The Government's £1.9 billion kickstart scheme for youth employment was "chaotic" and "failed to deliver", a cross-party committee of MPs has said.
In a report published 25 February 2022, the public accounts committee (PAC) said "the management information that would be expected for a multi-billion-pound-grant programme" was not in place.
Launched on 2 September 2020, the kickstart scheme created jobs for universal credit claimants aged 16 to 24.
The Government paid 100% of age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week for six months.
Dame Meg Hillier MP, chair of the PAC, said:
"There are very unfortunate similarities across Government's COVID response schemes: rushed implementation and too little track kept of whether a scheme was delivering what it promises.
"In this case the DWP simply has no idea whether this scheme was worth the money, not least because it has little idea what was delivered for it."
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) now forecasts the scheme to support far fewer people than expected - 168,000, rather than the original prediction of 250,000.
Kickstart scheme applications closed on 17 December 2021.
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