My Lords, businesses in the creative, media and digital industries are typically very small and do not have the resources to support apprentices, internships and work experience. What plans do the Government have to support and enable these businesses to provide skills, training and experience to young people in this essential area?

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Baroness Stedman-Scott Portrait Baroness Stedman-Scott (Con)
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I have already referred to Kickstart and the progress we have made. Another point I will make is that there is a very intensive quality assurance programme for the vacancies to go through, but employers are doing their bit and falling into line with the programme, and we have great hopes for it. I agree with the noble Baroness that, as a country, we need to do all we can to help the younger generation to progress. I would be delighted to see business continue to work alongside government to achieve this aim, particularly in relation to internships.

Lord Bates Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Bates) (Con)
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We will now try the noble Lord, Lord Baker of Dorking, again.

Lord Baker of Dorking Portrait Lord Baker of Dorking (Con) [V]
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Is the Minister aware that youth unemployment was discovered to be at 20% by the Resolution Foundation last September? The Sutton Trust has said that graduate unemployment is at 45% and that the number of apprenticeships this year has been reduced by 70% or postponed. A recent government White Paper never mentioned youth unemployment. When will the Government realise that this is a major crisis that is rising and is going to get much worse, and that measures are needed?

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Baroness Stedman-Scott Portrait Baroness Stedman-Scott (Con)
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Let me be clear again that we are working at pace with employers to get the vacancies we need in Kickstart. We have started people, and that take-up will accelerate in the coming days. There is no lessening of effort on that. In terms of our offer, we have the youth unemployment programme; we have youth hubs—which are helping people; and we have our youth employability coaches as well as work coaches in jobcentres. With all those efforts combined we will do as much as we can to get as many as possible of the young people referred to by the noble Baroness back into work.

Lord Bates Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Bates) (Con)
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My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has now elapsed. I apologise to those whom I was unable to call. We now move to the fourth Oral Question.

Youth Unemployment

Lord Bates Excerpts
Thursday 15th October 2020

(3 years, 9 months ago)

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Baroness Stedman-Scott Portrait Baroness Stedman-Scott (Con)
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I can confirm to the noble Lord that I will go back to the department with this and speak to the Director General for Service Excellence. I also offer to meet with the noble Lord so that he can share his concerns verbally and get some answers.

Lord Bates Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Bates) (Con)
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My Lords, I am afraid that the time allowed for this Private Notice Question has now elapsed, so we will move on to the next business.

In fact, the time allowed for this Private Notice Question has not elapsed. We have an extra five minutes, which is wonderful. I therefore call the noble Baroness, Lady Benjamin.

Baroness Benjamin Portrait Baroness Benjamin (LD)
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My Lords, thank goodness for that. Black, Asian and culturally diverse people are more likely to be unemployed, and the 16 to 24 year-olds in this group are no exception. They are finding themselves at the very bottom of the pile during this pandemic and are hardest hit, with little hope of finding a job. So what pathways and policies are being put in place beyond the six-month Kickstart Scheme to reassure these vulnerable young people, many of whom are suffering from anxiety and depression?

Baroness Stedman-Scott Portrait Baroness Stedman-Scott (Con)
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The point I would like to make to the noble Baroness is that the ethnic minority employment rate reached a record high of 67.5%, which is an increase on the previous quarter. It is not good enough, but it was an upward trend. The point that the noble Baroness makes is completely justified; this is of great concern. I should say that the Government have unlocked an additional £150 million from dormant bank accounts to support charities and social enterprises help vulnerable individuals into work.

Lord Bates Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Bates) (Con)
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I now call the next speaker, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Woolf.

Lord Bates Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Bates) (Con)
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We cannot hear the noble and learned Lord, so I shall call the next speaker, the noble Baroness, Lady Stroud.

Lord Bates Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Bates) (Con)
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My Lords, we seem to be having some technical problems, so I suggest that the House should now adjourn for five minutes.

