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Mon 14th Nov 2022 - KFC aiming for third of new hires by 2030 to be young people who have faced barriers to employment
KFC aiming for third of new hires by 2030 to be young people who have faced barriers to employment, puts together four-point government action plan: KFC is aiming for a third of all new hires by 2030 to be young people, aged between 16 and 24, who have faced barriers to employment. The company has also put together a four-point action plan for the government to give the next generation the practical tools and support they need to enter and thrive in the workplace. Through a new employability programme, “Hatch”, developed and delivered with youth charity UK Youth, KFC aims to help more young people access employment, specifically those who have been excluded from employment and training opportunities. “Hatch” will help some 6,000 young people across the UK build their work skills, confidence and get their first job, through a tailored programme of one-to-one training, youth work, and practical work experience, with an interview at KFC on graduating from the programme. A new report from UK Youth and KFC has found a significant lack of investment in young people’s work skills and confidence, and a growing “generation gap” between young people and employers, is fuelling the current labour and skills shortage. It found despite nine in ten (87%) employers saying it’s important to them to foster young talent, employers aren’t currently investing in young people. Practical work experience or on-the-job training (42%) is what young people say they need most from employers, but a third (37%) of employers don’t currently offer work experience opportunities to young people. That’s despite half (55%) of employers ranking practical work experience as the primary consideration when hiring. As many as one in ten (11%) employers don’t offer any support or training to young employees with a lack of time (26%) and money (23%) the top reasons given. However, the research found four in five (79%) young people would be more likely to choose to work for an employer who invested in developing young people’s skills. In response, a four-point action plan published by KFC and UK Youth is calling for a post 16-education and apprenticeship policy designed to provide young people with the skills businesses need; a government funded “Hatch” scheme, designed with businesses to give young people in-work training and job opportunities; a cross-government strategy to join up young people with local jobs; and tax incentives for businesses to invest in skills development for young employees. Meghan Farren, general manager at KFC UK & Ireland, said: “If we’re to tackle the labour shortage and provide better jobs and economic growth across the country for the next generation, then we urgently need to help those who have been excluded from education and training opportunities to find their feet and their voice in the workplace. But we can’t make that change alone. We need government to give the next generation the tools and support they need.”

Contract catering third-quarter sales up year-on-year but still down on pre-covid levels: Sales in the contract catering sector are still lagging pre-pandemic levels despite sharp growth over the last 12 months, according to the latest Contract Catering Tracker from CGA by NielsenIQ and Bidfood. The tracker shows sales from July to September 2022 were 41% higher than in the same quarter of 2021, when contract caterers faced the lingering effects of covid-19 restrictions. However, sales in the third quarter of 2022 were 9% below the equivalent three-month period in 2019, when businesses were trading as normal. With inflation now exceeding 10%, sales are significantly further behind pre-covid levels in real terms. The tracker also shows the number of units served by contract caterers has increased by just over 500 since September 2021 – but it remains more than 800 sites short of the total market at September 2019. While trading remains difficult, the tracker indicates sales have steadily built momentum this year. The 2022-on-2019 comparison of minus 9% in the third quarter of 2022 represents a steady improvement on the figures of minus 20% and minus 12% in the first and second quarters of the year respectively. Karl Chessell, CGA’s director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said: “After more than two years of covid upheaval, contract caterers are now besieged by soaring costs that are impacting spending by their clients and consumers alike. Considering the seismic challenges, it is encouraging to see sales are substantially up year-on-year. Contract catering is a resilient and innovative sector, but with business and consumer confidence so fragile there are some tough months ahead.” UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls added: “The fact the sector still remains below pre-covid levels shows the scale of the recovery required.”

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