We are approved for participation in the Future Jobs Fund, a government-backed initiative to get the long-term unemployed back into work. Social Enterprise London, who broker the opportunity, are asked to "explain/defend (their) decision to include CCK in the SEL pool of Future Jobs Fund opportunities on the back of some concerns raised by JCP/DWP" on the adult nature of our work. It takes our combined forces the best part of July 2010 to push things through and list our positions in the nationwide government jobs database. We celebrate as diversity wins and the word "kink" raises eyebrows in job centres across the country (only a couple of years earlier, Ann Summers fought all the way to the High Court to achieve just that). We rent a second office and go on to provide paid six-month contracts to 20 alternative, "unemployable" people, nearly 50% of them with various levels of disability - and hopefully come one step closer to washing the stigma out of "kink"!
Number of employees: 20 (+ 3 trial ones)
Duration: May 2010 - June 2011
Description: Provision of 6-month work placements for the long-time unemployed, and on-the-job mentoring and training (with particular emphasis on "unemployable"/alternative job-seekers).
Recruitment: Although all CCK positions were accessible through the Job Centre and listed on the national database, due to the nature of the organisation, and an experimental nature of the placements, we were asked to take a principal responsibility for the recruitment of suitable candidates, and fill the positions through our own channels (i.e. accessing directly alternative communities). Over 200 applied.
Successful candidates were asked about their recruitment experience, on both Coffee, Cake & Kink's and JCP's side (see below).
DWP goals: To increase individuals' confidence and work readiness.
For the people recruited to either continue in employment, or find a new one within 3 months of completing their Future Jobs Fund placement.
CCK goals: To develop the management and the organisation, in particular backend systems and procedures. To further our mission of making "kink" more acceptable by demonstrating how "alternative" organisations may work alongside mainstream ones, participate in the society and deliver measurable social benefits (challenging stereotypes and bridge-building).
Goal monitoring was conducted by means of an anonymous online survey, completed at exit by the majority of departing FJF staff. The survey measured: a perceived difference that the FJF placement has made to FJF employees' Confidence, Professional Skills, People Skills, Time Management, Responsibility /Ownership, Project Management, Multi-Tasking, Team Work, Motivation, Preparedness For Work, Life Skills and Personal Happiness, which were rated by staff in terms of making no difference, improvement or decline.
Coffee, Cake & Kink succeeded in meeting the FJF goals, namely demonstrating an increase in the FJF team's confidence and work readiness ("Professional Skills" was the area of the biggest impact among those who responded, with 90% of individuals claiming "some" or "considerable" improvement. This was followed by "Confidence", rated as "somewhat" or "considerably" higher by 75% of the team and "Time Management", which improved for 70% of the team ). Combined with individual CV reviews and mentoring, this translated into several of the FJF team finding new, exciting employment immediately after the end of their placements with us, and more in the following months.
Please see below for details and personal feedback from the team.