Future of Work

KFC says it plans to add 5,400 jobs in the UK and Ireland by the end of 2020, despite many of its outlets being in areas affected by Covid restrictions. The fast food chain has 965 restaurants across the UK and Ireland.

The company says some of the new jobs will be funded by the UK government’s Kickstart scheme, which is designed to help young people.

The 16-24 year old age group has been disproportionately hit by job losses in the pandemic. The new jobs come at a time when the UK’s hospitality sector is reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Local lockdowns and restrictions have forced many restaurants, bars and pubs to close, or work at reduced capacity, prompting Chancellor Rishi Sunak to introduce new measures to prevent mass job losses, when the furlough scheme ends in November.

The unemployment rate in the UK rose to 4.5% in the June-to-August period, the highest level in three years. But amongst 16-24 year olds who are able to work the figure is 13.5%.

“This year is going to be even more challenging for young people looking for job opportunities,” said Paula Mackenzie, general manager at KFC for the UK and Ireland.

“But we know that all the skills the hospitality sector teaches – the importance of hard work , delivering great service and working as part of a team – will hugely help them in the long run.”

The government’s Kickstart scheme, which KFC says will fund some of the new jobs, pays employers £1,500 for every 16-24 year-old they train. It is aimed at young people who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

The new posts will be in addition to the 4,300 new recruits the fried chicken chain says it has taken on since the first lockdown in March.

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