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Support into work

Jobs 22: Catch22’s joint venture to tackle unemployment post COVID-19

Young woman stands in a beauty salon with her arms folded. She is looking directly at the camera.

With unemployment levels in the UK set to soar as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, charity and social business Catch22 and Australian employment company Angus Knight have teamed up to create a new venture – Jobs 22.

Jobs 22 will design programmes, using the experience of Catch22 and Angus Knight, to help those who face barriers to employment find work.

Angus Knight provides employment and training for individuals and communities across Australia. Their hugely successful work with the charity Life without Barriers, uses technology and highly personalised support to help disabled people, and those with injuries, return to work.

As an organisation we already run a number of pioneering employability programmes, including:

  • Bright Light: a programme run with The Children’s Society which provides training and support for care leavers to find employment.
  • Digital Edge: a programme funded by Microsoft which opens pathways into digital apprenticeships for people facing barriers to employment.
  • The Social Switch Project: funded by Google.org, Social Switch teaches young people skills in social media management to harness their skills for good.
  • Barclays LifeSkills: which helps people 16+ facing barriers to work find education and employment opportunities. It supports high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs, including clients and suppliers, to open up to new talent.
  • Inspiring Families and The Family Works Programmes: these are voluntary employment support programmes delivered by Catch22 on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. They support local people in the communities of Islington, Haringey, Enfield, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Havering, Barking & Dagenham and Waltham Forest who are part of families with complex barriers to gaining employment.

Chris Wright, Chief Executive Officer of Catch22, said:

“Catch22 has a strong track record of delivering employability contracts and working with vulnerable communities to help them find work. This new venture allows us to take our local knowledge and experience in delivery and the expertise of Angus Knight, to help rescue the thousands of people who find themselves jobless in the current climate.”

“There is a great fit between the organisations; we share the same values and are absolutely committed to helping young people through this current crisis – and beyond.”

Angus Knight Group Chairman, Michael Hobday, said:

“Angus Knight Group is very excited to be joining with Catch22, a well respected and experienced provider of services across the UK in forming Jobs 22.  The UK is entering a difficult period where many talented people will be seeking a job. Jobs 22 will be there to assist and support them to quickly re-enter the work force.  We believe that no one organisation has all the answers to getting people back to work, that’s where Jobs22 will be different, it will bring together the strengths of both the for profit and not for profit sector to get Britain working again.”

The collaboration with Catch22 builds on Angus King Group’s recent acquisition of Learn Plus Us, a London based skills business.

 Chris Wright added: 

“Whatever services we’re delivering, we’re always looking at how we can do things better and differently. Public services are not being delivered as effectively as they could be – and that’s largely down to too much bureaucracy and not enough focus on the needs of those who use the services. There’s a huge need – and therefore a huge opportunity – to do thing differently in employability. We hope Jobs 22 will be at the forefront of getting the people of the UK back to work.”

Jobs 22 is jointly owned by Catch22 and Angus Knight.