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Lord Bates Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Bates) (Con)
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My Lords, we will now recommence consideration of the Private Notice Question in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Baker, for a further three and a half minutes. I call the noble and learned Lord, Lord Woolf.

Lord Woolf Portrait Lord Woolf (CB) [V]
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I am grateful to your Lordships for dealing with the local difficulties. The point I emphasise is that, while everything I have heard about the immediate action that the Government are taking is encouraging, I am concerned about when things go wrong, as they will, and youngsters land up in the court system. What action do the Government propose to ensure that the harm already done is not aggravated by that experience?

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Baroness Stedman-Scott Portrait Baroness Stedman-Scott (Con)
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The three sectors to which I would refer all noble Lords, which are recruiting young people, are health and social work, education and manufacturing. Through our sector-based work academies, we are trying to ensure that young people are equipped with the skills that they will need in the difficult days coming. We are working hard to ensure that.

Lord Bates Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Bates) (Con)
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My Lords, I am afraid that the time allowed for this Private Notice Question has now elapsed.

Kickstart Scheme

Lord Bates Excerpts
Monday 7th September 2020

(3 years, 10 months ago)

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Baroness Stedman-Scott Portrait Baroness Stedman-Scott (Con)
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I am pleased to say that the latest briefing I have had today is that a range of companies wish to take part in Kickstart—large companies, as the noble Lord suggested, and small companies, as well as charities. There will be a rigorous process to follow to ensure that those jobs are additional and not previously advertised. I am sure the process we go through will result in good-quality opportunities for our young people.

Lord Bates Portrait Lord Bates (Con)
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Prior to my noble friend becoming a Minister, she had devoted much of her life to helping some of the hardest-to-reach and troubled young people in the country find their way into the dignity of work. How will she ensure that the Kickstart programme supports our most vulnerable young people, who already face the greatest barriers to employment, and does not leave them to fall further behind?

Baroness Stedman-Scott Portrait Baroness Stedman-Scott (Con)
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The Kickstart Scheme really is very exciting for young people. First, they will have a work coach who will be with them throughout their journey. They will have full support from Jobcentre Plus and employer support; the HR teams will hopefully work with them. They will be able to put together a CV, understand the world of work and undertake training opportunities that enhance their employment prospects. The flexible support fund of £150 million will be deployed and, most importantly, when somebody is in a Kickstart placement, there will be regular reviews of their progress to ensure that we do not miss any opportunity to keep them in that placement, rather than them falling out. Without blowing my own trumpet, there are all the key components we deployed at Tomorrow’s People that made the outcomes so successful.

Pension Schemes Bill [HL]

Lord Bates Excerpts
Report stage & Report stage (Hansard) & Report stage (Hansard): House of Lords
Tuesday 30th June 2020

(4 years ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Pension Schemes Act 2021 View all Pension Schemes Act 2021 Debates Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: HL Bill 104-I Marshalled list for Report - (25 Jun 2020)
Amendment 33 not moved.
Lord Bates Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Bates) (Con)
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We now come to the group beginning with Amendment 34. I remind noble Lords that Members other than the mover and the Minister may speak only once and that short questions of elucidation are discouraged. Anyone wishing to press this or any other amendment in this group to a Division should make that clear during the debate.

Amendment 34

Moved by

Universal Credit: Court of Appeal Judgment

Lord Bates Excerpts
Monday 29th June 2020

(4 years ago)

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Baroness Stedman-Scott Portrait Baroness Stedman-Scott [V]
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The Government have worked at pace to ensure that money gets to people in a timely manner to avoid hardship and as many difficulties as we can. I can confirm that 1 million applications for advances have been made available to people who need them quickly. The advances are interest-free and repayable over 12 months at the moment, but as of next year this will go up to 24 months.

Lord Bates Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Bates) (Con)
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My Lords, that completes all the supplementary questions on the Urgent Question repeat.