British rapper Konan Wilson from award-winning rap duo Krept and Konan met with young people from Manchester this week to celebrate the first graduates of KFC and UK Youth’s employability programme, Hatch.
The graduation event, held at FiveFourStudios in Salford, saw the young people, who had gone through the employability programme in the city, congratulated for their achievements.
Hatch graduates were treated to words of wisdom from Konan about his experiences in finding his feet and voice in work, before tucking into KFC and taking celebratory photos at a pop up photo booth. The evening ended with the graduates picking up limited edition KFC merchandise and enjoying the sounds of local Manchester DJ Joy Social.
KFC’s employability programme, Hatch, aims to help young people aged 16-24, who are ready for work but have struggled to find roles because of circumstances beyond their control, to build their work skills, confidence and get their first job. The programme offers 1-2-1 support, training, and practical work experience, with a guaranteed job interview with KFC on completion.
Piloted in Manchester this year with more than 80 young people, the programme will be scaled up in 2023 to 500 young people recruited into KFC locations across the UK.
By 2030, KFC aims for a third of all new hires to the business to be young people who have faced barriers to employment, whether that’s because of social, economic, domestic or mental health challenges, who have come through the Hatch programme.
In tandem, KFC and UK Youth are launching a campaign calling on businesses and Government to give the next generation the practical tools and support they need to enter and thrive in the workplace.
This follows new research which shows that despite eight in 10 (83%) Manchester employers saying it is important to them to foster young talent, more than a quarter (27%) don’t currently offer work experience opportunities to young people.
Chris Taylor, Chief People Officer at KFC, commented:
“It isn’t easy taking your first step in the world of work, but for some young people that first step can feel like a mountain, with additional barriers that are out of your control standing in the way.
“At KFC we’re all about feeding people’s potential, so our Hatch programme is designed to help young people who face barriers to build their work skills and confidence, in a way that feels authentic to them.
“I’ve been incredibly lucky to meet so many talented young people today, who have gone through Hatch, and hear their stories about finding work. In the face of so many barriers, their resilience, motivation and positivity is astounding. I’m pleased we were able to give them the recognition they deserve with our unconventional, KFC-take on a graduation ceremony.”
Maddie Dinwoodie, Chief Programme Officer, 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, despite the record numbers of job vacancies. Unlocking talent and supporting all young people into work has to be a priority, particularly people who are unemployed or underemployed.
“At UK Youth we want to unlock youth work for all young people. Youth work is essential for helping young people navigate these uncertain times. It can be life changing, and even life saving. Youth work gives young people the tools they need to support their own personal development, to manage their wellbeing, increase their self-confidence, create connections and build trust with others in their community.
“We are enormously proud of our Hatch partnership with KFC, which is connecting young people to youth workers to be the essential trusted adult in a young person’s employability journey. The youth workers support them through the programme and paid work experience building essential skills for employment as well the transition into work.
“By supporting youth work, like KFC, employers can empower young people to discover new skills and opportunities that can change their lives, there is never a more important time to invest in our young people they are our future leaders and the changemakers of tomorrow.”
Find out more about the Hatch Employability Programme here