The Department for Work and Pensions Partners with MyKindaFuture to Tackle Youth Unemployment

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has joined forces with leading HR tech company MyKindaFuture to launch an innovative mentoring programme designed to help unemployed 18-24 year olds find work through the Jobcentre Plus.

The joint initiative will see MyKindaFuture’s online mentoring platform, Connectr, being used by Jobcentre Plus (JCP) to provide jobseekers with the advice, tools and skills they need to secure a job and succeed in it. The project, which offers young people access to mentors from leading local and national employers, aims to tackle the rising issue of unemployment in Britain.

The programme will benefit young people looking for all types of work, including apprenticeships and the Government’s flagship £2bn Kickstart Scheme, which offers six-month work experience programmes to young people on Universal Credit.

Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP, comments: “Mentoring has such a valuable role in supporting young people with their job search, and it’s great to see the DWP team with MyKindaFuture match young people with mentors.

“Protecting the job prospects of our next generation of workers is at the heart of our Plan for Jobs. With support programmes like Kickstart as well as our vast network of Youth Hubs, we are creating hope, levelling up opportunity and building back better.”

The Connectr platform is initially being rolled out across seven JCPs in London, with plans to launch in UK-wide JCP locations soon after. Candidates will be referred to Connectr by JCP’s Work Coaches where they will be matched with mentors from a range of backgrounds and industries. Candidates can then choose from a selection of mentors who are recommended to them based on personality, skills, and ambitions. Once matched, the mentors will be on hand to support candidates throughout the recruitment process and even after they have secured a job.

In addition to the mentoring function, the platform will offer people looking for employment the opportunity to benefit from online learning modules and content designed to allow candidates to develop their communications and interview skills whilst they search for a job.

The initiative has received support from major UK employers. Accenture has provided vital funding, content from its Skills 2 Succeed employability training programme and mentors for the project, whilst KPMG is supporting with funding and a host of experienced mentors. Big names like Cisco, Skanska and Grant Thornton UK LLP are also providing mentors and educational content designed to support young people looking for employment.

Will Akerman, Founder and Managing Director at MyKindaFuture, concludes: “This project offers vital support to young job seekers in the UK, connecting them with employer mentors and increasing their chances of securing a job and succeeding in it. This is a landmark moment.

“The scale of unemployment in the UK at the moment is unprecedented, especially among young people. As a result, finding work is more difficult than ever. It is therefore essential that UK businesses and the Government work together to support disadvantaged young people who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and we are confident that this new initiative will prevent those who are worst affected from falling further behind.”

MyKindaFuture and the DWP are calling for employers across the country to support the initiative by providing mentors and funding to enable a nationwide rollout in all UK JCP centres. To find out more about the scheme, and how your organisation can help, email [email protected] or [email protected].

By Lisa Baker, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Lisa Baker is the owner of Need to See it Publishing Group, providing contract news for business and news sites across the UK. Lisa is an experienced HR writer and commentator, editing HR publications for more than 5 years.