FAST food chain KFC has teamed up with a leading youth charity to help disadvantaged young people.
The chicken restaurant is working with UK Youth in a partnership focused on helping young people, particularly those who have missed out on traditional employment opportunities and who may not have had the best start in life.
The programme aims to break cycles of inequality, disadvantage and unemployment facing today’s generation of young people, which has exacerbated through the pandemic.
High rates of job vacancies in the UK economy are not currently translating into opportunities for young people, with the Office for National Statistics reporting that more than 700,000 young people aged 16 to 24 were not in education, employment or training as of May 2022.
Together, KFC and UK Youth have developed new youth employability programme, Hatch, delivered through youth work, to help disadvantaged young people into long-term employment and build their work skills and confidence.
Hatch is focused on empowering young people aged 16 to 24, who are ready for work but have struggled to access roles because of circumstances beyond their control, be they care givers, care leavers or young people who haven’t had the best start in life.
Delivered in partnership with local youth organisations, Hatch provides 1-2-1 support, group training and work experience placements for disadvantaged young people. Each young person will also be guaranteed an interview with an employer on graduation.
The programme is currently being piloted with 100 young people in Manchester, with 17 KFC restaurants taking part, before being scaled up in 2023, with young people being recruited in KFC locations across the UK.
Neil Piper, interim UK general manager at KFC, said: “Young people are the lifeblood and future of our country and the KFC brand. That’s why we are delighted to be partnering with UK Youth to support and empower young people and help them unlock their potential.
“Today’s generation of young people are resilient beyond belief, facing the current economic climate and job market with a positive, engaged, and motivated attitude. It is so important that we give them the opportunities they deserve and invest in their future.”
Maddie Dinwoodie, chief programme officer at UK Youth, added: “The pandemic and now the cost of living crisis are having a huge impact on the employment prospects of this generation of young people. Supporting young people into work has to be a priority – they are our future leaders and the changemakers of tomorrow.
“We are enormously proud of our Hatch partnership with KFC, which is connecting young people to youth workers who are giving them the confidence, skills and the tools to navigate those first steps in their careers.”