#WayToWork campaign launches to empower young people back into employment

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Today marks the launch of #WayToWork – a new campaign to empower candidates so they feel confident to find new employment  – with the ambition of helping 200,000 young people find a way back into work.

The service industry employs over 10 million people and more under 25-year-olds than any other sector. The pandemic has resulted in one in three 18-24-year olds losing their jobs with the number of young new claimants for Universal Credit more than doubling between March and June. 

Spearheaded by Placed, the mobile-first recruitment platform built for Gen Z, the campaign seeks to find solutions to the mass unemployment the pandemic has generated for young people. 

It aims to achieve this by helping young people upskill and discover new employment opportunities and will run in tandem with the government’s Kickstarter Scheme.

Technology will be at the core of the campaign, with interactive quizzes and tools provided to help candidates up-skill and re-skill during their job search through the Placed platform. The process will help them to identify the different jobs they may be eligible for and help them develop further skills for job opportunities they may not have previously considered. 

The platform also allows employers to stay connected with job seekers, building relationships with the next generation of the workforce and playing a role in ensuring young people have the skills needed for new employment opportunities moving forwards. 

It will run alongside the Government’s Kickstart Scheme that was announced yesterday. With the platform introducing new product features to enable young people to match with employers that are taking part in the initiative. 

More than 60 organisations across the service industry from hospitality, retail, care to logistics have signed up to the #WayToWork campaign. To date, this includes Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Iceland, Soho House, Lidl, All Bright, Itsu, Polpo, Angus Steakhouse, Hakkasan, First Group, Orchard Group and Cote Brasserie  to name a few. 

Jennifer Johansson, founder, Placed, commented: “Whilst the Government Kickstart Scheme is a good first step to tackle unemployment, a more holistic approach is required to encourage long term change. Young job seekers need more than just access to job placements but also the skills and confidence to excel in their roles.

“To make this happen, we are teaming up with key industry partners to support and signpost a way forward for impacted candidates. The need for innovation to drive employment has never been as important as now and I’m proud that Placed’s #WaytoWork initiative has catalysed this”.

Katey Capper, head of corporate recruitment & digital, Mitchells and Butlers, commented: “Mitchells and Butlers are delighted to be partnered with and supporting Placed’s #waytowork campaign! It is crucial that the industry is coming together to empower younger generations back into work. Placed’s #waytowork campaign is a forward thinking and innovative platform for our brand to provide as much advice and information as possible to the fantastic future workforce. People are at the heart of what we do at Mitchells and Butlers and are delighted to partner with Placed to help us showcase this even more. “

Marco Reick, director of people & talent, QooT, commented: “We at QooT are proud to be part of Placed’s #WaytoWork campaign and to show support to our industry and those working in it. Being a business that is fortunate to continue to grow throughout the pandemic, we have first-hand witnessed the increase in applications and the scary unemployment figures caused by the lockdown. 

“Through the #WaytoWork campaign we are able to provide support not only the candidates that we hire through Placed, but also to all those candidates that are still struggling to find work. The career-led content, up-skill and re-skill quizzes as well as the early access to jobs offered through the campaign are great initiatives to empower these young people.” 

Josh Light, head of people and culture, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, commented: “We at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square are proud to get behind Placed’s #WaytoWork campaign and to show support to the hospitality industry and its workforce. Covid has had a devastating event on our industry and we are trying do our bit to support those in need as much as we are able. 

“The younger generation of our industry has been hit particularly hard and it’s important to make sure that throughout this period they don’t get left behind. We are excited to be able to provide career-led advice, up-skill and re-skill opportunities through the #Waytowork campaign to try and support what we believe, is a great platform to deliver engaging tools and guidance to those struggling to find work.”

Junior Alabi, recruitment manager, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, commented: “GBK are supporting Placed with the #WaytoWork campaign as it’s time we lift up our youth as they are our future. The Hospitality industry has always been the go-to sector for our youth and need to ensure it continues to be, by investing in them. The Placed app and the #WaytoWork campaign will be a one stop shop for advice, jobs and a great community. Giving our youth empowerment to make choices and the courage to chase their dreams. With this campaign GBK are hoping to build our youth for the future”.