Fast food giant and UK charity join forces to boost employment chances of young people

KFC and UK Youth have hatched a plan to empower those, between the ages of 16 and 24, to find work.

Fast food giant and UK charity join forces to boost employment chances of young people

American franchise KFC and charity UK Youth, have forged a partnership to help out-of-work disadvantaged young people to secure employment opportunities. The Office of National Statistics recently reported that almost three-quarters of a million young people in the UK – aged between 16 and 24 – were not in education, employment or training, as of May 2022.

Despite large numbers of job vacancies in the economy, this is not translating into opportunities for young people. KFC and UK Youth have created an employability programme, titled ‘Hatch’, to assist disadvantaged young people as they seek to find long-term employment.

This programme aims to break cycles of inequality, disadvantage and unemployment, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. ‘Hatch’ is a seven-module employability programme focused on empowering young people who are ready for work but have struggled to access roles because of circumstances beyond their control.

The programme, which is being delivered in partnership with local youth organisations, provides one-to-one support, group training and work experience placements. Each young person will also be guaranteed a job interview on their graduation.

The programme is currently being piloted in Manchester where 100 young people are gaining work experience across 17 KFC restaurants. This will be scaled-up in 2023, with the programme focused on developing work skills and building confidence.

Maddie Dinwoodie, chief programme officer with UK Youth, said: “The pandemic, and now the cost of living crisis, are having a huge impact on the employment prospects of young people – particularly the current generation. Supporting young people into work has to be a priority.

“We are enormously proud of our ‘Hatch’ partnership with KFC, which is connecting young people to youth workers. Hopefully, this programme will help boost their confidence and skills, while giving them the tools to navigate those first career steps.”

And Neil Piper, interim general manager at KFC, added: “Young people are the lifeblood and future of our country. That’s why we are delighted to be partnering with UK Youth to help these 16-to-24 year-olds unlock their potential.

“Today’s generation of young people are resilient beyond belief. It is so important that we give them the opportunities they deserve, and invest in their future – especially in the current economic climate. Yet, they remain positive, engaged and motivated despite so many challenges being thrown their way.”

What is ‘Hatch’?

It is a social mobility programme that aims to help break cycles of inequality, disadvantage and unemployment in communities. ‘Hatch’ is a free, seven-module, employability programme for people aged 16-24.

What will young people gain?

  • Employability skills using the skills builder framework;
  • Guaranteed interview for a role at KFC or another partner; 
  • Four weeks of work experience at KFC or another partner; 
  • Pre-employability workshops, including one-to-one support;
  • Consolidation of learning that includes a mock interview;
  • A real guaranteed interview with KFC upon completion of programme.

About KFC 

In 1952, Colonel Harland Sanders opened the first KFC restaurant in Utah. The company is a giant, global franchise with more than 900 restaurants across the UK and Ireland alone. 

In July 2019, the company signed-up to the Better Chicken Commitment, which employs a set of six criteria designed to improve the lives of all chickens within the KFC supply chain. 

Since the launch of the KFC Foundation in 2015, it has paid out grants totalling £5m to charity partners who are passionate about developing and nurturing young people across the UK. To find out more about KFC click here.

About UK Youth 

It is a leading charity which has a network of more than 8,000 youth organisations and partners.

Andy Swales
Andy Swales