For Generation Z growing up in 2020, the job market is a competitive one, and many young people feel their prospects look bleak. Youth unemployment in the UK at the end of 2020 is predicted to be anything between 7.5% (Bank of England) and 13% (Resolution Foundation).
The young people we work with use food banks, struggle with mental health, have substance misuse problems and beyond. They need work experience and income, and they’re competing with university graduates and workers who’ve recently been made redundant.
This generation is creative, driven and tech-savvy. But we’re worried about how young people are using online spaces. From our work with young people affected by knife crime, violence and exploitation, we have seen first-hand how this can translate into the online world. Our National Online Harms Consultation shows only too clearly how big of a concern this really is.
One of the best ways to address these problems is to offer pro-social opportunity – a better alternative. A side hustle – a small, money-making enterprise on an online platform – is one of those opportunities: using the online world to help young people build a better future for themselves.
A side hustle is a cash-generating project using an online platform. It can help young people get experience in key skills like marketing, sales and communication. It can give them something to talk about in a job interview. It can keep them motivated and help them realise they have something valuable to offer their world. It can help bring cash to families who really need it in a critical time. It could help a young entrepreneur start their own business.
We have experience building programmes using digital platforms. We work with big brand names like Google, Microsoft and Salesforce. We’ve built amazing pilots, like Digital Edge and The Social Switch Project, that open pathways for people facing barriers to work into employment. Now we want to empower young people to build their career from their home-grown passions.
Catch22 are designing a programme, with young people and for young people, which offers expert advice, social, financial and technical support to get their side hustle set up, bring in cash and get the word out.
If you want to be part of the solution, please leave your details below. We want to move fast so we can help young people when they need it most.