Our Partnership With Barnardo’s

Barnardos LogoThrough our Great Place To Work Survey in 2010, our teams told us that they wanted to make an impact in their local community to complement the fundraising that we do for the World Food Programme. We undertook considerable research and spoke to many organisations to identify the right partner. We quickly recognised that with a workforce two thirds of which are under 25 working in a brand that resonates with young people, it made a lot of sense to focus on opportunities that leveraged what we are good at – training and developing young people. We are also sensitive to the often negative portrayal of young people in the media which is in contrast to our everyday experiences in our restaurants where our managers train and work with positive motivated youngsters who are eager to learn and develop. It therefore made perfect sense for us to partner with an organisation motivated to make a difference for youngsters. Barnardo’s quickly made it to the top of our list.

We established our partnership with Barnardo’s in 2011. The programme offers disadvantaged young adults across the UK, the opportunity to participate in a four-week work placement in a KFC restaurant, learning valuable team-working and employability skills.

The partnership began as a pilot in North West England in autumn 2011 and has expanded to Scotland, London, Wales and the Midlands. Support in both our franchised and company owned restaurants is very strong with team members and restaurant managers - who tend to lead the training and mentor the trainee - keen to participate in the programme.

The partnership is designed to help young people from Barnardo’s services get a foot on the career ladder, and harnesses KFC’s expertise in training young adults. Participants follow a specially-tailored programme designed to introduce them to the workplace, providing highly transferrable skills such as food preparation, customer service, working in a fast-paced environment, and being part of a team.

In 2013, 40 young people took part, and we’ve offered nine of them permanent team member roles. Although recruitment into KFC roles for trainees was not the objective of the programme it has been one of the positive outcomes. Our ambition is to continue to grow the current programme and potentially expand our partnership into joint projects that may include opportunities for volunteering or links with our planned in-restaurant community-facing Work Ready training. We also make an annual donation to Barnardo’s to help with their organisational support of the programme.

We hope our partnership will encourage more businesses to follow suit, opening doors to more young people who lack opportunities. The impact on our teams in the restaurants taking part in the scheme has been profound, they have literally contributed to turning around the lives of young people.