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Employment and training

Catch22 responds to latest research from UK think-tank, Onward

Taken looking up from the floor towards the sky, a group of people connect their arms to form a circle. Beyond them, the nature outdoors can be seen, but none of their faces are visible.

Onward have today released their latest report, The Policies of Belonging, which calls for policies that give people the power and resources to shape and meet their own needs. Our Kickstart Community programme is referenced in the report.

This new report makes five key recommendations to support communities in the wake of the the coronavirus pandemic and rekindle a sense of “belonging”.These recommendations are:

  1. Give every local area the “right to self government” through a parish or town council
  2. Introduce a “family tax allowance” to allow partners to transfer their £12,500 tax allowance to their working spouse
  3. Empower communities to secure land for community-led housing to ensure a supply of local affordable or social homes
  4. Introduce “Year to Serve”, a civic service scheme to give unemployed young people a paid placement with local charities or social businesses
  5. Give workers the ability to draw down a year of their pension early to take a “civic sabbatical” from work to give back to society.

Our Kickstart Community which, not only offers young people a job, but skills, volunteering and progression support is referenced in the report in relation to their fourth recommendation, which aims “to mitigate the long-term scarring of unemployment”. Working with both young people and the employers, we are offering Kickstart placements with a difference.

Responding to the report, Chris Wright, Chief Executive of Catch22, said:

“During the pandemic we’ve seen the very best of communities in action; with local charities, social businesses and individuals rallying to provide support to people who need it most. This sense of community and social action should not be lost. In fact, it must be built upon to strengthen the country’s recovery.

“The idea of ‘A Year to Serve’ does precisely that. Offering unemployed young people paid placements with local charities or social businesses to undertake community work would give purpose, help them build skills and provide an income. It would also of course benefit communities.

“This is something we’ve built into our Kickstart Community offer, and could quite easily be included as part of existing employability schemes.”